Members of Congress have plenty of people giving them advice, both solicited and not. Senior staffers, constituents, pollsters and pundits all have ideas about what elected officials should do.
But the source of counsel that lawmakers are most likely to follow: their mothers. In honor of Mother’s Day (which mom-loving Congress established back in 1914), we asked Members what was the best advice they have ever gotten from their moms.
“She told me that when people don’t have enough backbone, sometimes you’ve got to put a broomstick up their back to give them some backbone. I remember we were taking a tough vote, and I brought a dowel rod with me to a meeting — I didn’t have an actual broomstick — and I told that story and said, ‘Mr. Leader, I can get as many of these as you need.’ It’s become a joke among my colleagues.”
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)
“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything. Live long, and you’ll outlast all your enemies, and that’s the greatest revenge.”
“She taught me everything about dealing with people, and her best advice was that you can always get a lot more out of folks if you give them a smile. It’s been perfect advice for what we do around here.”
“My mom was the den mother for our Cub Scouts, and we had meetings in our basement. Her best advice was to get involved and make a difference, and she pushed us to do that. It’s served as a good mantra in this job.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.