Heard on the Hill

Barth, Mika to Return GOP Baseball Team Practice
Roger Williams staffer is ‘absolutely’ ready to return to practice

Zack Barth, an aide to Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, was wounded in the leg during the Congressional baseball shooting in Alexandria in June 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Zack Barth is eager to get back on the baseball field after he and his friends — members of Congress — were shot at last year while practicing for the annual congressional game.

Barth, a legislative assistant to Texas Rep. Roger Williams, took a bullet in his leg on June 14, 2017. He will be back on the same field at the GOP team’s first practice on Wednesday.

‘Robust’ Security for GOP Baseball Team’s First Practice Since Shooting
Four wounded and gunman killed in shootout at Alexandria ball field last year

Alexandria Police officers stand next to a SUV with a shattered window across the street from Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, where a gunman opened fire on the Republican team’s practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in June 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers will lace up their cleats Wednesday morning for their first practice at the baseball field in Alexandria since a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others there last June.

This year, authorities are taking no chances on security.

Practice Begins for 10th Annual Women’s Congressional Softball Game
Members play the media on June 20

The media team celebrates its 2-1 victory in last year’s Congressional Women's Softball game that pits pits female members of Congress and women in the Washington press corps. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Female lawmakers have already begun practice for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20.

The game sees female members of Congress and the Washington press corps battle it out for charity. The member’s team practiced for the first time this year on April 11, and will continue to do so when Congress is in session. The media team, known as the Bad News Babes, started practice this week.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Retweeting Kanye, meet Nala and Kardashian spotting

The flags of France the United States, and the District of Columbia fly on Pennsylvania Avenue on on Monday for French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to the U.S. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

HOH’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner Party List
Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take the heat for Trump this year

Music producer Steve Aoki, left, talks with actor Keegan Michael Key at the Yahoo/ABC News party in the Washington Hilton before the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington will soon find out if Sarah Huckabee Sanders can take it as well as she can dish it out.

The White House press secretary is going to the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner on Saturday, April 28, in place of her boss.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Softball news, high-level photo op, what did you do for Earth Day and Washington becomes party city

Students march to the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention during a national walkout. Friday was the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Motivational Speakers: Members Hit the Graduation Circuit
Harris, Booker, Flake and Warner among those sending off this spring’s graduates

Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Mark Warner, D-Va., are both speaking at graduation ceremonies in their home state next month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians, often blessed with the gift of the gab, are rarely shy about sharing stories about how they got to where they are.

And some of them will be sharing their wisdom and inspiration at graduation ceremonies, beginning next month. Students wrapping up their college or graduate school experiences can expect to hear about following their dreams or — considering the number of Trump critics among the speakers — what not to do. 

Republicans’ First Congressional Baseball Practice After Shooting Set for April 25
Security higher at the field in Alexandria, Virginia

Cones, police tape and emergency medical bags are seen at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican congressional baseball team will return to Simpson Field in Alexandria, Virginia, for its first practice after last year’s shooting.

The practice is at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25.  The team, managed by Rep. Joe L. Barton, will hold a press conference at 7:30 a.m. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Some 4/20 news, free national park admission, and a visit from Ivanka

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., waits for a tour group to cross the East Plaza as he leaves the Capitol after a vote on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

New Push for Senators to Pay Their Interns
Advocates say the time is right for offices to stop relying on free labor

A majority of Senate offices do not offer paid internships, according to data from nonprofit advocacy group Pay Our Interns. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ideas to boost diversity on the Hill have been thrown around, and the numbers are slowly improving. But what if the solution was right in front of everyone, sitting at tiny shared desks in congressional offices?

Paid interns.

Collins Looks Back on His Technology-Less, Reception-Dependent Intern Days
‘At night, I would get to call my girlfriend, who’s now my wife, from the WATS line, and I got to sit in Ed’s chair’

As a 20-year-old, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., left, interned for Rep. Ed Jenkins, D-Ga., in 1987. (Courtesy Rep. Doug Collins’ office)

Intern tasks, email aside, haven’t changed much since 20-year-old Doug Collins first came to the Hill in 1987. The same can’t be said for politics.

The Georgia Republican interned for the late conservative Democrat Ed Jenkins, who represented much of Collins’ current district.

Intern Success Story: How to Get Hired Right Away
‘I tried to add value to whatever I did,’ former Perdue intern Jenni Sweat says

Jenni Sweat, from the office of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., took online classes and independent studies to finish college. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jenni Sweat was such a stellar intern that she stayed in Sen. David Perdue’s office instead of returning to school for her last semester of college.

Sweat started her unpaid internship in the Georgia Republican’s office in January 2017. She was a 20-year-old junior at the University of Georgia and received a scholarship to be part of her college’s internship program.

Paid Internships Were Victim of Clinton Era Deficit Reduction
The LBJ internship program was suspended in 1994 after 20 years

An internship program, named after President Lyndon B. Johnson, once funded two interns for every House office. (Courtesy the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library)

There was a time when all House members paid their interns. But that ended more than 20 years ago, the victim of a Clinton-era push for more deficit-cutting. 

The LBJ Congressional Intern program, named to honor the recently deceased President Lyndon B. Johnson, was authorized by a House resolution in 1973. It provided funds for lawmakers to hire two LBJ interns per year.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite visual aids from congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy @FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

From tributes to senators to hours of testimony from a tech giant, spring has been a visual mixed bag in Congress.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and we’re doing a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Flashback Friday: Lame Duck
The term originated in Great Britain in the 17th century

Why do they call Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., a lame duck? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is a lame duck speaker. He announced on April 11 that he would retire at the end of his current term.

Why do we call politicians “lame ducks” when they have one foot out the door?