Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Ladies First

Bad jokes were shared and middling food endured Wednesday night during the Women’s Policy Inc. Congressional Gala, a nonpartisan celebration of prominent female lawmakers past and present.

The event highlighted the work of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

During her turn at the lectern, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) railed against spousal abuse, pleaded for a return to civility in Congress and suggested getting “big money” out of politics  to help level the playing field for other female candidates.

“We women have to make our own environment,” Pelosi said.

The group also paid tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate, who passed away last year, and ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who resigned from Congress in January after surviving an assassination attempt a year earlier. Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who briefly choked up while describing her friendship with Giffords, said that if their roles had been reversed last year, “the same stories could be written with only the names changed.”

Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Maryland Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards attempted to lighten things up. Lummis, recalling a story about how Wyoming was described as the “whitest place” someone had ever been, quipped, “Of course, it was snowing.” Edwards, whose arm was in a cast, joked that if she wasn’t at a women’s event, she’d say she had survived a fight. (Ba dum pum!)

Fashions at the event were mostly standard-Washington, save for a few standouts. Ex-Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.) wore a youthful-yet-flattering sparkly black dress, while ex-Rep. Claudine Schneider (R-R.I.) wore a daring little black dress with a big choker-style necklace.

The menu included a crisp if slightly unbalanced field greens salad, a striped bass sabotaged by dry risotto and molten chocolate cake overwhelmed by heavy ginger flavor.

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