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Heard on the Hill: Up Against the Wall

Space, who voted for the House bill but expressed reservations about the Senate version, was being heavily lobbied to vote for the bill. But Space spokesman Andrew Ricci indicated that his boss didn’t feel intimidated in the least.

“There’s an old joke about a former ballerina putting a former college football star in a headlock ...” he tells HOH.

Hitting the e-Book. Members of Congress technically aren’t allowed to hawk commercial products — but HOH is pretty certain that if Sen. Mike Enzi were ever to leave office, he’d be the perfect pitchman for the Kindle.

On the Senate floor last week, an HOH spy eyed the Wyoming Republican showing off the digital reader to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). An Enzi spokeswoman wasn’t surprised, saying the Senator “sings its praises to anyone who will listen.”

“Since he travels so much, it is ideal in airports because he doesn’t have to lug books and papers from D.C. to Wyoming and back every weekend,” spokeswoman Elly Pickett says. “He also loves to read the Wall Street Journal on it every morning. He is a speed reader and goes through books very quickly so being able to have 1,500 books at his fingertips at all times is great.”

Enzi likes his Kindle so much that he had his chief of staff get one, too, Pickett says.

The Senator reads usually gets through more than 100 e-books a year, Pickett adds.

ISO Musical Members. HOH is convinced that most Members of Congress really just wanted to be either pro athletes or rock stars, but instead settled for holding elected office. Those who still harbor rock-god (or goddess) fantasies now have their chance to live the dream: The organizers of the GRAMMYs on the Hill are seeking musically inclined Members to perform as part of an all-Congress backup band to an actual Grammy-winning artist.

For the April 14 GRAMMYs on the Hill celebration, the organization’s Washington representative, Daryl Friedman, says they are looking for “musical talent, rock-star attitude and a voting record supporting intellectual property.” But “musical talent” seems to be loosely defined. (House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer [D-Md.]) has performed in previous years, and we seem to recall that his musical contributions consisted of enthusiastic finger-snapping.) Other past performers have included Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

The band will back up a yet-to-be-named Grammy winner, possibly honoree Garth Brooks.

And while performers are all but guaranteed cheering fans and the spotlight, groupies, a tour bus and big hair aren’t included.

Overheard on the Hill. “Congresswoman Stephen Lynch”

— How a gender-bending e-mail from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) identified Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), who, last we checked, was a dude. Rehberg’s e-mail urged people to call undecided Members of Congress to urge them to vote “no” on the health care bill.

Jackie Kucinich and Niels Lesniewski contributed to today’s HOH.

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