Despite working for a good portion of the week before Christmas, Members of Congress found ways to put aside the lame-duck votes and enjoy a few traditional celebrations to mark the end of the year with their staffs and family.
Sen. Orrin Hatch’s staff had the office’s annual Christmas party last week. Though the Utah Republican didn’t write a follow-up to last year’s “Eight Days of Hanukkah,” he and staffers enjoyed a potluck luncheon and played a white elephant gift exchange. No word on what the Senator got as his gag gift.
For Sen. Claire McCaskill, this year’s holiday brings something special: the first Christmases for two of her grandsons. The Missouri Democrat tweeted a photo of her grandsons Monday, saying they were “one major reason I am looking forward to Christmas.”
Although Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz already celebrated Hanukkah with her family this year, the Florida Democrat will continue her tradition of celebrating Christmas with her best friend’s family in Florida.
Every year, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner takes the week off between Christmas and New Year’s to relax and recharge before January. This year, the Wisconsin Republican gets the added bonus of getting to know his soon-to-be in-laws, thanks to the upcoming nuptials of his son next summer.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) really likes to share the holiday spirit. What started out as a small Christmas party for friends and family seven years ago has grown into a gathering of more than 100 people, from King’s high school and college friends to families of 9/11 victims.
The only people who don’t show up to King’s party each year? Reporters and government officials, he joked.
“Nothing ruins a good night like a bunch of media people or politicians,” he said.
From left, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., David Goldman, the father of a child who was abducted to Brazil by the mother, and Arvind Chawdra, a father whose two children were abducted to India by their mother, attend a news conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on international child abduction.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.