Capitol Hill

Union Pub is like the ‘Matthew McConaughey of Capitol Hill’
Through renovations and name changes, beery refuge on the Senate side keeps staying the same

Patrons gather in the dining room of Union Pub on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Settled on the Senate side, a couple of blocks northeast of the Capitol, and nearly centered between the Hart Building and Union Station, sits a beery refuge that seems miles away.

“We’re in the business of hospitality and having a good time. We’re not in the business of trying to extend any kind of political discourse or our political feelings,” says Union Pub owner Matt Weiss.

From intern to ‘win’-tern: How to finish your Capitol Hill internship on top
Don’t sweat the small stuff while you’re sweating in the D.C. heat

This intern for Rep. Gregg Harper got stuck with sign-in duty in 2018. Approach every day like it’s your last one on the Hill, even if the tasks are menial, former interns say. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congratulations! You are minutes away from finishing your summer internship on Capitol Hill. Not only have you woken up at ungodly hours after too many margs at Tortilla Coast, but you’ve managed to beat everyone to the office by 30 minutes. You’ve mastered the fastest route between the House and Senate office buildings, and you’ve crushed coffee orders like the barista you could’ve been if it weren’t for this internship.

So, what’s next, you ask? You mean... you don’t have it figured out?

Who’s the guy in the background of all those Capitol Hill TV hits?
Undercover Capitol: taking you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time

CQ Roll Call's Jason Dick chats with Rep. Tom Cole about Oklahoma's favorite son, Will Rogers (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call).

He was a Cherokee, a cowboy, an actor and a political commentator. He was born in 1879, but he’s in the background of a handful of Capitol Hill TV news hits every day. 

He’s Will Rogers, Oklahoma’s favorite son. And his statue sits between the House floor and Statuary Hall in one of the few Capitol rooms where TV cameras can regularly shoot interviews. CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick spoke with Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole about the ‘Old Country Boy’ himself, a Native American multimedia icon whose celebrity star still shines on Capitol Hill.

Try a little fake blood with your Jazz in the Garden
If it looks, tastes and smells like meat, it might not be meat

Jazz in the Garden is a summer standby in Washington, but it’s not above a little meatless improv. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

Granite and concrete edifices aren’t the only art on display this summer at the Sculpture Garden. When you head to Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery on Friday, look for a trendy, glistening newcomer: the Impossible Burger.

It looks like meat and smells like meat. The middle is convincingly pink. Bring a bib: It bleeds a little.

Bend it like Bacon
Members face off in the 7th annual soccer match

Democrats have owned the pitch in recent years, but Don Bacon has been practicing hard.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’m no soccer expert (believe it or not), but I know enough to know that when someone in the United States gets excited about “football,” it’s rarely over a little leather black-and-white ball getting kicked around.

So when I saw the announcement for this year’s Congressional Soccer Match, I felt bad. Bad because I had forgotten there was a congressional “soccer” game — which, by the way, has its very own Wikipedia page.

‘Mr. President will correct the record:’ Trouble with names, speakers and Roman numerals — Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of May 12, 2019

Workers begin setting up the stage for the annual Memorial Day Concert on the West Front of the Capitol on May 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress was abuzz this week with flip phones, mispronunciations and confusion over who’s turn it was to speak.

Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix recalls her ‘most terrifying days’
Felix testifies on maternal health and mortality on Capitol Hill

Allyson Felix, U.S. track and field Olympic gold medalist, testifies Thursday during a House Ways and Means hearing in the Longworth Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track and field star in American history, was on Capitol Hill on Thursday — not to discuss the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or preach about fitness, or boast about her gold medals, but to speak to the rising maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist began her statement humbly: “I’m Camryn’s mom.” The testimony that followed was birthed from her own personal experience. When Felix was 32 weeks pregnant, a prenatal doctor’s appointment and common case of “swollen feet” led to bedrest and the discovery of preeclampsia, which put her and her unborn baby at risk. Doctors then scheduled an emergency C-section.

Katie Porter receives the gift of poetry for Mother’s Day
Hallmark may have found its next card writer

California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter’s son honored his mom on Mother’s Day with a poem paying homage to her profession. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

These days, moms are lucky to get a text from their own offspring wishing them a “Happy Mother's Day!” If they’re really lucky, they’ll get a post on Instagram (that they may or may not see). If they’re REALLY lucky, a FaceTime (lookin’ at you, Mom).

Rep. Katie Porter received the gift of poetry.

Mother’s Day can be tough. Here’s how one woman copes
‘I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,’ says former Hill staffer Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik poses with her book “Longing for Motherhood” on Friday. Mother’s Day isn’t always easy, but this policy director has hope. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While a lot of us will spend Mother’s Day scrolling through Instagram and double-tapping our friends’ “First Mother’s Day! #blessed” posts, Chelsea Patterson Sobolik, a former Hill staffer, will avoid it all.

“I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,” she says.

Hey Congress, there’s an app for that!
Students swarm Capitol Hill, showcase computer science skills

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#HouseOfCode, a Computer Science Festival on Capitol Hill, welcomed 232 students from 129 congressional districts who all assembled in a packed room inside Rayburn. These high-tech middle and high schoolers wore their “congressional app challenge” cotton tees with pride, favoring computer applications over the typical D.C. attire. The task was to showcase their contributions to computer science and, once I showed up, explain “coding.”

“Coding ... is a language where you’re trying to write an application,” high school senior Ryan Lee began explaining before his galactic-themed game, “Space Exploration,” caught my attention. (I’m a sucker for space and, full disclosure, he lost me at “language.”)