Heard on the Hill

Portrait of the artist, a C-SPAN watcher
You know you’ve truly made it in Washington when you get a McCutcheon sketch

Artist Michael McCutcheon has drawn countless members of Congress while watching C-SPAN, including Reps. Barbara Lee and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter. (Courtesy Michael McCutcheon)

How do you become a Washington fixture? A congressional pin or a reporter’s credential are among the ways. So is a penciled likeness from an early morning appearance on C-SPAN.

The artist who draws C-SPAN’s guests is Michael McCutcheon, a 79-year-old retiree living in his native Austin, Texas. He dutifully sketches the guests of the Washington Journal program every morning.

Why Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has hope for the GOP
Party becoming ‘more tolerant and more accepting,’ says former congresswoman and mom of transgender son

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says she’s learned a lot from her son Rodrigo. (Courtesy Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)

“Oh, a leaf blower? I’m gonna be right there!” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen shouted cheerfully. She wasn’t hollering at her husband or a sales rep at Home Depot, but at her 3-year-old grandson Dustin, who sounded like he had something very important to show her.

I caught up with the former congresswoman Friday by phone while she was vacationing in the North Carolina mountains with her stepson, daughter-in-law, a handful of grandkids and, of course, the family dog. (By the sound of a bustling full house on the other end of the line, I doubt there would’ve been room for me in person anyway.)

Make your favorite mistake (but don’t inebriate the animals): Your Hill Horoscope
What to do in D.C. the week of July 15-21

It’s Brew at the Zoo on Thursday, but you’ll have to choose between that and Sheryl Crow. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Washington Kastles kick off their season this week with matches against the Las Vegas Rollers, San Diego Aviators and Orange County Breakers. The team opens Monday in their brand-new venue at the top of Union Market. Special guests this season include Frances Tiafoe (July 15-17) and Venus Williams (July 25-26).

It’s Amazon Prime Day … or rather “days.” Burn a few extra holes in your pocket on Monday and Tuesday, because #deals and #whynot?

Photos of the Week: They’re back from recess
The week of July 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Ominous storm clouds pass over the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

No one told the New England delegation it was cafeteria lobster week
Mainer who brought us the lobster emoji misses out on crustacean grilled cheese

Sen. Angus King is the man who brought us the lobster emoji. But he was out of the lobster loop on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maine independent Angus King did not try the lobster grilled cheese that was on the menu at the Dirksen Senate Office Building cafeteria this week.

“I didn’t even know about it. My staff will be severely reprimanded,” the senator told Heard on the Hill.

Senators mount pressure on equal pay for World Cup champs
More lawmakers introduce measures pushing equal pay for U.S. women's soccer team

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are leading an effort in the Senate to make salaries for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams equitable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the U.S. soccer women’s team embarks on a whirlwind victory lap from its recent World Cup domination, more lawmakers are joining the four-time champions in calling for pay equity.

A group of senators led by Robert Menendez, Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution congratulating the team for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and asking U.S. Soccer to provide the players with pay comparable to their counterparts on the men’s team.

Rep. Thomas Massie TBTs to his summer fling
Kentucky congressman won the internet on Thursday

A 19-year-old Thomas Massie, in white cap, embarked on a 10-day trip across the U.S. in a solar-powered  vehicle named "Galaxy." (Courtesy Rep. Thomas Massie via Twitter)

There are two kinds of TBTs: the kind that we pause to view ever so quickly, perhaps give it a double tap, and then continue the scroll through the rest of our feed. And then there’s the kind that stops us cold, takes hold of our vision and raise questions faster than we can raise our eyebrows.

This morning, Rep. Thomas Massie blessed us with the latter.

If I had a (Velvet) Hammer
Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy gets a drink named in her honor

"Murphy's Velvet Hammer" at the Hawk N Dove. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

Bourbon and Prosecco. Two things you wouldn’t expect to pair well together, much like woven tufted fabric and household hardware.

But that’s what you’ll get when you walk into D.C.’s Hawk N Dove and order a “Murphy’s Velvet Hammer,” the new drink named after Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Editor's Note: Democrats on TV

Editor's Note: A July 11 story that described the number of times members of Congress have appeared on television in 2019 was incorrect and based on incomplete statistics.

The story relied on CQ’s Newsmaker transcripts from Jan. 3 through June 26, which include appearances on CNN, CNN International, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, PBS NewsHour, cable news town halls and the Sunday morning talk shows. The transcripts do not include every TV appearance by members of Congress.

Can the billion-dollar esports industry get some respect?
Members of Congress can help — or at least that’s what lobbyists are hoping

From left, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Florida Reps. Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy battle it out in a Rocket League tournament on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress fought to the (virtual) death Wednesday night while their staffers, drinking beer and scarfing down cheeseburger sliders, watched. Don’t worry: It was live-streamed.

The setting was a dimly lit reception room on Capitol Hill. The occasion was a video game tournament, put on by the Entertainment Software Association, that ran on the streaming site Twitch. As some huddled intently around screens to play their own side games, a battle for Florida or New York supremacy was unfolding — a Rocket League showdown between Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Hakeem Jeffries.

‘I learned to inject oranges with insulin syringes’: Victor Garber on Type 1 diabetes
Familiar face from ‘Titanic’ urges Congress to renew research funding

Actor Victor Garber, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 11, testifies during a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing in the Dirksen Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If you ever went to the movies in the ’90s or the early aughts, you may recognize Victor Garber as the “bad guy” from “Legally Blonde” or “the ship designer” from “Titanic,” but on Wednesday the award-winning actor came to Capitol Hill with a script that was a little more personal.

Garber says he’s lived with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 60 years. Joined by kid-advocates with the disease, he urged Chairwoman Susan Collins and ranking member Bob Casey of the Senate Special Committee on Aging to renew the Special Diabetes Program at the National Institutes of Health.

DC’s ‘acting’ bug spreads to the Hill
House Freedom Caucus is getting in on the act

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Mark Meadows, Thomas Massie, and Jim Jordan have a new acting communications director. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus now has an acting communications director as the outgoing flack takes a new position with Vice President Mike Pence.

The position adds to the long list of “actings” in President Donald Trump’s D.C. If you’re keeping count there’s an acting White House chief of staff, secretary of Homeland Security, secretary of Defense, secretary of the Navy, as well as the heads of the Small Business Association and the Office of Management and Budget.

How long is 4 miles in the shadow of the Capitol?
Horton’s Kids brings Congress east of the river, but gap still remains

Nathan Woods came to the Capitol with Horton’s Kids in the 1990s. (Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

Nathan Woods can still hear the gunshots outside his D.C. home in the early ’90s. He grew up in Wellington Park, a neighborhood less than four miles from the lobbying and lawmaking of Capitol Hill.

When he was a sophomore at Woodberry Forest High School, an all-boys boarding school down in Virginia, he got the call: His oldest brother, Errick, had been shot in the head. By the time he got to the hospital, his brother was dead.

Joe Manchin wants to block funding 2026 World Cup until women’s team gets equal pay
Competition to be hosted in North America would require federal support

Sen. Joe Manchin III wants to block funding for the 2026 World Cup until women athletes get equal pay. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate appropriator wants to block spending of federal money to support the 2026 men’s World Cup until the U.S. women’s team receives equal pay.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III unveiled the two-page bill Tuesday afternoon that would block the use of funds to support the 2026 World Cup matches, which are scheduled to be shared among Canada, Mexico and the United States as part of a joint bid.

Forget the White House. Will the World Cup women take Pelosi up on her invite?
Speaker on U.S. women’s team: ‘Show them the money’

(Photo illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: July 9, 12:45 p.m.

Before the newly minted U.S. women’s World Cup champions could even empty all their celebratory champagne bottles in the locker room, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had invited the players to Capitol Hill, a move that could have implications for the gender pay gap debate. The invite also stands in contrast to the ambivalent reaction from President Donald Trump, who has clashed publicly with the team.