Heard on the Hill

Word on the Hill: Day of Reason and/or Prayer?

New tech caucus, and staffer movement

California Rep. Ted Lieu wants to celebrate reason and logic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., had his way, today would be a National Day of Reason as well as the National Day of Prayer.

Lieu introduced a bill in Congress in April that would declare May 4 to be a National Day of Reason as a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer to recognize the importance of reason in the betterment of humanity, he said.

“At a time when people are disputing indisputable facts and axing scientific funding, celebrating reason and logic is more important than ever,” Lieu said in a news release. “We will get the best results for society if we formulate public policy using sound logic and rational thought.”

The resolution was referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform committee for markup.

From colleagues to brothers-in-law?

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., will soon be serving with his brother-in-law in Congress. Kelly’s wife’s sister is marrying Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., this Saturday. Roe, who lost his wife Pam two years ago, met his fiancée Clarinda Jeanes at a grief group. Jeanes’ husband passed away in 2012.

“I feel very, very blessed to have met this wonderful person,” Roe told CNN

Technology caucus launched

The Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality Caucus was launched on Wednesday to help advance these technologies for people nationwide. The founding members are Reps. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Bill Flores, R-Texas, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif. They plan to educate other lawmakers about VR, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies.

Staffer shuffle

Lauren Reamy has been named legislative director to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., after serving as deputy legislative director. Rubio’s office also announced that Robert Zarate, who had been senior foreign policy adviser, will now lead the foreign policy team, and Matt Wolking has added senior communications adviser to his press secretary responsibilities.  

Also, Olivia Perez-Cubas, who was press secretary for Rubio’s re-election campaign last year, is returning as communications director, and Wes Brooks, previously a senior policy adviser in the House, has been named legislative assistant for energy, environment, agriculture and trade issues.

Samantha Slater has joined the office of Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., as communications director. She was previously executive director of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee under former Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who retired last year. 

Members share memories at JFK exhibition

Happy birthday to …

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, 66.

What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com.

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