Heard on the Hill

With ‘Kamala’s Corner,’ Harris wants to speak directly to black women
The Democratic candidate gets her own column in Essence Magazine

Sen. Kamala Harris is polling fourth in South Carolina, an early primary state where black voters make up about 60 percent of the Democratic electorate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Kamala Harris hopes to reach a key Democratic voting bloc with her new column in Essence Magazine, a periodical geared toward African American women and a staple in black households for almost 50 years.

For Harris, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, “Kamala’s Corner” gives her an opportunity to speak directly to a black female party base that might not yet be familiar with the political newcomer. Black women make up a significant portion of Democratic primary voters and also play an important role as party organizers.

Susan Collins casts her 7,000th consecutive Senate vote
Republican senator from Maine hit another milestone with the first floor vote Tuesday

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives for a committee hearing on Tuesday. She has never missed a vote — even after breaking her ankle over Christmas in 2016.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:39 p.m. | Neither snow nor rain nor broken ankles can stop Susan Collins from making it to work.

Tuesday brings a new milestone: The first roll call vote of the day was the 7,000th in a row for the Republican from Maine, who takes pride in having never missed a vote since arriving in the Senate back in 1997.

This senator lost one son, but gained another
Death and murder shook his family, but Father’s Day is still a time of joy for Kevin Cramer

Kevin and Kris Cramer, center, pose for a family photo. Son Isaac, far right, died last year. (Courtesy Kevin Cramer)

Father’s Day at Kevin Cramer’s house is “wonderfully chaotic,” as the senator puts it, even with grief still fresh. It’s not much different from any other weekend: Four kids and five rambunctious grandchildren running around, plus a big piece of meat on the grill — maybe a burger, maybe moose.

“You can eat moose?” I ask skeptically.

Maloney has sharp Father’s Day message for gay adoption critics
The New York Democrat and his husband have three kids

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney takes a selfie with his daughters Daley, right, and Essie in New York in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sean Patrick Maloney doesn’t have any elaborate plans for Father’s Day.

“I’m gonna sit my butt in a lawn chair and hang out with my kids, something I don’t do very often,” he says. “Playing catch with my daughter, who’s a softball player, or going for a swim.”

Photos of the Week
The week of June 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Former White House counsel John Dean prepares to testify at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes," on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Her antidote to Trump: A greeting card company
Veteran operative Jill Rulli left politics to get into the card business. Hallmark it is not

(Courtesy The Thought)

All you need is ribs: Isakson barbecue brings hungry senators together
Leadership may have hated it at first, but the lunch is now a big hit

South 40 Smokehouse from Marietta, Ga., serves up brisket, pulled pork and ribs Thursday in the office of Sen. Johnny Isakson for his annual barbecue lunch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The smell of pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, Saint Louis pork ribs, baked beans, and creamy mac and cheese wafting through the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building can mean only one thing: Johnny Isakson’s annual barbecue lunch.

Every year, for more than a decade, the senior senator from Georgia feeds his colleagues from both sides of the aisle a BBQ lunch prepared by a pitmaster from his home state. Despite being met with initial pushback from party leaders, the get-together has grown into a highly anticipated event.

Food worker chases House member hustling to votes after she didn't pay
‘She didn’t pay me!’ shouted food service worker following Rep. Carolyn Maloney into House chamber

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., was pursued by a food service worker nearly into the House chamber after being surprised by unexpected midday votes on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | House members hustled to surprise midday votes Wednesday, and in her haste, one lawmaker didn’t pay for her lunch.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney speed-walked into the chamber for the second surprise vote of the day carrying a takeout container brimming with food.

Rick Steves’ guide to legalizing weed
Travel guru has a message for marijuana haters: It’s more fun without you

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, left, talks legalization with Rick Steves on Tuesday. The Oregon congressman wears his signature bike pin, while the travel guru wears his signature backpack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For two decades, Rick Steves has guided viewers through capital cities all over Europe, helping them find the best sites to see and the best food to taste. But when he traveled to the U.S. Capitol this week, it wasn’t to check out the marble — it was to explain why legalizing weed is about more than getting high.

Steves was in D.C. as a guest of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who first met the roving television star in 2014 when they teamed up for a marijuana legalization fight in the congressman’s home state of Oregon.

Are you (financially) smarter than a sixth-grader?
Watch out, Warren Buffett — there are middle schoolers on the Hill after your job

Want to keep up with the future investors of America? Get out your calculators. (Shutterstock)

Words such as “portfolio,” “investment” and “diversify” echoed in the Rayburn foyer and flew way over my head as winning middle and high school students from 10 congressional districts gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The kids were there to claim bragging rights and offer a crash course in Economics 101.

When it comes to the stock market, “start as early as you can and pay attention to what you’re investing in, and make sure it’s a long-term investment,” advised Raylee Stopka, a sixth-grader from Texas. (Sound dating advice for anyone looking for a soulmate as well.)

Prayers up for Big Papi
Lawmakers issue well wishes to former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after shooting

David Ortiz makes a surprise appearance at Fenway Park in October. New England lawmakers sent messages of support after Ortiz was shot this weekend. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Lawmakers all across Red Sox Nation are chiming in with their well wishes for retired slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in his native Dominican Republic.

Everyone from Boston’s Ayanna Pressley to Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is offering praise and hopes of a speedy recovery for the ailing Red Sox legend. Even former president Barack Obama shared a photo of Ortiz’s White House visit to celebrate the team’s 2013 World Series victory.

Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz re-enact D-Day parachute drop into Normandy
The bipartisan parachuters’ 75th anniversary commemoration was next level

Reps. Michael Waltz, left, and Jason Crow pose together after their D-Day re-enactment jumps into Normandy on Sunday. (Courtesy Rep. Jason Crow’s office)

Why fly to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and stay within the safe and comfortable barriers of the plane, when you can instead jump out of a plane and re-enact the original mission completed by allied paratroopers into Normandy in 1944?

That’s likely what Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz would say. The bipartisan pair were the only members of Congress who, this past Sunday, took the same leap that troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions took 75 years ago. You could barely even tell decades have passed by the looks of the near-identical World War II uniforms donned by the fearless 21st century parachuters aboard “That’s All Brother,” the original C-47 that carried the 101st Airborne into Normandy.

Are you Shakespeare or Tim McGraw? Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of June 10–16

Members of Congress will recite lines from the Bard on Monday night. What could go wrong? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Friends, Romans, congressmen, lend me your ears.” Members of Congress and Washington influencers will come out Monday to recite the words of the most influential writer and lyricist of all-time: Drake, er sorry, William Shakespeare. The event, hosted by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and proceeds support the company’s educational, artistic and community engagement initiatives.

If you see lights glowing from the National Mall Tuesday night, don’t worry, the aliens haven’t arrived … yet. It’s “Glow Yoga on the Mall,” a vinyasa flow session hosted by D.C. Fray and other District yogis. The child’s poses and downward dogs begin at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25.

Kristin Lynch is working the tie — and putting in the work
‘I feel pretty strongly about my identity as a lesbian,’ says Cory Booker staffer

From trivia night to her high-powered job in the Senate, Kristin Lynch is the role model she wishes she had. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There was a time when Kristin Lynch wore a dress to her job in politics, or one of those blouses that could be described as “flowy.” Now she wears a suit and tie, plus a crisp button-down shirt.

It’s not so much a fashion statement as a reminder that you need to be yourself, even in the halls of Congress.

Photos of the Week: A moose and a bear enter the Capitol
The week of June 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Tourists stop to take photos in the Small Senate Rotunda after touring the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers returned from the Memorial Day recess to a shortened week, thanks to the departure of the delegation — led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France.

Back in Washington, the capital city marked the WWII victory at Normandy with a memorial at the war’s memorial on the National Mall.