Kathryn Lyons

War on Christmas (decorations) comes to Capitol Hill
The 'Cold War' is heating up

Rep. Val B. Demings was overheard this week telling a reporter she felt “pressure” to step up her office’s holiday decorations after fellow Florida Rep. Charlie Crist displayed a quintessential light-up palm tree and flamingo outside his.

The 7.5-foot inflatable holiday Mickey Mouse (she represents the Orlando area, home to Disney World) that guards her door declined to comment on the matter — perhaps because he heard about the unfortunate fate of one of his nearby air-filled brethren.

The real war on Christmas: Who unplugged Perlmutter’s snowman?
Frosty the deadman

It was just a friendly Christmas decorating competition in the Longworth House Office Building halls. But then, an innocent snowman was slain. Kathryn Lyons investigates....
As Super Bowl LIV draws near, Congress still tackling one of the event’s biggest problems
Florida Rep. Donna E. Shalala leads human trafficking hearing ahead of the big game in Miami

The question of whether the Super Bowl attracts higher volumes of human trafficking in its host city has long been debated. At the least, it provides a megaplatform, and opportunity, for awareness.

“We do have a comprehensive approach for Miami-Dade, and that’s been put together over the years, but the advantage of the Super Bowl for us is to educate the entire community,” Rep. Donna E. Shalala told HOH.

Sen. Klobuchar dropped ‘bright-colored’ underwear out of her carry-on. Someone had to tell her
The Democrat told the story, and a lot more, in a sit-down with Cosmo Magazine

In a sit-down interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, 2020 White House hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar revealed the last thing she lost — it had nothing to do with a presidential race.

The Minnesota senator recalled boarding an airplane to Milwaukee, when “all of a sudden, this guy behind me goes, ‘Hey, hey, hey, senator, Amy? … You dropped something there in the aisle and you might want to pick it up.’” The culprit? A “bright-colored pair of underwear,” the 2020 White House hopeful told editor-in-chief Jessica Pels.

Capitol Christmas Tree shines bright amid grim impeachment proceedings
‘The Voice’ winner Chevel Shepherd warmed hearts despite cold temps

We interrupt your regularly scheduled, bleak impeachment programming to bring you a brighter alternative. 

As the House Judiciary Committee wrapped up its first contentious hearing in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday evening, the Capitol Christmas Tree shined a bright spot amid the darkness.

Icing, icing baby: Capitol gingerbread replica returns
A meager 110 pounds of icing and 175 pounds of gingerbread dough used this year

You’ll likely get a pleasant whiff of cinnamon before you see the latest “work of art” that Fred Johnson, executive district chef of the House of Representatives, took off his plate Tuesday.

Follow your nose and you’ll find this year’s Capitol gingerbread “house” tucked away on the first floor of the south wing across from the Memorial Door.

DCCC uses ‘outside the box’ thinking in wake of NRCC prank
The Thanksgiving dinner table has turned

What was intended to be a political stunt by the National Republican Congressional Committee has inspired some ‘outside the box’ thinking this Thanksgiving.

The NRCC at the end of October sent empty boxes to the Hill offices of House Democrats in battleground districts, most of which were flipped from Republican in 2018. They are expected to remain competitive next year.

Staffers gripe about lack of communication during Capitol lockdown
House sergeant-at-arms acknowledges missteps regarding suspicious aircraft incident

After reports of a possible aircraft in restricted airspace over Washington on Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police halted access to Capitol grounds. But a lack of communication left staffers confused and in the dark.

Although the lockdown lasted nearly 50 minutes and was “cleared without incident,” according to a Capitol Police statement, several staffers relied on social media and word of mouth for information.

It’s Thanksgiving recess and all we want to talk about is food
Invite Kathryn Lyons to Thanksgiving and she’ll stop asking you annoying questions

‘We’re not going anywhere’: Actress Angelica Ross on Hill for Transgender Day of Remembrance
The American Horror Story actress and activist is a vocal member of the trans-community

Actress and trans-activist Angelica Ross was on Capitol Hill Wednesday in light of the 20th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that honors the lives lost due to anti-trans violence.

“In 2019, at least 22 trans people have been killed, the majority of them Black trans women,” Ross said in a tweet, calling it an “epidemic.”

‘MY GUY’: Ariana Grande joins list of Bernie Sanders supporters
‘thank u, next’ takes on a new meaning

We haven’t seen Bernie Sanders smile quite as big as when he’s standing next to Ariana Grande.

The global pop star posted her support for the 2020 presidential hopeful on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.

Capitol Hill comes together for police officer’s 11-year-old daughter after cancer diagnosis
Ella, daughter of Capitol Police officer Bret Sorrell, has been diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Halloween is a time for siblings to engage in war after a night of trick-or-treating. Battles ensue over who got the most candy. On a good night, a civilized “trade” might take place.

But this year, 11-year-old Ella and her 8-year-old brother Tate were on the same team. While Ella spent her night at Children’s National Hospital, Tate was out doing “double duty” trick-or-treating and making sure his older sister didn’t miss out.

Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Sheila Jackson Lee were front row at Kanye West’s ‘Sunday Service’
Kanye brings ‘Kongress’ together

Who says bipartisanship doesn’t exist? 

Texas Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Sheila Jackson Lee proved us wrong at Kanye West’s highly talked about Sunday Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, per Crenshaw’s Instagram.

California ice cream shop milks D.C. impeachment hearings
I scream, you scream for “Im-peach-mint Pie” ice cream?

You can run, but you can’t hide from the buzz that continuously surrounds congressional testimonies — even if you mute your Twitter notifications.

The House impeachment hearings continue to inspire clever cocktails around D.C. such as the “Quit Bro, Go” at Capitol Lounge and “Impeachment Please” at Union Pub.

Kennedy calls for removal of VH1 series ‘Cartel Crew’
In letter, Louisiana senator says reality show is ’glorifying a brutal, deadly lifestyle’

A 67-year-old senator isn’t the first person that comes to mind when one thinks about “reality TV” backlash, but at the tail end of 2019, weirder things have happened.

Sen. John Kennedy’s office released a letter Thursday asking VH1 to cancel “Cartel Crew,” a show that follows the journeys of relatives of cartel members who “set out to live legit lives and make names for themselves outside of the drug world,” according to the show’s website.

Therapy dogs provide paws to impeachment hearing stress
Capitol Hill wasn’t entirely miserable on Wednesday

First high-tension impeachment hearings in a generation got you stressed? Then take a little, ahem, “paws” from the proceedings and allow therapy dogs Lola, Zamboni and Spumoni to soothe some of those, um, “ruff” feelings.

The pups came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, courtesy of Pet Partners and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, to spread some positive vibes among the two-leggers, and timing of their appearance couldn’t have been more opportune as the House Intelligence Committee began its first public hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

Kamala Harris discusses campaign struggles with Cosmo
Democratic presidential hopeful also talks women’s issues, climate change and skin care

There’s still five women in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and after three men beat them to it, one stopped by the headquarters of the magazine that bills itself the “biggest media brand in the world for young women” for an interview.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, in the latest entry for Cosmopolitan magazine’s “The Candidates Come to Cosmo” series, discussed tough decisions to pare her campaign staff, issues such as climate change, and even her skin care regimen.

‘Embrace the suck,’ Ernst and McSally tell young women considering military
Republican senators reflect on their ‘boot camp’ experience

Veterans Day is a significant time to honor those who have fought to serve the country. And while Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Martha McSally of Arizona did just that, the two military veterans also took time to address future generations of servicemembers, particularly young women.

In a video posted to Twitter Monday evening, the Republican senators gave advice to young women considering entering basic training, or “boot camp,” which is known to require significant physical and psychological stamina.

Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ tradition very much alive on Capitol Hill
Offices display lively altars with vibrant colors and food for dead relatives

Marilyn Zepeda may have left Mexico, but she made sure to bring along a piece of its culture to the United States: vibrant “papel picado,” loaves of “Pan de Muerto” and photos of the dead.

The legislative correspondent for Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, who is himself the son of a Mexican immigrant, Zepeda has been in Washington, D.C., just over a year, and she’s already raising spirits around the office. After all, it’s almost the Day of the Dead, or “Día de Los Muertos.”

When the president calls an Ebola crisis meeting on your daughter’s birthday
Sylvia Mathews Burwell joins congressional Moms in the House for breakfast

It’s just before 8 o’clock on a recent Wednesday morning, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is getting settled in the Speaker’s Dining Room on the House side of the Capitol.

She’s meeting with a handful of female lawmakers, but she’s not there to talk policy. She’s there to talk parenting.