Alex Gangitano

Word on the Hill: No More Recess
Your social calendar for the week

Both chambers are in session with the House back this week.

Aside from policy news, keep up to date with the controversy over Cups. The beloved food and coffee joint in the Russell Senate Office Building is competing with other companies to keep its contract.

Democratic Staffers Learn Digital Strategies From Social Media Gurus
Social media star Sen. Cory Booker kicks off first annual Digital Day on the Hill

Democratic staffers heard from social media gurus over the House recess last week about creating strategies to amplify their party’s digital efforts.

Many offices don’t have a digital director, especially minority party staff on committees that don’t have the resources to fund a position. Their digital efforts fall to other staffers, often the press secretary or communications director.

Word on the Hill: King of the Hill
Senate Democrats celebrating birthdays

The Senate is the King of the Hill. Well, at least in staffer softball.

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game was Thursday and the RBIs of Texas, the Senate team, beat the Texas Republic, the House team, 16-12.

Ex-Staffer Launches Petition to Save Cups
‘Cups is very life-giving’

The Capitol Hill Twitterverse was not pleased to see the news that Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office building could lose its contract and have to end services. One woman is taking action.

All the way from New York, where she now lives, Rebecca Christopher has started a petition. She left Capitol Hill in 2009 where she most recently was a press assistant to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin.

Word on the Hill: Negativity Causes Bipartisanship?
Women golfers event, Cyberweek, wildfire victims

Here’s one thing Democrats and Republicans have in common: Both are having trust issues. Americans’ discontent with the political and business world is not party-specific, a Morning Consult/Public Affairs Council survey revealed.

Fifty-eight percent of people who voted for Donald Trump and 59 percent of Hillary Clinton voters said elected officials have low honesty and ethical standards. Meanwhile, less than half of those surveyed said they trusted major companies to behave ethically. 

Inside the Library of Congress’ Reading Room Just for Members
The history of the Thomas Jefferson Congressional Reading Room

Down a corridor inside the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, a code just for members of Congress guards a special room.

Even lawmakers’ spouses can’t walk into the Congressional Reading Room alone. But when a member of Congress unlocks the door, it opens to a private space staffed by a Congressional Research Service employee, there to answer questions and assist members seeking materials. The room is stocked with periodicals, books, desks and computers.

Take Five: Catherine Cortez Masto
Nevada Democrat recalls Harry Reid telling her to take ‘the time to go through everything’

Freshman Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, 53, a Nevada Democrat, talks about friends across the aisle, advice from her predecessor Harry Reid and working for the governor.

Q: What advice did former Democratic leader Harry Reid give you before you came to the Senate?

Word on the Hill: Music Advocates Go to Districts
#NoMuslimBanEver rally at the White House

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game is tonight. The event pits the best of the Hill staff softball teams from the House and Senate against each other.

For the first time in the game’s history, both teams are from Texas. The 2017 Senate champions, The RBIs of Texas, will take on the 2017 House champions, The Texas Republic, at 7:30 p.m. at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

Cups Could Be No More
AOC studying whether to give the beloved Hill coffee shop the heave-ho

The beloved Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office Building, a favorite on Capitol Hill, could lose its contract and end services.

Charles and Kathy Chung have been operating Cups since 2001 and their contract has to be renewed every four years. But this time around, they are competing with other companies and will find out in November if Cups will still be operating.

Old Friends Kildee, Michael Moore Talk Flint on Broadway
Michigan Democrat was a guest on filmmaker’s Broadway show, ‘The Terms of My Surrender’

Two old friends from Flint, Michigan — Rep. Dan Kildee and filmmaker Michael Moore — have talked about the water crisis in their hometown before.

On Sunday, the two had that conversation before an audience on Broadway.

Word on the Hill: Schneider Rides the Bus
McCain’s award, Conaway’s life in D.C., McSally on sexism

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is taking his town hall on the road today.

He will use his “Commuter Town Hall” on the PACE bus in his suburban Chicago district to meet constituents during their work commutes.

Senators Launch Podcasts to Connect With Constituents
Sherrod Brown and Heidi Heitkamp touch on hot topics

Tech-savvy senators are trying out a new platform to connect with voters: podcasts. Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are embracing the opportunity to record and share.

Brown’s podcast, “Canarycast,” launched Oct. 3, focuses on the value of hard work and gets its name from a pin the senator wears every day.

Word on the Hill: Moulton Flashes Back to ‘Basic Instinct’ Uproar in Iraq
Your social calendar for the week

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., recently shared some stories from his time in the Marine Corps with Barstool Sports’ “Zero Blog Thirty” podcast. He recalled bringing DVDs to Iraqi engineers to broadcast across the country, but didn’t tell them about the rating system the U.S. uses.

Moulton said, “one night they put in ‘Basic Instinct.’ They must have been asleep at the switch. What they usually did is they got to a racy part of the film, they had this like 10-volume set of Islamic history videos they would put in to sort of like quiet everybody down. Well, apparently they didn’t make the switch fast enough.”

Word on the Hill: Scientist Turned Politician Takes the Stage
Things to do this weekend

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., wrapped up the week with some laughs in the service of science. 

Taking the stage at a science comedy night show at DC Improv on Thursday night, the congressman talked about his background and what it’s like to be a scientist in Congress. McNerney is a former wind-turbine engineer and holds a doctorate in mathematics.

From Legislation to Attraction, The Wharf Officially Opens
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton helps open mile-long stretch along the Southwest D.C. Waterfront

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton saw her bill turn into the grand opening of The Wharf, a sprawling and vibrant mile-long strip along D.C.’s Southwest Waterfront.

“With the opening of this site, D.C. is becoming a true waterfront community,” she said Thursday at the opening ceremony, attended by hundreds of Washingtonians, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and The Wharf’s managing director, Monty Hoffman.

Inside the Library of Congress’ Rare Instruments Collection
The Whittall Pavilion is home to some of the world’s most famous stringed instruments

Some of the rarest musical instruments in the world are located right in the Capitol’s backyard, inside the Library of Congress.

In a room open to the public only by appointment — the Whittall Pavilion inside the Thomas Jefferson Building — alongside two Rodin sculptures, a portrait of Beethoven as a young man, a rare flute collection and a medieval tapestry, are five violins, a viola and a cello.

Word on the Hill: Welcome, Wharf
Sensenbrenner’s town halls, Boyle on soccer, and Hatch is Cosmo

$2.5 billion later, the mile-long stretch on the Southwest D.C. waterfront — The Wharf — will officially open today. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Mayor Muriel Bowser will participate in the opening ceremony at 11 a.m.

That’s followed by a day of live music, including a Bacon Brothers concert at 5 p.m., muralists, magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and daytime fireworks. Watch for HOH’s coverage of the opening.

Capitol Police Score Early, Beat Members’ Team in Congressional Football Game
Win fourth straight game, 7-0

Even Santana Moss and Herschel Walker couldn’t help the members’ team. The Capitol Police won the Congressional Football Game for Charity, 7-0, their fourth consecutive win.

The members’ team — the Mean Machine — was made up of a bipartisan group of congressmen and congresswomen plus former NFL players, and the Capitol Police team was called the Guards, a reference to the classic football film “The Longest Yard.”

House Tradition of Opening Legislative Day with Prayer Upheld
Court rules against atheist who wanted to deliver a secular invocation on the floor

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy and Paul D. Ryan got a win on Wednesday when the U.S. District Court upheld Congress’ right to open with a prayer.

In the case of Barker v. Conroy, the plaintiff, Daniel Barker, an atheist and the founder of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, filed a federal discrimination and free speech lawsuit against Conroy and Ryan in June 2016 after his request to offer a secular invocation on the floor was declined.

Take Five: Don Bacon
Nebraska Republican recalls singing ‘I Will Always Love You’ to his wife from Bahrain

Freshman Rep. Don Bacon, 54, a Nebraska Republican, talks about moral courage in the Air Force, interning on Capitol Hill and an infamous practical joke from college.

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress that you didn’t expect?