Brian Babin

Photos of the Week: House Heads Out Early, Senate Welcomes a Baby
The week of April 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks up the House steps as he arrives at the Capitol for the final votes of the week Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House members scrambled out of town on Wednesday this week  — a day earlier than originally scheduled. And on Thursday the Senate made history by welcoming an infant onto the chamber’s floor. Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth on April 9, and the rules were changed to accommodate the new mom.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
The new Beethoven, e-Waste Disposal Day and military children on the Hill

From left, Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, stop to chat with Miss South Carolina Tori Sizemore and Miss Louisiana Lauren Vizza as they arrive at the Capitol for the final votes of the week on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

To the Moon and Beyond! — Mission to Mars Funding in Omnibus
Goal is to put an astronaut on the red planet during Trump’s time in the White House

NASA for years has been planning long-range space exploration to the moon and Mars. Back in 2006, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, Associate Administrator Scott Horowitz, and Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley discussed the Constellation Program, the space agency’s plan for robotic and human exploration of the moon and Mars. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is hoping to land a U.S. astronaut on Mars during his tenure in the White House, and Congress is prepared to continue to back up that mission.

The fiscal 2018 spending bill would provide $1.35 billion in funding for the Orion Spacecraft at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The program, which received the same level of funding for fiscal 2017, is aimed at building a vehicle for deep-space travel, including the moon and Mars.

Sweeping Changes Proposed for Foreign Lobbying Law
Critics: Proposal overreacts to Mueller indictments

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley in response to indictments in the special counsel’s Russia probe would have far-reaching consequences for U.S. representatives of foreign governments, foreign companies and other international interests.

The Iowa Republican put forward the measure last week after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced indictments in his investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana introduced an identical bill in his chamber.

Texas Delegation Celebrates Astros’ World Series Win
Comes months after Hurricane Harvey devastated the region

The Houston Astros celebrate their Game 7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night. (HoustonAstros.com)

Texas lawmakers celebrated the Houston Astros’ World Series win Wednesday, which came just months after Hurricane Harvey caused destruction throughout the region. 

The Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 of the series Wednesday night to claim the first championship in their 56-year history.

Harvey Floodwater Traps Babin in Texas Home
Congressman says they'll be fine

People wait in line to buy groceries at a Food Town supermarket in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Wednesday. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, said Wednesday he is trapped in his home in Woodville, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey lead to massive flooding in the area.

The congressman, who represents the eastern Houston suburbs, told CNN “we're fine” when asked if they needed to be rescued. Babin said he had been able to leave his home after the hurricane hit over the weekend, but the waters recently rose, trapping them there.

Controversy Lingers Over Capitol Art Competition
Deadline for student art submissions is Thursday

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. passes by the painting by Missouri high school student David Pulphus after it was rehung in the Capitol tunnel in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Submissions to this year’s Congressional Art Competition for high school students close on Thursday while the controversy from last year’s contest still hasn’t dissipated.

Debate still lingers over the painting by David Pulphus, a constituent of Rep. William Lacy Clay, that depicted police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri. Some Republican members took matters into their own hands and removed the painting from where it hung with others in the Capitol tunnel.

A Republican Favorite, NASA Escapes Trump’s Budget Ax
‘A lot of the NASA facilities are in Republican states and districts’

Space Shuttle Discovery takes its last flight on the back of a 747 over Washington on April 17, 2012. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

This story first appeared on CQ.com on April 17, 2017.

Space exploration was left relatively unscathed when President Donald Trump released his first budget request in March — especially when compared with other science and technology programs.

Word on the Hill: Staffers Give Back
Athletes and tweetstorms

Senate staffer Annie Humphrey donates blood with the Armed Services Blood Program on Monday. (Giovanni Rodriguez/Armed Services Blood Program)

More than 70 Senate staffers donated 56 units of blood in the first-ever Senate Armed Services Blood Program blood drive.

Staff members from the Armed Services Blood Bank Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, hosted a four-hour drive for Senate staffers on Monday.

TV Ads Tell Conservatives to Vote With Trump on Health Care
American Action Network targets Freedom Caucus members in their districts

From left, Republican Reps. Dave Brat of Virginia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Mark Meadows of North Carolina are among the targets of the new GOP ad campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican issue advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is running half a million dollars in TV ads to pressure Freedom Caucus members to vote with President Donald Trump on the Republicans’ health care plan. 

American Action Network is running spots in 30 districts on Fox News beginning Thursday for two weeks. It’s the first time an outside group is invoking the president’s support for the health care plan in its paid advertising for the bill.