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Emily Heil


Emily Heil is a features writer for Roll Call, where she covers the politics, people and culture of Capitol Hill. For nearly four years, she wrote Heard on the Hill, the oldest and best-loved Congressional gossip column.

Emily came to Roll Call from the Hill newspaper, where she wrote the Under the Dome gossip column. Prior to that, she spent three years covering Congress for National Journal’s CongressDaily, where her beats included health care and labor issues. Her previous journalism jobs include chief Congressional correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs and reporter for the Eastern Shore News.

A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Emily is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was features editor of the independent newspaper, the Cavalier Daily.

Heil no longer works for Roll Call.

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Media Appearances by Emily Heil

Stories by Emily Heil:

This Week, My Lunch Has Wheels

April 1, 2011

Emily Heil's mission: to eat lunch from a food truck every day for a week, to travel no farther than a half-mile from the Capitol and to spend no more than $10 a meal.

At 40, the CBC Marks a Milestone

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.”

Congressional Black Caucus Struggles With Question of Race

March 29, 2011

How black should the Congressional Black Caucus be? That might seem like a strange question, but it’s one the CBC has grappled with throughout its 40-year history.

As if She’ll Return Any Moment

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.

For Hill’s Muslims, Hearings Complicate Roles

March 11, 2011

Muslim staffers on Capitol Hill say they are watching Rep. Peter King’s 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.

Civil Rights Trip Is Personal Journey

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.

Freedom Marching Through History

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.

Byrd’s Love Letters From Senate Floor

Feb. 13, 2011

Tributes from the late Sen. Robert Byrd to his wife, Erma, read like love letters from the Senate floor.

A Romance for the Record Books

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.

Giffords Staffers Keep Up Busy Pace

Feb. 9, 2011

Sometime in the next week, staffers for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) expect to open their 10,000th constituent case.

Udall Cousins Carve Out Own Turf

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.

Hill Mourns Loss of an Eastern Market Fixture

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.

A Literary Crew to Lug Your Life Treasures

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.

Old Is New Again in History’s Big Speech

Jan. 25, 2011

Forget nuanced analysis; here’s the nutshell version of this year’s State of the Union address: “This year, new people need jobs.”

Exceptional Food Sets Smith Commons Apart

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.

Hideaways — the Senate’s Hottest Real Estate

Jan. 20, 2011

Real estate bubbles might have burst all over the country, but there’s one market that will never go cold: the Capitol, where Senate hideaways are the hottest, yet least publicized, properties.

Cathy Boozman Seeks to Unite GOP Spouses

Jan. 16, 2011

Cathy Boozman looks every inch the perfect political wife, and she’s had plenty of practice in the role. Her husband, Sen. John Boozman, represented the couple’s 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.

Hot Plate: Eatery Reinvents Vietnamese Fare

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.

Threats Not New for Former Lawmen

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.), wasn’t a shock in the way it might have been for Members whose previous jobs were as real estate agents or accountants or teachers.

Expert Works to Calm Rage

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. Can’t we all just get along? Well, no, probably not. But champions of civility in public life say that’s not the point.

Rep. Joe Walsh Navigates Day One in Congress

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 he’s in the reviled swamps of Washington? How will he become part of a Republican team when he was an outlier for so long?

Castle: Political Moderates Need to Stand Up

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.

Manley Made Mark With Humor, Hard Work

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.

Stupak: Walking Away From ‘the Best Job I Ever Had’

Dec. 11, 2010

Rep. Bart Stupak’s nearly two decades in Congress might have ended with a bang, but for years, his tenure had more of a contented hum.

Jobless Democratic Aides Staying Optimistic

Dec. 3, 2010

Liz Jurinka and Meredith Swan, both staffers in Rep. Melissa Bean’s 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

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