Alex Gangitano

Word on the Hill: Government Gets Eclipsed
Financial planning, and #GardnerFarmTour

Life on Capitol Hill came to a standstill Monday afternoon as staffers streamed out of their offices to get a look at the partial solar eclipse.

Check out the scene outside the Capitol and learn how lawmakers watched the eclipse back home in their districts.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

Hoeven’s Father and Stepmother Die Two Days Apart
Senior Hoeven was politically active in North Dakota

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven’s father, John Hoeven, died Saturday, two days after the death of his wife Raziye, the senator’s stepmother.

Hoeven was a banker and community supporter and died at the age of 87, the Minot Daily News reported. The funeral will be on August 29 at the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Minot. 

Stefanik Marries IJR Marketer Manda
New York Republican and husband met at 2012 party

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., was married Saturday to Matthew Manda, communications and marketing director for the Media Group of America, which owns the news outlet Independent Journal Review.

The ceremony was in Saratoga Springs, New York, and retired New York State Supreme Court justice Jan Plumadore officiated it, the New York Times reported.

Word on the Hill: Eclipse Day
A new general in the House, lawmakers cover some ground over recess

The main event of the week comes early.

The peak time to view today’s solar eclipse in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. But the fun starts around 1 p.m. From our vantage point, the moon will block part of the sun from about 1:17 p.m. to around 4:01 p.m.

Middle Schoolers Teach Sen. Kennedy ‘It’s a Lot Harder to Be a Kid Today’
Freshman Louisiana Republican senator substitute teaches eighth grade class

If lawmakers thinking legislating is hard, try being a teacher — or a kid.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., spent some time over August recess learning that lesson from his pre-voting age constituents.

Murphy Walks Across Connecticut to Packed Town Halls
Health care, not Charlottesville, was the dominant topic, senator says

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy completed his 110-mile August recess walk across his home state Thursday. It’s the same summer trek the Democratic lawmaker did last year though some of the topics he discussed this time around with constituents along the way were different. 

“When I was talking to apolitical people, which represent the majority of Connecticut, they were talking about kitchen-table issues,” Murphy said.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

HOH’s Guide for Watching the Eclipse in D.C.
You can either avoid or embrace the crowds

The peak time to view the solar eclipse on Monday in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. The moon will block part of the sun from our area’s vantage point from about  1:17 p.m. and end around 4:01 p.m.

Only a partial solar eclipse is expected in the nation’s capital, but there are plenty of open places from which to view it. City rooftops and the National Mall will be packed with people wearing the special viewing glasses.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Could Save You Money
Ryan in New Hampshire, Williams at nonprofit, Murphy’s march continues

Here’s some good news for congressional staffers: Capitol Hill was ranked the fourth best place in D.C. to save money if you’re living off an annual salary of $50,000.

The financial planning app Rize released a list of the 14 best and worst places to live in D.C. on a $50,000 salary. Petworth, NoMa and Southwest Waterfront ranked first, second and third, respectively. Georgetown was ranked last.

Word on the Hill: Volunteers for Tiniest Opioid Victims
Smucker on Israel, and Murphy’s still walking

Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, recently visited volunteers who cuddle with infants going through opiate withdrawal in Dayton. 

The volunteer Infant Cuddle Program at Miami Valley Hospital was launched recently and Turner got to thank the cuddlers last week.

D.C. Books Bring D.C. Women Together
Staffer Krista Harvey kicked off women’s book club this year

When one group of Washington women found out the new White House chief of staff read the C.S. Forester novel “The General” every time he was promoted during his career, they put the book next on their reading list.

Their book club is a non-political, unstructured, low-pressure space for book lovers and networking women founded by a Capitol Hill staffer looking for just that.

Word on the Hill: Murphy Walks Again
Updates from the OOC, LOC and Historical Society

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is making his way across the Nutmeg State on foot … again.

Today is Day Three of the walk. On Monday, he walked from Willimantic to Portland, where he held an evening town hall.

Francis Rooney: Python Hunter
Freshman Republican congressman killed five of the invasive species in the Everglades

What did you do during the August recess? Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., went python hunting in the Everglades and helped catch and kill five of the invasive snakes.

Rooney hunted in the Everglades on Thursday night with other hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District to remove the snakes, which are decimating the population of native mammals, the Naples Daily News reported.

The Long, Accident-Prone History of Getting the Library of Congress Out of the Capitol
Summer lecture outlines what led to the construction of one of Washington’s grand buildings

The Library of Congress is one of the most ornate buildings in Washington, but its story isn’t nearly as magnificent as the structure — it was once extensive, complex, accident-prone, and outgrew its original home in the Capitol.

The United States Capitol Historical Society is focusing its summer lecture series this month on that story. To kick it off last week, Janice McKelvey, an LOC visitor services coordinator, traced the history of the library’s spaces in the Capitol, and discussed architectural and artistic similarities between those and its present home in the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Word on the Hill: Weekend Plans?
WOTH will be back mid-August

It’s the weekend in Washington and the Senate recess has finally arrived, so pick up a book from our summer reading list, or if you're feeling active, try to beat the number of steps that Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., takes in a day.

HOH went for a walk with the congressman recently and ran some errands around the complex with him.

Word on the Hill: Get Cultured in Rayburn
Yappy hour, and honoring the Mooch

There are three different opportunities today to check out Asian-American artists and history in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is hosting an art exhibit “War and Refuge: Reflections on the Vietnamese Refugee Experience and Its Applicability to the Global Migration Crisis” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the building’s foyer. The foundation works to educate people about the ideology, history, and legacy of communism in order to create “a world free from the false hope of communism.”

HOH’s Summer Reading List
There’s something for everyone in these six books

Recess is one of the few times when Washingtonians can really settle into a good book.

Whether you’re taking time off or just have a quiet office this month, here is HOH’s list of new books for the D.C. congressional nerd to check out this summer.

Woman Arrested in House Office Building After Handgun Found in Suitcase
Suspect was trying to enter Cannon on Friday afternoon

A Washington, D.C., woman was arrested Friday while trying to bring a loaded handgun into the Cannon House Office Building as members were getting ready to leave for their August recess.

At 12:21 p.m., Capitol Police found the handgun at the bottom of a suitcase that was carried through security by Kimberly D. Barber, according to a Capitol Police weekly arrest summary released Wednesday.

Word on the Hill: From Little League World Series to Congress
Solar talk and Stevie Wonder tickets

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., passed along some veteran advice for a Florida Little League baseball team, which is competing for a regional title this weekend and a chance to play in the Little League World Series.

The Palm Beach Post asked DeSantis, who played in the Little League World Series in 1991, for his thoughts.