Heard on the Hill

And the Oscar goes to ... Barack and Michelle Obama?
Ex-president’s movie is up for an Academy Award, and that’s just the beginning

A documentary from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company is among the nominees at this Sunday’s Academy Awards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Auction off Pelosi’s ripped speech? Only he would think of it
Billy Long isn’t the only former professional auctioneer in Congress, but lately he’s been the most creative

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., shakes hands with President Donald Trump after 2019 the State of the Union address. (Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

Rep. Billy Long, the proud owner of verified Twitter handle “auctnr1,” reminded us again this week why his colleagues call him Congress’ “auctioneer in residence.”

As President Donald Trump finished his third State of the Union speech Tuesday night and Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore her copy in half, Long was stationed in the center-right aisle of the chamber to get the president to sign his tie.

Photos of the day: State of the Union 2020
February 4 as captured by CQ Roll Call's photojournalists

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., reads the U.S. Constitution before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The State of the Union came and went on Tuesday, and will soon be overtaken with news of the expected acquittal of President Donald Trump in the Senate on Wednesday. 

Amid some remarkable, and some small moments, CQ Roll Call's photojournalists were there. 

Strong, hateful and inspiring? — Lawmakers react to State of the Union in 3 words
#SOTUin3Words

President Donald Trump arrives in the House chamber to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

TV looks to fill the void where ‘Veep’ and ‘Scandal’ used to be
Political Washington is in the market for another reflection of itself

Actor Spencer Trinwith on set in Los Angeles for the filming of “King of K Street.” (Mike Adan / Courtesy of Mattie Moore)

It’s been a rough couple of years for fans of overstated political TV. First we said goodbye to “Scandal” and all its backroom sleaze. Then it was “House of Cards” and “Designated Survivor.”

We still can’t talk about the final season of “Veep,” which took the absurdities of Washington and reduced them to a single, never-ending cringe.

‘Patrick Dempsey and Ways and Means’ is the Google search we never knew we needed
If anyone can heat up a hearing on Social Security, it's McDreamy

Is this the future face of the storied Ways and Means Committee? (Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images file photo)

The words “Ways and Means” and “glamorous” have likely never been uttered together in the history of either, but CBS is hoping to change that with a new political drama.

The oldest standing committee in Congress, which oversees things like taxes and Social Security, is getting a facelift — at least on TV. Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey — aka McDreamy — is going to help.

The tech company behind the Iowa debacle has a ‘client success’ job opening
Good luck!

People wait for the start of a Democratic satellite caucus at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Monday. As the Iowa caucuses unfolded, precincts struggled to use a new app. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Shadow Inc., the company behind the app currently destroying Iowa’s plans of remaining “First in the Nation” among presidential primary contests, is looking for a new customer service client success representative. Monday night, excited election watchers gathered in front of their televisions with their snacks to await the returns in the Iowa Democratic presidential primary caucuses. And they waited. And tweeted. And waited. And eventually (I assume) went to bed. Then woke and waited some more.

That’s because an app commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party and designed to tally and transmit the results experienced a glitch. Precinct captains and volunteers who’d never used the app were stuck in limbo. The Nevada Democratic Party had planned to use the app in their upcoming caucuses, but announced they would abandon that plan.

State of the Union: Draft after draft

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., speaks with reporters following the final votes of the week on Dec. 12, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of the youngest staffers on the Clinton administration’s speech writing team.

“The good news is I was only 23 so I don’t think I realized just how overwhelmed I should have been by being in the West Wing,” said Gottheimer while showing CQ Roll Call the Clinton speech memorabilia adorning his walls.

The SOTU guest list: Who are lawmakers bringing?
Did John Bolton’s invite get lost?

Former Washington National Jayson Werth was a guest of Rep. Rodney Davis at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is on deck to deliver his third State of the Union, and what he’ll say about impeachment is the big question of the night.

Whether he lets fly with the “i”-word or avoids it, congressional Democrats are trying to move on — or at least that’s what they’re signaling with the guests they’ve invited.

Dogs and gavels is a thing now
To say Congress loves dogs is an understatement

Deco, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s French bulldog, poses in the Rules Committee room. (Courtesy Lori Ismail)

Deco tried to take over the chairman’s seat, but he kept sliding off.

That didn’t stop him from owning the room — lounging on the dais, pawing the wooden gavel and basking in the “ooos” and “ahhs” of everyone there.