Heard on the Hill

How House Members Spend Their Fourth of July

Reps. Payne, Banks, Marshall and Kilmer on their favorite traditions

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shows some patriotism during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on June 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

HOH reached out to several House members to see how they spend Independence Day.

From grilling to fireworks, every member has a different take on their ideal holiday.

Members are home now for the whole week and will spend time in their districts after the Fourth.

Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J.

What’s on the menu at your house? Crabs, corn on the cob.

What’s your contribution? Paying for it.

Do you prefer …Watching fireworks outside or staying inside? Outside.

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Both.

Stars or stripes for your outfit? Stripes.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.

What’s on the menu at your house? All-American cookout: hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, pasta salad, and watermelon. 

What’s your contribution? Grilling.

Do you prefer …Watching fireworks outside or staying inside? Outside.

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Both.

Stars or stripes for your outfit? Stripes.

Rep. Roger Marshall and his daughter, Lauren, on 4th of July 1988. (Photo courtesy of Marshall's office)
Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall and his daughter Lauren celebrating the Fourth in 1988. (Courtesy Marshall's office)

Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.

What’s on the menu at your house? Burgers, brats and homemade ice cream!

What’s your contribution? A good appetite, and a steady hand at the grill.

Do you prefer …Watching fireworks outside or staying inside? We buy fireworks. Our backyard in Great Bend becomes a war zone.

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Burgers and brats!

Stars or stripes for your outfit? Shorts and an inexpensive shirt. It never fails that all of the gunpowder burns ruin whatever shirt I am wearing.

Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.

What’s on the menu at your house? So the honest answer is two things are on the menu for the Fourth of July. PANCAKES AND PARADES! I start my day at two (that’s right two) [with] pancake breakfasts in my district. Then I’ve got parades in Kingston, Bainbridge Island and Port Angeles. I should get home in time to sleep.

Pre-Congress, the menu was dogs and burgers, macaroni salad, potato salad, chips, Kilmer secret recipe bean dip, pie, and watermelon.

What’s your contribution? I usually do the grilling and make the Kilmer secret recipe bean dip.

Do you prefer …Watching fireworks outside or staying inside? I like community fireworks displays outside. I’m not a fan of fireworks in the neighborhood.

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Both.

Stars or stripes for your outfit? Solid blue shirt!

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