Heard on the Hill

Norman Makes Congressional Sports Debut at Charity Basketball Game
The 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game is Tuesday

Rep. Ralph Norman was elected to replace director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph Norman came to Congress at a pivotal time for congressional sports.

The South Carolina Republican was sworn in on June 26, just 11 days after the Congressional Baseball Game and 12 days after the shooting at the GOP team’s practice. Now, he is making his congressional sports debut as a rookie lawmaker at the 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game on Tuesday.

Word on the Hill: Spelling vs. Basketball
O’Rourke’s birthday surprise, Moulton’s wedding, and Jackson Lee’s partnership

Reps. Derek Kilmer of Washington, left, and Ted Deutch of Florida talk to the co-champions of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Jairam Hathwar, second from left, and Nihar Janga, before last year’s National Press Club Spelling Bee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two longtime congressional competitions are taking place this evening: the National Press Club Spelling Bee, and the Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game. Which one will you attend?

The spelling bee, which pits members of the media against lawmakers, is at 7:15 p.m. at the National Press Club (529 14th St. NW). Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., is a late addition to the members’ team. Meanwhile, lawmakers take on lobbyists in the basketball game, starting at 7:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Smith Center (600 22nd St. NW). The game follows a matchup between congressional staffers and lobbyists.

Roe Gets the Band Back Together in D.C.
Tennessee Republican plays guitar for a fundraising event and reunion of his bluegrass band

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., brought together his band from the 1970s, The Pony Express, for a concert in D.C. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Phil Roe’s band that he formed in medical school more than 40 years ago got back together on Monday.

The Tennessee Republican and three of his friends — Jim Arthur, Steve Barnes, and Tom Eades — formed the bluegrass band The Pony Express when Roe was in medical school at the University of Tennessee in the 1970s.

What Kind of Dog Should Trump Get?
Tell us on Twitter via #POTUSPup

(Image composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ronald Reagan had Rex, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel known for pulling the Reagans around on his leash and his stubborn refusal to enter the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom.

Herbert Hoover had King Tut, a Belgian shepherd who, according to the Presidential Pet Museum, constantly worried about protecting his master from visitors (not an easy feat considering his owner was the president of the United States).

Matt Mika Throws out First Pitch at Tigers’ Game
Scalise praises lobbyist on Twitter

Lobbyist Matt Mika got a visit from Washington Nationals star Jayson Werth while hospitalized in August. (Matthew Mika via Facebook)

Lobbyist Matt Mika, who is recovering from being shot during the Republican’s baseball practice in June, threw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers’ game on Sunday.

Republican Whip Steve Scalise retweeted a video of the pitch the team posted on its Facebook page and wrote, “Proud of my friend Matt Mika and looking forward to seeing him back on the ball field.”

Proposed Changes to D.C. Circulator Would End Route Around Capitol Hill
Library of Congress encouraging people to take action against changes

A D.C. Circulator bus makes its way east on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The cheapest form of public transportation in Washington is the D.C. Circulator, at just $1 a ride. For Capitol Hill staffers and visitors, one Circulator route goes to Union Station, the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress.

But the District Department of Transportation’s 2017 Transit Development Plan Update includes a proposed modification of that route that would eliminate the Capitol Hill stops.

Word on the Hill: Busy Week
Your social calendar for the week

Events all over D.C. to explore this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Monday and welcome back.

This week is packed with things to do around the D.C. area.

Word on the Hill: Ayotte Joins Bono’s Board
Weekend plans?

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who helped shepherd the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year, has joined the ONE Campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., joined the board of the ONE Campaign, an organization co-founded by U2 frontman Bono

The ONE Campaign bills itself as focusing on fighting poverty and extreme diseases. 

Word on the Hill: International Day of Peace
Historical Society event tickets on sale

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. and Meridian Witt, an 8th grader from Capitol Hill Cluster School, prepare to ring the World Harmony Bell on the Capitol Lawn, a day before the 2007 International Day of Peace. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Today is the International Day of Peace, a day established by the United Nations as an annual commemoration of world peace.

To mark the occasion, the United States Institute of Peace is encouraging people to take the Peace Day Challenge. Some ways make the world around you more peaceful? A promotional video from the institute suggests talking to someone who doesn’t look like you, volunteering for a cause you care about or speaking up when you see someone being intolerant. Post on social media how you observed the day, using the hashtag #PeaceDayChallenge.

Beyer on the Words That Made His Spelling Bee Career
Virginia Democrat tries to win back his National Press Club Spelling Bee title

Members of the politicians’ team after the National Press Club Spelling Bee in 2015. From left, Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, the winner Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. (Courtesy Noel St. John/National Press Club)

In one of Washington’s most beloved nerdfests, members of Congress will take on members of the D.C. media in the National Press Club Spelling Bee on Tuesday.

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., who won for the politicians’ team in 2015, has redemption on his mind.

‘Native Gardens’ Explores Race and Class Divides
Takes jabs at political climate

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in Native Gardens, running September 15-October 22, 2017 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

As questions about immigration and identity surrounding who gets to be “American” continue to roil political debates, the play “Native Gardens” explores the divides of race, class and how they intertwine on a local level.

The play, showing at the Arena Stage, chronicles Pablo and Tania Del Valle, played by Dan Domingues and Jacqueline Correa, as they buy a fixer-upper home in a high-end Washington, D.C., neighborhood next to Frank and Virginia Butley.

Take Five: Tom O’Halleran
Arizona Democrat worked on homicide cases before coming to Congress

Arizona Rep. Tom O'Halleran was both an undercover narcotics detective and a homicide police officer before heading to the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Tom O’Halleran, 71, a Democrat from Arizona, talked about his days working homicide cases, lessons learned from being a police officer, and college basketball.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Word on the Hill: Let’s Talk Washington Dysfunction
First historical society lecture

Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar is participating in a discussion with Issue One and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former lawmakers are taking a stab at figuring out the dysfunction in Washington.

Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus and the Center for Strategic and International Studies are hosting a news conference today that is scheduled to feature former Reps. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., Constance A. Morella, R-Md., Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., and Lee H. Hamilton, R-Ind., along with former Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

Full-Body Scanners Appear Outside House Chamber’s Gallery
Capitol Police are tightening security measures

Two security points on the third floor of the Capitol now feature full-body scanners like the one above at the Capitol Visitor Center in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Police is working on increasing Hill security, and one obvious addition includes two new, large body scanners on the third floor of the Capitol.

The third floor is usually occupied by tourists, journalists, Capitol Police officers, and the occasional member of Congress escorting tourists. There are a few security points on both the House and Senate sides from where tourists can enter the respective chamber’s gallery but must walk through metal detectors. 

Word on the Hill: Drawing a Line on Good Taste
Opioid discussion, one week until the Press Club’s spelling bee

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle, and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in “Native Gardens,” running through Oct. 22 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

Native Gardens” opened at the Mead Center for American Theater on Friday. The play runs until Oct. 22 at the center’s Arena Stage.

The comedy features actors Jacqueline Correa and Dan Domingues as Tania and Pablo Del Valle, a couple who move to Washington, D.C., next door to Frank and Virginia Butley, played by Steve Hendrickson and Sally Wingert. Pablo is a young lawyer and Tania is a pregnant Ph.D. candidate while the Butleys are a deeply rooted D.C. couple.