Heard on the Hill

Word on the Hill: Muslim Group Advocacy Day Focuses on Refugees

Senate majority leader has birthday on Presidents Day

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern will address the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA before its advocacy day on Capitol Hill on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The seventh annual “Day on the Hill” for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA today will highlight its “True Islam” campaign and “#MuslimAlly” hashtag.

The group maintains it is the oldest Muslim organization in America, and 75 chapters from across the country are expected to meet with hundreds of congressional offices. Its focus this year is on discussing threats to homeland security and refugee processing.

Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., will address the attendees at 10 a.m. in the Cannon House Office Building, Room 121.

The “True Islam” campaign has received more than 13,000 endorsements, including many federal and state lawmakers, city officials, members of law enforcement, and faith-based communities, according to the organization. #MuslimAlly is a hashtag to promote “awareness on various social media platforms to combat ignorance,” the group said in its release.

The delegates today will also brief congressional offices of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus, which is co-chaired by Reps. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

The Ahmadiyya, also known as Ahmadis, are members of a Muslim sect founded by an Indian religious leader in the 19th century. As some of their beliefs are considered heretical by many mainstream Muslims, they face persecution in many Muslim countries. 

Staffer shuffle

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Tracey Lewis as its new deputy executive director and chief operating officer. Lewis was primary states director and senior adviser for Georgia for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Also, Dan McNally, who managed Sen. Michael Bennet’s, D-Colo., re-election campaign last year, was named political director, and Missayr Boker, former assistant political director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, will serve as the committee’s campaign director.

Overheard

“We’re about the middle of the first half.”

— Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, on the timing of repealing the 2010 health care law.

“You’ve been smoking again.”

— Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., at a press conference to roll out the new House Cannabis Caucus, after Blumenauer said he didn’t realize Young was in the room.

“I definitely didn’t say you were a puppy killer, I said the bill was a puppy-killing bill.”

— Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to Young at the  press conference.

“Well, I always said about President Obama, it’s great to play golf, but play golf with heads of countries and people like yourself when you’re looking for votes.  Don’t play with your friends that you play with every week. Does that make sense?”

— President Donald Trump to Republican members of Congress, who laughed, according to a pool report.

And a word from Brian Schatz

The Hawaii Democratic senator misses a former White House occupant.

Happy birthday to …

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., 55.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, 53.

On Saturday

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., 70.

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., 53.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., 53.

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., 60.

Sunday

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., 69.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., 71,

And a Presidents Day birthday to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who turns the big 7-5 on Monday!

Happy long weekend and we will see you back here on Tuesday.

What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com.

Stephanie Akin, John T. Bennett and Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

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