Aug. 1, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: Cowboy Up

HOH wouldn’t guess that a guy from the shores of Maryland and another from the Land of Lincoln were among the biggest country music fans in Congress.

But it turns out that’s the case — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Aaron Schock went to Nashville on Wednesday night to attend the star-studded Country Music Awards.

The Maryland Democrat sat directly in front of the Illinois Republican during the awards ceremony, HOH hears.

Hoyer spokeswoman Katie Grant tells HOH that her boss was in Nashville doing fundraisers. And she joked that while “no one would mistake him for a country singer,” he was invited to attend the twangy celebration.

Schock spokesman Dave Natonski tells HOH that the Congressman didn’t receive any special invitation for the event — as a fan of country music, he just wanted to go to the show and ended up buying a ticket directly from the CMAs.

Goes to show, you can’t judge a guy’s musical tastes by his hometown — but HOH will offer a longneck beer to any tipster who spots Schock or Hoyer driving a dusty pickup or sporting a ten-gallon hat.

Debbie and Earl’s Excellent Adventure. They might come from opposite coasts, but Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) got in some high-quality hangout time over last week’s recess.

On Thursday, the bicoastal duo (in tabloid form, we’re dubbing them Earlie) toured the Everglades — located near Wasserman Schultz’s home — taking in the sights from an airboat that navigates the waters without disturbing plant life. Conservationist Blumenauer was so excited to see the protected wetlands, he tweeted about it and the environmental threats it faces. “Jet boating thru the Everglades with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. What a challenge to get it back in balance!”

Wasserman Schultz spokesman Jonathan Beeton tells HOH that when his boss learned that her Oregonian colleague would be attending a transportation conference in Florida, she invited him to visit the Everglades to see restoration projects firsthand and learn more about how the area is threatened by climate change.

He joked that their mode of transportation was slightly different than Blumenauer’s preferred two-wheeled variety. “It’s a far cry from a bicycle, considering an airboat travels at about 50 mph out over the wetlands,” Beeton said. “But it’s the only practical way to get out into the middle of this natural treasure.”

Later in the day, Wasserman Schultz and Blumenauer hit a fundraiser in Miami, then held a town hall to talk about health care legislation at a senior center in Pembroke Pines, Fla., where they were joined by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.).

Hollywood on the Potomac, Via Bus. Tired of taking family members on boring trolley tours of the National Mall? Or do the noisemakers given to tourists during those boat tours drive you insane?

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