Heard on the Hill

'Tis the Season for Heckling at Capitol Tree Lighting?

From the minute Speaker John A. Boehner began his address at the Capitol Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday evening, his words were washed out by the chants of dozens of immigration advocates.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, Giovanni Philip Gaynor, 6, of Colville, Wash., and Boehner are pictured shortly after they lit the Capitol Christmas Tree on the west front. The 88-foot Engelmann spruce was harvested from the Colville National Forest in Washington state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, Giovanni Philip Gaynor, 6, of Colville, Wash., and Boehner are pictured shortly after they lit the Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front. The 88-foot Engelmann spruce was harvested from the Colville National Forest in Washington state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

"All I want for Christmas is reform,” the demonstrators yelled. Ironically, news broke earlier in the day of Boehner's hiring of Becky Tallent to be his new immigration policy director, a move widely regarded as showing the speaker's willingness to pursue immigration legislation.

Despite the distraction, Boehner plowed through to talk about the Christmas season, and the 88-foot Engelmann spruce did, indeed, light up.

Capitol Police estimated the crowd to be about 1,000 guests on an unseasonably warm December day.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., was scheduled to lend comments before Boehner's official address but canceled on Sunday after giving birth to her third child.

Fellow Washingtonians Reps. Jim McDermott and Doc. Hastings helped introduce the speaker.