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Posts in "Freshman"
January 20, 2015
The thing about the State of the Union address is, even though the American people are supposed to hang on to every word that drops from President Barack Obama’s lips, there’ll be 534 other highly opinionated people around that night who would also like to have their say.
Most of the time these easy breezy bicameral get-togethers go off without a hitch. Full story
January 9, 2015
Confidence is high that social media-savvy crooks could have pulled off a daring jailbreak Friday morning in Houston. By all accounts, everyone in the courthouse appears to have been mesmerized by Sen. Ted Cruz’s surprise appearance.
Reporting for jury duty in Houston: Ted Cruz. pic.twitter.com/bNsMwP14gY
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) January 9, 2015
The Texas Republican made his way over to the Harris County legal complex to comply with the summons he’d received a few weeks back. His showing up was cause célèbre enough, given that federal lawmakers are, by law, exempt from having to be impaneled.
So off Cruz toddled through the security line. Full story
January 6, 2015
Having already posed for the obligatory pictures, placed their hands on the good book and weathered a nail-biter of a leadership challenge (Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, voted for … himself! Newcomer Curt Clawson, R-Fla., endorsed … Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul), the members of the 114th Congress dove right into what #ThisTown does best: schmoozing.
Six-term Sen. Charles. E. Grassley wandered across the Capitol to greet incoming delegation member Rod Blum, but just missed his newly minted colleague.
“I’m going to go find out where my boss is right now,” a Blum aide assured the senior Iowa Republican. Full story
Anyone new to Capitol Hill has to get to know a big group of people right away, and with 535 members of Congress, plus non-voting delegates and Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner all roaming the halls, getting all their names right is no easy feat.
There are some names, however, you just absolutely should never mangle. If you do, you’ll look like a rube, and if we find out about it at HOH, we’ll make fun of you, too. Full story
January 5, 2015
It’s the beginning of a new cycle on Capitol Hill. Which means it is high time to ditch that dead-end grind you’ve been merely tolerating, our most career-oriented of readers, and dive into whatever flavor of professional development tickles your fancy.
Now that the Grand Old Party stands poised to run the show on both sides of the Capitol, it only makes sense for aspiring Hill Climbers to hitch their wagons to rising stars — and there are plenty of avenues to explore these days.
The House Homeland Security Committee panel is hunting for a well-seasoned senior counsel. And somebody’s got to pay — jury’s still out on whether that ought to be self-proclaimed Guardians of Peace or Seth Rogen and James Franco — for all that “The Interview” nonsense. Full story
December 19, 2014
Citizens of #ThisTown were among the pop culture illuminati sending off faux conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert on the final episode of “The Colbert Report,” all to a resounding singalong of “We’ll Meet Again.”
Along with longtime collaborator Jon Stewart and the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeff Tweedy, Cookie Monster and the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit,” the chorus of well-wishers included:
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
November 25, 2014
A House Republican aide who fancies himself the straw that broke a 2013 bipartisan immigration proposal’s back is hoping one of the conservatives coming to Congress next January could use a little help from a procedural whiz.
Per the plea circulated internally amongst GOP staffers, Art Harman, the legislative director most recently hitched to outgoing Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, is hoping to extend his stay here in Washington.
Although a short-timer — Harman first arrived on Capitol Hill just last year — the Stockman vet feels his particular skill set could be of use to a fellow rabble-rouser.
“Congressman Stockman credits me with having killed the 2013 Senate amnesty bill by drafting and circulating a ‘blue-slip’ letter,” Harman crows in his introductory note. “I am very interested in finding a similar position where I may continue to effectively advance the conservative agenda for a Member or committee.”
And it doesn’t sounds like he’s too picky about the next landing spot. Full story
November 20, 2014
Think it’s too early for softball? Think again.
Veteran members of the Congressional Women’s Softball Team fanned out across Washington last week to recruit members-elect to their softball team. They square off each summer against the Bad News Babes, a team of reporters, in a fundraiser for the Young Survival Coalition breast cancer charity.
“We are pumped to have one of the largest class of new recruits to the Congressional Women’s team since we started the game,” game founder/Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said in a statement.
“These women are ready to bond, ready to play, ready to win and most of all, fired up to beat cancer and beat the press — again!” Wasserman Schultz said, alluding to her team’s slight win over the Bad News Babes this summer. Full story
November 19, 2014
Rep.-elect Lee Zeldin has only been around Capitol Hill for a few days, but he’s already making quite the impression among the New York delegation.
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) November 12, 2014
As originally reported by Newsday, the incoming Republican huddled with Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer earlier this week for a strategy session about all things Empire State. At one point during that exchange, Zeldin reportedly asked Schumer if Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel was actually Jewish, to which the senior senator replied, “I think so.”
When word got back to Israel, the House lawmaker gave Zeldin some guff online.
— Steve Israel (@RepSteveIsrael) November 19, 2014
Zeldin attempted to smooth things over by floating a “manischewitz summit” — an offer that’s still hanging out there.
“It has not been scheduled yet,” an Israel aide said of the proposed sit-down. Full story
Which came first: the rock-star hog castrator or the egg?
In the case of Sen.-elect Joni Ernst, it would appear the chicken embryo wins.
The Iowa Republican, who has already begun making the rounds in #ThisTown after clinching the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin, must now shift from campaign mode to (*fingers crossed*) full-on congressional over sharer. Full story
November 18, 2014
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, are two of the highest ranking officials scheduled to share their thoughts Wednesday during Fusion’s inaugural “RiseUp” summit.
Fusion host Alicia Menendez has been tasked with chatting Booker up about the “Change Initiative” from 9 to 9:45 a.m., while anchor Jorge Ramos takes a crack at digesting the state of current affairs with Power from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
“The overall event will feature conversations and deep insight into youth protests and the role that technology plays in global movements for change,” a conference aide said of the planned discussion threads.
Per the aide, it was decided that waiting until after the midterms would prove more productive than attempting to shoehorn in an ambitious policy discussion into the already overly crowded calendar.
“Fusion decided to take a more global and less politicized approach, and host the ‘RiseUp’ summit after the election to ensure the focus of the event stayed on the importance of bringing a diverse group of leaders and activists into one space to explore how to transform the rising tides of protest into a positive wave of social progress,” the organizer told HOH.
Can’t skip work to hang at the all-day gabfest?
The activist powwow is expected to roll right through the evening courtesy of a VIP after-party (9 p.m. to midnight) featuring world DJs, drinks and dancing.
November 17, 2014
Fifty years ago, Rep. John D. Dingell stood next to President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed the Civil Rights Act. He had already clocked in nearly a decade in the House at that point.
On Tuesday, Dingell and his longtime Michigan colleague, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, will be honored with the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award from the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation for years of public service in the name of the Texas POTUS’ legacy of civil rights.
Put together, the two Democratic lawmakers have more than nine decades of experience representing the Wolverine State in Washington.
Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was elected in 1955 and is retiring at the end of this year. His wife, Rep.-elect Debbie Dingell, will take his seat in the new Congress.
Levin was elected in 1978 and will retire at the end of the 113th Congress as well.
“I consider my votes to advance the Civil Rights movement throughout the ’50s and ’60s among the most important votes I’ve cast in my 58 years in the House of Representatives,” Dingell said in a statement.
Levin, who said driving a taxi during law school helped introduce him to people from diverse backgrounds, served as general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in the ’60s. The foundation cited his support of reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and his stance on “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policies as modern-day civil rights achievements.
The award ceremony will be held Tuesday at the Newseum. Bob Schieffer of CBS will be the master of ceremonies. Proceeds will go toward the LBJ School of Public Affairs Washington Center.
Nineteen members of Congress and one representative-elect are expected to attend, including the two honorees. The list includes Debbie Dingell; Levin’s brother, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich.; Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y.; Corrine Brown, D-Fla.; Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas; Steven Horsford, D-Nev.; Gene Green, D-Texas; Dan Kildee, D-Mich.; and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.
November 13, 2014
Apart from her immediate family — and, perhaps, the hog castrators of the world — no one appears to be prouder of Iowa Republican Joni Ernst than those she used to break bake bread with.
Hence the reason Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, rushed to congratulate the one-time breakfast-rush worker and senator-elect in a splashy ad in the Des Moines Register.
“Thanks, Joni, for reminding us that, in this great country of ours, your job and your life are what you make of them,” the head of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains praised in the ad, after Ernst touted her biscuit-making past in her election night victory speech.
Her ascension to Capitol Hill follows a career trajectory familiar to the growing number of lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth to slinging burgers and fries at various grab-and-go establishments.
Other members of what we’ve dubbed the Fast-Food Caucus include:
Rep. Paul D. Ryan
An aide to the 2012 GOP vice presidential pick confirmed that the Wisconsin Republican briefly worked at McDonald’s during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school.
According to his office, the former grill cook — “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” Ryan told the New Yorker — gleaned plenty from the experience.
“Congressman Ryan learned the value of hard work — a lesson that continues to help him in Congress today,” Team Ryan said. And before being elected to the House, Ryan further honed his hospitality skills working at Tortilla Coast. Full story
November 6, 2014
“The Maloney House” has a new roommate.
Newly elected Long Island Democrat Kathleen Rice is the pick to join fellow New Yorker Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney’s townhouse of several congresswoman, HOH has confirmed.
Rice will replace Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., who is moving into a place of her own, according to several sources.
Rice joins Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a longtime roommate in the Capitol Hill crib.
Rice won her bid Tuesday evening to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy in New York’s 4th District.
November 5, 2014
The raft of incoming GOP lawmakers that flooded the rapidly reddening maps TV news outlets relentlessly flashed on election night did little to shake the resolve of Virginia Democrats.
The slightly reshuffled crew, anchored by 11-term lawmaker Robert C. Scott, three-term member Gerald E. Connolly, and newly minted Rep.-elect Don Beyer, remained confident they could still effect change in the soon-to-be solidly Republican legislative branch.
“We belong to a Commonwealth in which your diminishment is mine and your rights are also mine,” Connolly told attendees at a re-election night rally in the suburbs of Washington D.C. “[And] while we may take some knocks around the country tonight, I assure you those values are majority values and they are the values that are going to dominate polity going into this next half-century in America.”
Beyer, the former two-term lieutenant governor of Virginia and ex-European ambassador moving into the post being vacated by retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., expressed optimism that compromise can still be reached on Capitol Hill. Full story