Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Crenshaw reaches out to troubled comic, Lankford in a boot, and Corker on Peyton Manning

Sen. Tom Cotton’s 2-year-old son Daniel makes friends with Sen. Susan Collins as the two walk to a vote on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Pillow talk, Senator Hatch’s Office has spoken, and staffer shuffle

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

Library of Congress Adds More Classics to National Film Registry
‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘The Shining,’ ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ are among selections

Ang Lee's film “Brokeback Mountain” is among the 25 films selected to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The 2005 Academy Award winning movie is the newest film in the registry. (Ashley Pon/Getty Images)

The Library of Congress has added a wide range of movies to the National Film Registry, announcing on Wednesday the selections of contemporary films that helped smash stereotypes, such as “Brokeback Mountain,” and thrillers like “The Shining.” Also new are classics such as “Hud” and documentaries like “Hearts and Minds,” as well as rarities like “Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency.”

“The National Film Registry turns 30 this year and for those three decades, we have been recognizing, celebrating and preserving this distinctive medium,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement announcing the selections. “These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Remembering James Billington, Who Brought Ice Skating to the Library of Congress
Long-serving librarian of Congress died at age 89 on Nov. 20

Skaters perform in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building on an acrylic surface that was installed on the floor of the Great Hall. The event entitled The Role of Arts in International Relations was put on by American University's Initiative for Russian Culture and The Mariinsky Foundation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tributes to the late Librarian of Congress James Billington have touched on his transformational role at the institution, his scholarship of Russian and intellect. But he also brought ice skating, yes ice skating, to the institution's Great Hall. 

On Oct. 25, 2012, the nation's repository of knowledge rolled out not exactly ice but an acrylic surface for “ice dancers” to perform in a winter wonderland for the Role of the Arts in International Relations, an event sponsored by American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture and the Mariinsky Foundation.

Hayden Would Be First Woman, African-American to Head Library of Congress

Carla D. Hayden is Obama's pick to head the Library of Congress. (Photo courtesy of Enoch Pratt Free Library)

President Barack Obama said Wednesday his nominee to head the Library of Congress would be the first African-American and the first woman to lead the 216-year-old institution.  

But first, Carla D. Hayden will need to rise to the top of a backlog of civilian nominations pending before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee — and then make it past the Senate floor.  

Winners and Losers in the Omnibus and Tax Bills

Lawmakers hope to get the Omnibus and tax packages passed in time to make it home for the holidays. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Both Democrats and Republicans won a few and lost a few in the $1.1 trillion spending bill and package of tax extensions that congressional negotiators agreed on late Tuesday.  

Here is a look at some of the winners and losers in the agreements:  

Honoring Veterans, One Story at a Time

The Veterans History Project has more than 99,000 collections. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Americans will pause Wednesday to remember the nation's veterans. But one Library of Congress project is working to ensure veterans' stories are preserved for years to come.  

The Veterans History Project is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It was established on Oct. 27, 2000, by an act of Congress, and over the past 15 years the project has collected more than 99,000 stories of service members. Former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington touted the program at congressional hearings on the Library's budget, noting in his March testimony to the Senate subcommittee of jurisdiction it "is now the largest oral history project in America."  

Library of Congress Case Highlights Questions of Oversight

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The case of a fired Library of Congress staffer is prompting questions about whether the institution is being properly overseen by Congress and whether library employees have a fair process to appeal personnel decisions — including from members of Congress. Suzanne Hogan, 58, who worked as a special assistant to former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington for 11 years, was officially terminated in August. She is in the process of appealing her decision via a discrimination complaint, but is calling on Congress' own independent agency, the Office of Compliance, to intervene, alleging she does not have an avenue for due process.

"There is no pathway for me to have a fair and just hearing.” Hogan said in an Oct. 23 interview.

Congress' Selfish Reason for Not Sharing CRS Reports

"I could see Hannity having fun with this," Shays said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress are selfish.  

That's one reason Capitol Hill continues to resist bipartisan prodding to make Congressional Research Service reports public, speculated former Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., during an Oct. 22 panel on transparency. "Members of Congress like getting access to information that wouldn't potentially be shared with their opponents. So if they sound brilliant from some well-written report, they're not eager that some candidate can get all this information and come to debates sounding just as articulate," Shays said. "That's a big reason."  

Congress Ponders Changes to Library of Congress Under New Leader

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Library of Congress will have a new leader for the first time in nearly three decades, creating an opening for Congress to make some changes at the 200-year-old institution.  

Lawmakers aren't wasting any time. The day before James H. Billington retired as 13th Librarian of Congress on Sept. 30, after leading the library since 1987, the Senate put into motion a bill to limit the years of service for the next librarian .