Heard on the Hill

Her antidote to Trump: A greeting card company
Veteran operative Jill Rulli left politics to get into the card business. Hallmark it is not

(Courtesy The Thought)

Rick Steves is blunt on cannabis: ‘Tolerate alternative lifestyles or build more prisons’
Watch CQ Roll Call's talk with the travel guru

Rick Steves, left, travel author and television personality, talks with CQ Roll Call's Clyde McGrady, center, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., outside of the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

Travel guru Rick Steves made a pitstop in Washington, D.C., on Monday to push lawmakers to legalize cannabis.

Swalwell, a dad on the campaign trail

Rep. Eric Swalwell and his wife, Brittany, discuss how they share the duties of parenting their son, Nelson, 2, and daughter, Cricket, 7 months, as she works full time and he is running for president while serving in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

Are you (financially) smarter than a sixth-grader?
Watch out, Warren Buffett — there are middle schoolers on the Hill after your job

Want to keep up with the future investors of America? Get out your calculators. (Shutterstock)

Words such as “portfolio,” “investment” and “diversify” echoed in the Rayburn foyer and flew way over my head as winning middle and high school students from 10 congressional districts gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The kids were there to claim bragging rights and offer a crash course in Economics 101.

When it comes to the stock market, “start as early as you can and pay attention to what you’re investing in, and make sure it’s a long-term investment,” advised Raylee Stopka, a sixth-grader from Texas. (Sound dating advice for anyone looking for a soulmate as well.)

Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz re-enact D-Day parachute drop into Normandy
The bipartisan parachuters’ 75th anniversary commemoration was next level

Reps. Michael Waltz, left, and Jason Crow pose together after their D-Day re-enactment jumps into Normandy on Sunday. (Courtesy Rep. Jason Crow’s office)

Why fly to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and stay within the safe and comfortable barriers of the plane, when you can instead jump out of a plane and re-enact the original mission completed by allied paratroopers into Normandy in 1944?

That’s likely what Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz would say. The bipartisan pair were the only members of Congress who, this past Sunday, took the same leap that troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions took 75 years ago. You could barely even tell decades have passed by the looks of the near-identical World War II uniforms donned by the fearless 21st century parachuters aboard “That’s All Brother,” the original C-47 that carried the 101st Airborne into Normandy.

Kristin Lynch is working the tie — and putting in the work
‘I feel pretty strongly about my identity as a lesbian,’ says Cory Booker staffer

From trivia night to her high-powered job in the Senate, Kristin Lynch is the role model she wishes she had. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There was a time when Kristin Lynch wore a dress to her job in politics, or one of those blouses that could be described as “flowy.” Now she wears a suit and tie, plus a crisp button-down shirt.

It’s not so much a fashion statement as a reminder that you need to be yourself, even in the halls of Congress.

Tariff tussles, stilt walkers and a single ‘kudos’: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of June 3, 2019

Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Chuck Grassley announces he’s running ... 3 miles a day, 4 days a week
The Iowa Republican prefers to go it alone — and you won’t catch him with ‘plugs’

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, exits the Senate subway as he arrives in the Capitol for a vote on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keeping Instagram abreast of the latest #CornWatch developments happening back at the family farm in Iowa isn’t the only responsibility Chuck Grassley prioritizes on a regular basis. When he’s in D.C., the 85-year-old senator dedicates four days a week to running 3 miles — rain or shine.

“I just wanna get out and do something so I don’t get fat, I guess,” the matter-of-fact lawmaker tells me. (Don’t we all?)

2,226 stairs can’t keep double amputee Rep. Brian Mast from reaching the top
It was the Florida Republican’s first Tunnel to Towers Climb

Florida Rep. Brian Mast, left, and fellow veteran Rob Jones participate in the Tunnel to Towers climb in New York City on Sunday.(Courtesy Office of Rep. Brian Mast)

Imagine climbing an arduous 2,226 stairs up 104 stories of a soaring New York City skyscraper — one step at a time, legs locked at the knee with only your hips to advance your lower body while your shoulders pull the rest of you up along the hand rail.

“Sore” and a few hand blisters is what Rep. Brian Mast has to show for conquering One World Trade Center this past weekend. The double amputee, who lost both legs in an IED blast while deployed in Afghanistan back in 2010, took on a challenge that required more resilience than strength.

A mysterious illness killed their son as the AIDS crisis raged
These grieving parents decided to ‘do something’

Parents-turned-activists Vicki and Fred Modell meet with Steny Hoyer in the ’90s. (Courtesy Scéal Films)

Just a few years after losing her son, Vicki Modell found herself in front of a microphone, staring down a group of senators.

“It was such a welcoming environment.” That’s how she recalls the political climate of Washington in the early ’90s. “The Appropriations Committee would actually sit there and listen to people like us who were advocating for our cause.”