Stories by Emily Heil:
March 29, 2011
How black should the Congressional Black Caucus be? That might seem like a strange question, but its one the CBC has grappled with throughout its 40-year history.
March 29, 2011
Since its founding in 1971, the Congressional Black Caucus has grown from a scrappy band of 13 to a powerful collective that is 43 members strong. Some lawmakers describe the group as the conscience of the Congress.
March 18, 2011
Pia Carusone is a normal multitasking House chief of staff, and her office is a typical Congressional operation with endless phone calls and lots of meetings. But these are the people hard at work while their boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), lies in a hospital bed in Houston, undergoing intense therapy after being shot in the head 10 weeks ago.
March 11, 2011
Muslim staffers on Capitol Hill say they are watching Rep. Peter Kings hearings about radicalism in the Muslim American community with a wary eye, worried that any anti-Muslim sentiments they might stir will make their already complicated roles just a bit thornier.
March 8, 2011
SELMA, Ala. Rep. John Lewis is among a dwindling number of those who can tell firsthand the story of the civil rights movement. That is one of the reasons Members of Congress have joined Lewis for his 11th annual trip to Alabama to revisit the very churches and streets where history was made.
March 8, 2011
Members of Congress might not be so different from the BlackBerrys they carry. The gadgets need to recharge every now and then, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer noted and so do lawmakers.
Feb. 13, 2011
Tributes from the late Sen. Robert Byrd to his wife, Erma, read like love letters from the Senate floor.
Feb. 13, 2011
Love letters come in many forms. An e-mail, a handwritten note on a bar napkin or even a serenade. But the late Sen. Robert Byrd offered his wife, Erma, the rarest token of devotion: years of tributes to her, issued from the floor of the Senate.
Feb. 9, 2011
Sometime in the next week, staffers for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) expect to open their 10,000th constituent case.
Feb. 7, 2011
A dusty half-mile trail separated the houses where cousins Mark and Tom Udall grew up in Tucson, Ariz. Now, the men have offices two floors apart in the Hart Senate Office Building, and the Democratic Senators from Colorado and New Mexico, respectively, can reach each other easily on foot.
Feb. 1, 2011
From the produce stall in the center of Eastern Market, Christopher Calomiris spent more than 50 years filling thousands of customers grocery bags with fruits and vegetables, usually throwing in a gratis banana and always, a smile. He died on Saturday of cancer at the age of 86.
Jan. 31, 2011
Matt Wixon, an employee at Capitol Hill Books, started Bookstore Movers to save money so he can eventually buy Capitol Hill Books, a quirky outpost in a world dominated by iPads and Amazon.com.
Jan. 25, 2011
Forget nuanced analysis; heres the nutshell version of this years State of the Union address: This year, new people need jobs.
Jan. 24, 2011
Plenty of other establishments in the H Street neighborhood have stylish backdrops and a good bar scene, but this newcomer's mixture of comfort food and fine dining offer a unique experience.
Jan. 20, 2011
Real estate bubbles might have burst all over the country, but theres one market that will never go cold: the Capitol, where Senate hideaways are the hottest, yet least publicized, properties.
Jan. 16, 2011
Cathy Boozman looks every inch the perfect political wife, and shes had plenty of practice in the role. Her husband, Sen. John Boozman, represented the couples Arkansas district in the House for about nine years. After her husband became a Senator in November, she was named the bicameral coordinator of the Republican Congressional Spouses.
Jan. 14, 2011
Khoa Nguyen named his modern Vietnamese establishment (633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) after his nonagenarian grandmother: Ba Bay translates loosely to Madam Seven, an affectionate name for his grandmother that refers to her late husband, who was the seventh child in his family.
Jan. 11, 2011
For the Members of Congress who come from law enforcement backgrounds, the shooting in Arizona that wounded their colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), wasnt a shock in the way it might have been for Members whose previous jobs were as real estate agents or accountants or teachers.
Jan. 10, 2011
Heckling the president during a speech at a joint session of Congress. An f-bomb flying on the Senate floor. Boiling rage at town halls across the country. Cant we all just get along? Well, no, probably not. But champions of civility in public life say thats not the point.
Jan. 5, 2011
Rep. Joe Walsh has many worries on his first day in Congress. How will the Illinois Republican stay true to his small-government, tea party roots now that hes in the reviled swamps of Washington? How will he become part of a Republican team when he was an outlier for so long?
Dec. 15, 2010
Rep. Mike Castle looks back on his tenure in the House, including why one of his biggest accomplishments has to do with a humble quarter.
Dec. 14, 2010
Like many great love affairs, this one started late at night. Jim Manley fell for the Senate during the long evenings he worked after arriving on Capitol Hill in 1993.
Dec. 11, 2010
Rep. Bart Stupaks nearly two decades in Congress might have ended with a bang, but for years, his tenure had more of a contented hum.
Dec. 3, 2010
Liz Jurinka and Meredith Swan, both staffers in Rep. Melissa Beans office, recently launched a networking group for out-of-work Capitol Hill aides, called the Losers Are Winners Association/List Serve/Drinking Club, that is part joke, part public service
Dec. 1, 2010
Rep. John Spratt surveyed his half-empty office, where bare shelves had been stripped of mementos accumulated over a 28-year Congressional tenure.