Gus Bilirakis

Word on the Hill: Republicans Tour Jordan Airport
Pingree awarded, Veterans History Project discussion, and ‘The Long Road’

New York Rep. John Katko meets refugees at Zaatri refugee camp in northern Jordan. (Courtesy House Homeland Security Committee)

A delegation led by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., over last week’s recess included a stop in Jordan. The group toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to observe aviation security procedures and employee screening.

The U.S. donated passenger screening equipment to Jordan and other countries in 2016 under the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act.

Word on the Hill: Murphy Walks Again
Updates from the OOC, LOC and Historical Society

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is taking questions as he walks across the Nutmeg State. (Courtesy Murphy via Snapchat)

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is making his way across the Nutmeg State on foot … again.

Today is Day Three of the walk. On Monday, he walked from Willimantic to Portland, where he held an evening town hall.

Blue Beats Red in Congressional Soccer Game
Democrats win, 5-3, with second-half outburst

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen scored a goal and had two assists for the Democrats in Tuesday’s rainy Congressional Soccer Game. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call)

On a rainy Tuesday evening in Washington, Democrats won the Congressional Soccer Game but Republicans won the cheering section.

The men and women in blue, with four members of Congress on their team, took home the trophy at the fifth annual Capitol Soccer Classic’s congressional game, 5-3.

Kihuen’s Soccer Injury Led to Politics
Nevada Democrat recalls moment of career-ending injury before professional tryout

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen learned to play soccer growing up in Mexico. (Courtesy Kihuen’s office)

While Ruben Kihuen was running for the Nevada state Senate in 2010, he held a World Cup watch party and saw his former training partner walking out onto the field.

“When he walked in, I was like, ‘You know what? It was the first Nevadan to play in the World Cup and I’m glad it’s Herculez,’” Kihuen said of professional soccer player turned ESPN analyst Herculez Gomez. “Destiny is destiny. For me, I wasn’t destined to be a professional soccer player.”

Word on the Hill: Sinema and Curbelo Work for the Future
Congressional Soccer Game tonight

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo will co-chair the Congressional Future Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Future Caucus, a bipartisan group for members under 45, has two new co-chairmen: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.

The caucus will also have vice chairmen for the first time: Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

Why Some House Republicans Could be Taking a Risk on Obamacare Repeal
The 11 GOP members who have the most constituents on Obamacare

These 11 members of Congress represent the Republican districts with the greatest percentage of constituents enrolled in government insurance exchanges. They are (clockwise from upper left): Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Francis Rooney, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Rob Woodall, R-Ga.

As House Republicans rolled out their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act this week, some members of the conference found themselves stuck between their constituents and their colleagues.

Eleven House Republicans, who will be expected by party leadership and the White House to support their party’s replacement plan, represent districts where at least 6 percent of their constituents are enrolled in government insurance exchanges set up by the 2010 health care law, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of Kaiser Family Health Foundation and Census Bureau data. 

For the GOP, a Dangerous Gamble on the All-Important Town Hall
Old-school constituent connections work best, but the anger is proving tough to withstand

Police escort California Rep. Tom McClintock through a town-hall audience in Roseville, California, last Saturday. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

Consider 10 and 19 as two more figures that help illustrate the risky congressional Republican strategies of passivity, defensiveness and avoidance during the first month of the Trump administration.

Ten is the total number of GOP lawmakers who have town hall meetings scheduled next week, the longest period Congress will be back home since the inauguration.  

Word on the Hill: How Would D.C. Fare in Trade War With Mexico?
A great place to take a nap

D.C. has the least amount of imports from Mexico as a percentage of total imports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Except for Alaska, the District of Columbia would be least affected by the economic fallout of a trade war with Mexico, a new study shows.

The most affected states would be Texas, Arizona, and Michigan, according to the WalletHub study. D.C. ranked 50th, just ahead of Alaska.

Politicos Grasp at Champions’ Coattails
Campaign to co-opt #NationalSuperheroDay takes flight

Would-be heroes invaded Capitol Hill in 2014 in a failed attempt to set a Guinness World Record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A “holiday” dreamed up by comic book creators to celebrate their favorite fantasy characters does not appear to be immune from political interference.  

It’s been 20-plus years since Marvel employees unleashed National Superhero Day upon the world.  

Bringing Out the Dogs
Members push for canine companions for veterans

Knoxville, an assistance dog, sits next to his handler, disabled Army veteran Stefan LeRoy. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Army veteran Stefan LeRoy looked down at his white Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, Knoxville, as he spoke about how his life has changed over the past two months.  

When LeRoy, 24, takes his legs off at night, Knoxville turns the light off for him, and when LeRoy’s baby cousin drops a toy, Knoxville picks it up. “Knoxville can do all those things,” said LeRoy, who was severely wounded by a bomb in Afghanistan.