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Heard on the Hill: Invasion of the Boldfacers

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Plenty of VIPs showed up for the big feed: HOH spotted singer Carole King dining alongside New York Democrats (Sen. Charles Schumer and Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Charlie Rangel). Several other Members stopped by the soiree, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

History Lessons. Judging from Congress’ abysmally low approval ratings, people blame the institution for all kinds of horrendous things. But the House historian wants to remind people of one of Congress’ creations that’s proved to be wildly popular, particularly with the ladies: Mother’s Day.

House Historian Robert Remini sent out a notice on Wednesday reminding Hill denizens that while former President Woodrow Wilson often gets credit for establishing Mother’s Day, it actually all began in the House, thank you very much.

The holiday was instituted in May 1914, when Rep. James Heflin (D-Ala.) introduced H.J.Res. 263: “Whereas the service rendered the United States by the American mother is the greatest source of the country’s strength and inspiration ... Therefore be it ... Resolved, that the second Sunday in May shall hereafter be designated and known as Mother’s Day, and it shall be the duty of the President to require its observances as provided in this resolution.”

The Senate approved the measure later in the day.

And since we know Remini isn’t going to forget Mother’s Day (and have to rush- deliver flowers last minute like many of the rest of us), HOH checked in on him to see how he plans to mark the occasion himself. A spokesman tells us he’ll be spending the day with his wife, Ruth, and their son in Illinois, and Ruth will be expecting a phone call from the couple’s two daughters. The Reminis have been married since 1948.

Now that’s some history.

Gone Phishin’. What could compel a jam-band rocker to don a suit? Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio was spotted making the rounds on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, dressed to impress in a surprisingly conservative suit-and-tie combo.

The musician visited Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), along with the leadership of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals to talk about drug courts and rehabilitation for addicts. Anastasio completed a drug court program, which consists of court-supervised testing and check-ins, in 2007 after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge when he was found with heroin and prescription drugs.

The NADCP was slated to give Nelson and Durbin awards Wednesday night at an event on Capitol Hill, a spokesman tells HOH.

Anastasio, we’re told, went relatively incognito during his Congressional visit, but he was friendly and happily posed for pictures when spotted by fans.

Great Expectations. Pregnant ladies, coming through!

About half a dozen expectant mothers — some who looked thisclose to giving birth — attended a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday. The moms-to-be were all federal employees there to support legislation to give government workers four weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a new baby.

The women posed for pictures with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), but mostly sat quietly in the audience.

“They’re expecting action, and I hope Congress will be able to deliver,” Maloney deadpanned.

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