hoh

Rep. Ilhan Omar and ‘squad’ school House Democrats in social competition
The Minnesota Democrat is the first freshman to win ‘Overall MVP’ in the three-week internal contest

Rep. Ilhan Omar won House Democrats’ 2019 Member Online All-Star Competition. The results couldn’t have come as a surprise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar stole the social spotlight in House Democrats’ tenth annual Member Online All-Star Competition. The Minnesota Democrat is the first freshman to win the overall popularity contest, cleaning up with nearly 150,000 new followers.

Following oh so closely behind? The rest of Omar's “squad,” of course: freshman Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who rounded out the top five, along with Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Spanberger’s chief of staff says House is like a startup
Roscoe Jones Jr. relishes chamber’s “fast pace” after move from the Senate

Roscoe Jones Jr. compares his move from Senate aide to House chief of staff to “going from General Motors to a startup.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After years of working for an incumbent senator holding a safe seat, Roscoe Jones Jr. was ready to build something from scratch.

“It was like going from General Motors to a startup,” he said. Trading in his role as Dianne Feinstein’s legislative director, he moved over to the House, accepting a job as chief of staff for newcomer Abigail Spanberger.

Are you cut out for the campaign trail?
How to tell if you’re a campaigner or meant for the Hill life

Jennifer Wexton campaign manager Ray Rieling points to CNN’s coverage of the Virginia 10th District race as Wexton’s staff and family watch election returns in the campaign’s war room on election night 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Half-eaten doughnuts. Late-night conference calls over multiple cups of coffee. The life of a campaigner can be hectic and unpredictable. It’s also more physical, whether it’s spending hours in a car driving from the Tallapoosa County Democratic Women’s luncheon or logging miles on Saturday morning door knocking in the summer heat.

It’s best suited for those with a high tolerance for chaos.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.