Jeff Fortenberry

Word on the Hill: Kaine and Alexander’s Bipartisan Jam
Free fries, and kickball for Harvey recovery

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander have a concert on Friday. (Courtesy bristolrhythm.com)

Music lovers can catch Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on the harmonica and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on the piano this Friday night.

Their band The Amateurs are performing at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a music festival this weekend in Bristol, a community that straddles the Virginia-Tennessee state line. The dynamic duo goes on stage at 5 p.m.

After Shooting, Members ‘Numb’ — And Defiant
Some argue game must go on

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, center, and his sons, board the Rayburn subway in the basement of the Capitol after a shooting at the Republicans’ baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress reacted to the shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning with a mixture of sadness, shock and defiance. 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with a Capitol Police officer, a lobbyist and a staffer were shot. Another Capitol Police officer was injured, as was Rep. Roger Williams of Texas.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Will Need Additional Surgeries After Shooting
Four others wounded at Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game practice, gunman died from injuries

Cones, police tape and emergency medical bags are seen at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during baseball practice on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:00 p.m.House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remains in critical condition and will need additional surgeries beyond what he underwent Wednesday after he was shot in the early morning by a gunman who opened fire at the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice.

“Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” said the statement from MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was transported “in shock” to the hospital, a Level I trauma center, the statement continued.

Word on the Hill: Celebrate the New Year Again
Nebraska school gets a coin

From left, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, current Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and Arizona Sen. John McCain attended last year's Norwuz celebration on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A celebration of “Nowruz,” the Iranian new year, which also marks the beginning of spring, will be hosted today on Capitol Hill by the Organization of Iranian American Communities.

This year, Nowruz falls on March 21, but the group is getting started early with a Persian dinner and pastries for guests.

Word on the Hill: Happy Holidays
See you in 2017!

Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, right, gives a tour of the Capitol Rotunda to friends on Tuesday. Let us know what other members are up to over the holidays. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Whether you’re staying in D.C. or traveling, I hope you enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year!

Word on the Hill will be on a break until Jan. 3, 2017.

Republicans in Congress Against Trump
Most have expressed concerns with party's nominee after video surfaced

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida on Tuesday. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

To date, 53 Republican members of Congress have publicly declared their opposition to Donald Trump, their party's presidential nominee.

They have either said explicitly that they will not vote for him, withdrawn previous endorsements or called on him to abandon his candidacy. (Some in that last group haven’t said how they’ll vote if Trump doesn’t drop out.)

State Department Must Declare ISIS' Actions 'Genocide'
Failure to designate atrocities would encourage more of same

Secretary of State John Kerry has said ISIL's campaign has "all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s ironic that it often seems easier for perpetrators of genocide to admit what they are doing than for others to do so. The Islamic State has told us it wants to destroy Christianity and kill Christians and other minority groups, and has acted on those words, exterminating and enslaving, destroying every vestige of Christianity they can find.  

But the State Department hasn’t called this genocide. It faces a March 17 deadline set by Congress by which to make a determination. A failure to term this genocide will obscure what has happened and encourage its repetition and relativize its meaning.