Heard on the Hill

Hurd Staffer Joins NFL Stars to Bring Water to Eastern Africa
Director of constituent services Jon Arnold lost his leg in Iraq 10 years ago

Jon Arnold, a University of Texas alum, works for Rep. Will Hurd of Texas. (Courtesy of Rep. Will Hurd’s office)

Army veteran Jon Arnold has had a remarkable life of public service, and he’s not even close to stopping.

Arnold, director of constituent services for Texas Rep. Will Hurd, is taking time off for a 10-day trip to Tanzania with Waterboys, a charity started by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long. The initiative pairs disabled veterans and NFL players to raise awareness and funds for sustainable water wells in Eastern Africa.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Over Recess?
McCain’s wife, daughter send photos of ailing senator, Nolan explains himself, and MacArthur represents both sides

Washington, D.C., area students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Screenshot from C-SPAN)

Botched votes, eight-hour speeches, endless milling around — watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Harry Reid headed to hall of fame, on the lookout for dogs on the Hill

Harriotte Ranvig, 71, of Somerville Mass., is escorted out of the House chamber on Thursday after she and a group of protesters disrupted the vote on The ADA Education and Reform Act on which makes it harder for disabled people to sue for discrimination. The aim of the legislation is to curb dishonest lawsuits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

How Orrin Hatch Found His Twitter Groove
‘He has this incredible sense of humor, he loves self-deprecating humor, he loves age jokes’

Matt Whitlock, left, says the voice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Twitter account is the senator himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not easy to create one of the most popular Twitter handles in Congress when you’re speaking in your 83-year-old boss’s voice.

But Matt Whitlock, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s communication director, has done just that. The Utah Republican has about 65,000 followers.

Rep. Rodney Davis Recalls Lessons From His Staffer Days
Illinois Republican was longtime projects director for Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Rodney Davis talks about a picture of himself, fellow Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and former Vice President Dan Quayle, taken when Davis worked in Shimkus’ office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Davis was a staffer in fellow Republican Rep. John Shimkus’ Illinois office before running for Congress.

Davis, now 48, worked for Shimkus for 16 years.

Digital Staffers Focus on Getting on Message
Democrats fighting to catch up to Republicans in numbers and training

GOP Labs brings in companies to train staffers in social media and digital platforms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Breaking through the noise is a typical goal in communications, but this year, staffers just want to speak with one voice. They’re making coordination a priority within their parties.

That coordination is most obvious when multiple congressional offices blast out the same message with the same graphics on the same day. Whether it’s criticizing the Republican tax plan or celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday, it’s all from the same script.

Flashback Friday: ‘A Series of Tubes’
Here’s a phrase from the past that you might not know the story behind

The late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens once described the internet as “a series of tubes.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers may not know or appreciate.

Why do people sometimes talk about the “tubes” of the internet? Well, it dates back to the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who once used the term to express his opposition to net neutrality.

Staffer Poll: Harassment on the Hill
Staffers reveal the most disturbing information to come out of sexual harassment stories

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., answers questions in November about his alleged sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Stories about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, particularly involving members of Congress, have piled up in the past several months.

Roll Call polled people who anonymously identified themselves as congressional staffers about how these revelations have affected work life in Congress. The poll was conducted online Feb. 5-9.

The Hill Through the Eyes of Staffers
Staffers Instagrams provide insight into life on Capitol Hill

Senate staffers and visitors pass by plexiglass-enclosed displays of various U.S. Capitol design models earlier this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call photographers capture scenes from the Capitol of staffers at work on a daily basis. But we wanted to see what staffers are capturing themselves.

Through congressional staffers with public Instagram accounts, we found images of Capitol Hill life through their eyes.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Wyden sends Tinder a valentine, Love on the Hill, and J-Law in town

An aide attends a House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Utah Delegation Weighs In on Whether to Send Martha to Washington
Women’s suffrage pioneer Cannon is a ‘friend’ of Hatch and distant relative of Curtis

Utah Rep. John Curtis, middle, wears a shirt supporting Martha Hughes Cannon’s statue as he poses with advocates. (Courtesy Rep. John Curtis)

Martha Hughes Cannon is one step closer in her march to the nation’s capital. The women’s suffrage activist and doctor is being considered for one of Utah’s two statues inside the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The movement to replace the statue of Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, which currently stands in the Capitol, has little to do with people disliking him and everything to do with Cannon’s legacy.

Colorado’s Senators Catch Olympic Fever
Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet stage curling competition in Russell hallway

Sens. Michael Bennet, left, and Cory Gardner set up their own curling rink in a Russell Senate Office Building hallway. Watch their video below. (Screenshot)

Bipartisan curling would be a congressional sport if Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet had anything to do with it.

The two put in some Olympics training of their own to honor the many athletes from their home state of Colorado competing in Pyeongchang.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Valentines Day, Ash Wednesday and a new Olympic sport

Stephen Colbert rides a Segway down the hallway outside of Rep. Adam Schiff's office in the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Take Five: David Kustoff
Tennessee Republican saves time and money by not eating all day

Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff tells his constituents about how hardworking Capitol Hill staffers are. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. David Kustoff, 51, a Tennessee Republican, talks about eating only once a day, how he’s proud of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and his morning routine.

Q: What has surprised you so far in Congress?