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Heard on the Hill: Up Against the Wall

The Capitol can be a tricky place to maneuver — just ask Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who walked face first into a wall last week.

Like, literally.

An HOH spy, standing near Rep. David Dreier’s House Rules Committee office in the Capitol on Wednesday, eyed McGovern (who is vice chairman of the Rules panel) walking by with an aide. Our spy overheard the McGovern staffer sarcastically ask his boss whether he wanted to stop into the California Republican’s digs to say hello — and McGovern, who apparently has spent enough time fighting Dreier in the committee, laughed and kept strolling down the hall.

And seconds later, the Congressman walked straight into a wall, our spy says.

“He just wasn’t paying attention,” the spy adds. “He just went full speed right into the wall.”

McGovern hit the wall so hard it appeared he could have hurt himself, our spy notes. But apparently he wasn’t injured and quickly played off the accident (although several people in the hallway couldn’t help but cracking a chuckle, the spy recalls).

“He was kind of dazed and just tried to mumble and pretend it didn’t happen and walked on,” our spy adds, laughing.

Despite McGovern’s play-it-cool attitude, word of his hallway ordeal spread throughout the Capitol. HOH hears Dreier even found the Congressman on the House floor to ask whether he was OK.

And while HOH guesses McGovern felt a tad bit embarrassed, he’s now laughing off the ordeal.

“The idea that Jim isn’t coordinated is ludicrous,” McGovern spokesman Michael Mershon tells HOH. “In high school, he played a mean left bench on the football team.”

Issa Gets Spring Fever. Now that spring has sprung, the heavy coats are on mothballs and the convertible tops are down. Another indicator of Washington’s warming trend? Rep. Darrell Issa is on his bike.

The California Republican pulled up to the House-side entrance of the Capitol on Friday on his BMW motorcycle, wearing an office-appropriate suit accessorized by a leather jacket and large helmet. Issa, we must note, parked the iron horse right in front of a “no parking” sign before running in to cast his vote.

Spokesman Frederick Hill noted that Issa was only popping by for a quick vote (hence the less-than-correct parking job). His boss, by the way, is a longtime motorcycle fan, but he only managed to bring his chopper to Washington last November.

“Forget the groundhog. Spring is finally here when you see a Member arriving for a vote on a motorcycle,” he tells HOH.

Rahm Strong-Arms Space. The White House seemed to be resorting to tough tactics in its push to line up votes for the health care bill — Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel put Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) in a joking (we think) headlock during a meeting Wednesday at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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