Stories by Erin Mershon:
Aug. 26, 2011
A group of Members often gathers in the barrio in the back, where those fluent in Spanish meet to converse in the language on the House floor. Though using the language in official debate is frowned on, many of the Members say bilingualism is helpful in politics.
Aug. 3, 2011
In his novel "Keys to the Kingdom," former Sen. Bob Graham doesn't dream up a better version of himself. Instead, Graham draws on his knowledge gleaned from 10 years of service on the Intelligence Committee.
Aug. 2, 2011
When Rep. Wally Herger went door to door for his first campaign, he and his wife werent pulling the traditional wagon full of literature around the neighborhood. Theirs was filled with small children.
Aug. 1, 2011
Fifteen minutes into a recent shift as the Senates presiding officer, Sen. Al Franken put down a newspaper and pulled out his BlackBerry. Head ducked, the Minnesota Democrat kept the phone under the desk to check his email, until Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) cleared his throat.
July 13, 2011
When Rep. Erik Paulsen finally found a place to live in Washington, his housemates Reps. John Shimkus, Kevin Brady and Steve Scalise made him agree to one extra stipulation: He had to play baseball.
July 12, 2011
Wearing a purple Colorado Rockies jacket and a look of determination, the rookie phenom whom Democrats have pinned their hopes on for this years Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game stepped up to the plate for batting practice.
July 6, 2011
After the 9/11 attacks, security concerns required Presidents Park South to change from an inviting space to merely an area secured by concrete barriers. Now, the Secret Service and the National Capital Planning Commission are hoping to beautify the space.
July 4, 2011
For President Barack Obama, even the location of a dinner date is a political decision. And so far, hes shown the same tendency to split the difference in his dining choices that some critics say he has in his policies.
July 1, 2011
The Jacksonville offices of Florida Sens. Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) received suspicious packages containing a white, powdery substance early this week.
June 29, 2011
The National Mall might offer an iconic backdrop for the Fourth of July fireworks display, but its hard to be patriotic when youre surrounded by thousands of people vying for a comfortable spot to watch.
June 29, 2011
Flags blanket the District on July Fourth, flying from rooftops, cars and the waving hands of children atop their parents shoulders. At the heart of the city, two large flags fly from the top of the Capitol.
June 22, 2011
To better serve their deaf clientele, local establishment employees brush up on their sign language skills.
June 22, 2011
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) might not be the most technologically advanced Senator, but last week he was the first to release an iPhone application.
June 21, 2011
The NoMa neighborhood opened its first farmers market earlier this month on a sidewalk plaza in front of the CVS at First and M streets Northeast.
June 17, 2011
On July 14, Members of Congress will put down their BlackBerrys and pick up Louisville Sluggers for the 50th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.
June 15, 2011
The January after he was first elected to Congress, Rep. William Lacy Clay was sworn in for the second time in his life. Thirty-two years earlier, the Missouri Democrat had watched from the House floor as his father, former Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., was sworn in.
June 7, 2011
A new smartphone application uses GPS technology to play different melodies around the National Mall.
May 31, 2011
To help keep you from becoming one of the what not to do examples for next years fresh crop of interns, weve gathered advice from Hill staffers, former interns, career counselors and even a Member of Congress.
May 30, 2011
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and other Eagle Scouts in Congress say their boyhood experience was good preparation for a career in politics.
May 24, 2011
Consider Sen. Dean Hellers website to be in beta testing. While the newly appointed Nevada Republican will launch his official Senate website this week, it might be months before it actually looks the way he wants it.
May 23, 2011
Sen. Thad Cochran learned much about politics and campaigning when he ran to be elected a cheerleader in college.
May 18, 2011
The Dirksen Senate Office Building received a newly installed "green" roof in hopes of saving money.
May 17, 2011
A string of recent bike thefts on Capitol Hill has some staffers scared to ride to work. Since April, eight bike thefts have been reported on the Capitol grounds.
May 17, 2011
The National Community Church will soon be holding services and screening films in a restored 1930s movie theater.
May 9, 2011
Rep. Aaron Schock poses for Mens Health magazine in a campaign to bring attention to health issues, but this isn't the first time the Congressmans abs have garnered him attention.