Marc Veasey

Can the billion-dollar esports industry get some respect?
Members of Congress can help — or at least that’s what lobbyists are hoping

From left, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Florida Reps. Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy battle it out in a Rocket League tournament on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress fought to the (virtual) death Wednesday night while their staffers, drinking beer and scarfing down cheeseburger sliders, watched. Don’t worry: It was live-streamed.

The setting was a dimly lit reception room on Capitol Hill. The occasion was a video game tournament, put on by the Entertainment Software Association, that ran on the streaming site Twitch. As some huddled intently around screens to play their own side games, a battle for Florida or New York supremacy was unfolding — a Rocket League showdown between Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Hakeem Jeffries.

As Democrats head for border tour, reports emerge of agents ridiculing them on Facebook
Group to tour Customs and Border Patrol center likened to ‘torture facilities’

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are among a group of Democrats traveling to Clint, Texas, on Monday for a fact-finding mission hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a dozen Democrats on Monday are visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility accused of child neglect and filthy conditions as reports emerged that border agents ridiculed them in a secret Facebook group.

Two Latina lawmakers slated to visit the center, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Veronica Escobar of Texas, were targets of sexist and racist derision in the Facebook group, according to an investigation by ProPublica. The group has 9,500 members, a number commensurate to nearly half of all agents who make up the CBP, though it’s not clear that every member of the group is a border agent.

The tax man may be coming for Uber and Lyft drivers
The IRS believes many Uber and Lyft drivers cheat on their taxes, and it wants Congress to help crack down

Demonstrators in San Francisco on May 8 hold signs in support of Uber and Lyft drivers protesting low wages. (Getty Images)

Between the lackluster initial public offerings and struggles to turn a profit, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft aren’t short of problems. Now, Congress is threatening to make it more difficult for them to retain drivers who are already outraged over low wages.

The IRS believes many Uber and Lyft drivers are cheating on their taxes, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is pushing legislation that would dramatically reduce the income threshold above which gig economy companies that rely on contractors must report to the IRS.

Marc Veasey, are you my Uber?
Texas Democrat favors a little Brooks & Dunn behind the wheel

Texas Rep. Marc Veasey, left, took a few spins as an Uber driver on Thursday back home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Above, Veasey poses with his last drop-off of the day. (Courtesy Twitter/Rep. Marc Veasey)

If you assume that all members of Congress get from Point A to Point B by way of large black SUVs hauled by well-dressed drivers in flat caps, pump the brakes.

Marc Veasey is here to prove that he can not only drive himself, he can also drive around residents of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Democratic congressman from Texas took a few spins around the Lone Star block as an Uber driver Thursday afternoon, and his trips were anything but lone.

How to Eat Like an Intern
This reporter tried to eat, and do activities, for free over a week on the Hill and it wasn’t easy

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., eats a corn dog during the American Meat Institute’s annual Hot Dog Lunch in the Rayburn courtyard on July 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Full disclosure: I’ve never interned on the Hill. But I have been an unpaid intern, and most people you meet in Washington have too.

Without a chunk of money in the bank, how do interns get by? 

Highlights From the Congressional Baseball Game
Winning Democrats elect to put trophy in Scalise’s office

Republican shortstop Rep. Ryan A. Costello of Pennsylvania dives for a ground ball during the second inning of the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a tight first couple of innings, the Democratic team blew the game open on their way to an 11-2 win Thursday at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The day after a gunman opened fire at the Republican team’s practice session, the winning Democrats elected to put the coveted Roll Call Trophy in the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was one of five wounded in Wednesday’s attack. News that he had come out of his third surgery in two days and that his condition was improving was released just before the game started.

Relievers Could Be Key in Congressional Baseball Game
Meehan, Aguilar enter game a year older

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan celebrates after the Republicans’ 8-7 victory in the 55th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As a rule, once politicians get involved in the annual Congressional Baseball Game, they keep coming back for more.

And two veteran relief pitchers, Pennsylvania Republican Patrick Meehan and California Democrat Pete Aguilar, continue to get better every year.

Word on the Hill: Grammys on the Hill
Members performing with the pros tonight

Country music artist Keith Urban performs on Sunday during the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The annual Grammys on the Hill Awards will honor country music singer Keith Urban this evening.

Urban is the recipient of the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award for his music and work on music education programs. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tom Udall, D-N.M., will also be honored for their support of music programs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Word on the Hill: Swearing In
Events surrounding the first day of the new Congress

Former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, conducted a special swearing-in ceremony with Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., in the Capitol in September. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy 2017 and welcome back!

Congress is in full force today with Senate and House swearing-in of the 115th Congress. Stay tuned for Roll Call’s coverage all day.