Heard on the Hill

L for loser, a real clap and a gentle gavel: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 8, 2019

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., conduct a House Judiciary Committee markup up in Rayburn Building on a resolution to authorize subpoenas related to the Trump administration on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Rep. Josh Harder’s Fourth of July plans are anything but humdrum
California Democrat is celebrating with a bang (on the drums) with MoBand

California Rep. Josh Harder will perform in the Modesto Band of Stanislaus County’s annual Fourth of July celebration Wednesday. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

While many of you brush off your grill grates ahead of Thursday’s Fourth of July celebrations, Rep. Josh Harder will be dusting off the ol’ snare drum. It’s been fifteen years since the freshman Democrat from California played percussion in high school, and he has no problem admitting his skills might need a little fine-tuning.

“I’m a little rusty,” Harder laughed, when reached by phone Wednesday.

You may now Kinzinger the bride
Illinois congressman liked it so he put a ring on it

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced his engagement Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger kicked off the weekend ahead of the Fourth of July with his own set of fireworks. Per his latest Instagram post, the Illinois Republican is engaged.

“She said: yes!” reads the caption.

These members can play baseball, but do you want them on your trivia team?
Heard on the Hill

Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman rolls over on his head as he field a ground ball during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

As the lights came up at the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, members of the Democratic and Republican teams took the field. Despite both teams’ months of practice, didn’t any of them think they’d need to brush up on their trivia?

Diamonds are Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán’s best friend
Female lawmakers take the baseball field following Title IX anniversary

Rep. Linda Sánchez, here in 2015, is one of two women who will play in the Congressional Baseball Game this year. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Even though Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán will be the lone female lawmakers at Nationals Park, surrounded by more than 70 male colleagues and coaches, the only thing that might give it away is their ponytails. Sporting cleats, batting helmets and their favorite jerseys, they’re just some of the guys.

“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán told me of her male teammates after one of their last practices before Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game.

Sánchez and Barragán to girls: You can play in the major leagues
Heard on the Hill

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., takes photos before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Only two women are playing in the Congressional Baseball Game this year, but the dynamic duo of Linda T. Sánchez and Nanette Barragán see themselves as proof that it’s not a bad thing at all to play like a girl (sorry ‘Ham’ Porter).

‘More practices for this one game than any NFL preseason’: Reps. Gonzalez and Allred on congressional baseball
The former NFL players are bringing their athletic prowess to Congress' big game

Reps. Anthony Gonzalez and Colin Allred practice on their respective teams for the Congressional Baseball Game. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

King of the road trip: Maine senator treks home after canceled flight
Angus King went to bed while you were waking up

Maine Sen. Angus King , center, and his fellow road-trippers. (Courtesy Office of Sen. Angus King)

Angus King stayed up way past your bedtime Thursday night. He wasn’t out partying (though he’ll tell you he had a great time) — he was road tripping from D.C. to Maine. The nearly nine-hour trek was a result of storms in Portland and a canceled flight out of Washington.

After sitting on the runway at Reagan National Airport for at least an hour waiting for skies to clear, the plane’s captain came over the intercom to give already annoyed passengers even worse news: They’d have to find another way home.

Is Tim Kaine a Swiftie? Senator signs musician’s petition to pass Equality Act
Tim Kaine is the latest lawmaker to sign her Change.org petition

Former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at an economic roundtable with veterans at Infinity Technology in Fairfax, Va.. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tim Kaine is the latest politician to hop on board the Taylor train which, I might add, is moving quite swiftly.

The Democratic senator joined his colleagues (and presidential candidates) Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker in signing Taylor Swift’s Change.org petition, which urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act. The bill, passed in the House last month, would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.