Jim Sensenbrenner

Word on the Hill: Happy Halloween
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Rene T., who declined to provide his full last name, wears a “Bill on Capitol Hill” costume as he jumps in the air while a friend takes photos on the U.S. Senate steps on Halloween last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Celebrate Halloween bipawtisan style.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is hosting a Senate Halloween dog costume celebration, where dogs from various Senate offices will parade around in their hopefully politics-related outfits.

Word on the Hill: King of the Hill
Senate Democrats celebrating birthdays

Team photograph of The RBIs of Texas after winning the King of the Hill softball championship game. (Courtesy Bill Christian)

The Senate is the King of the Hill. Well, at least in staffer softball.

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game was Thursday and the RBIs of Texas, the Senate team, beat the Texas Republic, the House team, 16-12.

Word on the Hill: Welcome, Wharf
Sensenbrenner’s town halls, Boyle on soccer, and Hatch is Cosmo

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will help open up the newly renovated area in Southwest D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

$2.5 billion later, the mile-long stretch on the Southwest D.C. waterfront — The Wharf — will officially open today. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Mayor Muriel Bowser will participate in the opening ceremony at 11 a.m.

That’s followed by a day of live music, including a Bacon Brothers concert at 5 p.m., muralists, magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and daytime fireworks. Watch for HOH’s coverage of the opening.

Meet the 10 Members of House Republicans’ DACA Task Force
Group holds varying immigration views, making road to compromise difficult

House Republicans want to ensure any legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, would have the support of the majority of their conference before it goes to the floor.

That’s why Speaker Paul D. Ryan formed a task force featuring a cross section of Republicans who serve on committees with jurisdiction over immigration and border security to come up with a plan the conference can support.

Opinion: Will Move to Purge Ohio Voting Rolls Kickstart Congressional Action?
Justice Department no ally on civil rights issue

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., recounts his experience in Selma, Alabama, to a group of students gathered on the House steps on April 15, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fifty-two years ago this week, John Lewis of Georgia was a young activist, not the Democratic congressman he is today. Yet he got a warmer welcome from the then-president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, than from today’s occupant of the White House.

On the Twitter feed of the longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, you can see a picture celebrating that time a few decades ago, when, with Democratic and Republican support, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and then signed.

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján has called on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Word on the Hill: Mai Tais Flowing on the Hill
LOC movie series lineup announced

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono prepare to sample Spam musubi at last year’s Taste of Hawaii. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The fourth annual Hawaii on the Hill begins today. The itinerary includes the Taste of Hawaii reception this evening, hosted by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

It’s a 21+ event, which means guests can enjoy mai tais from Koloa Rum, beer from Maui Brewing Company, and food from the 69 different companies showcased. If you received tickets beforehand, you can get in an hour early. General admission opens at 6 p.m. in Russell’s Kennedy Caucus Room.

Opinion: Trump Policies on Voting and Criminal Justice Quietly Move Country Backward
Plans proceed despite chaos in the White House

President Donald Trump’s policies threaten voting rights and criminal justice reforms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While the Trump administration is in a state of perpetual turmoil, some of its promised policies are proceeding as planned. Support from a Republican Congress is softening with each cringe-worthy headline about slips, leaks and feuds; still, its members, mindful of the president’s loyal base, are proceeding with caution.

And when you step back from the chaos, don’t expect to see any progress on other issues — such as voting rights and criminal justice reform — that once promised a bit of bipartisan cooperation. 

Have Gavel, Will Travel
Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner has held the most town halls this year

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner hosts a town hall meeting in his district in February. (Courtesy Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s office)

Congressional recess was dominated by news of angry constituents in town hall meetings around the country, seemingly more and more disgruntled with what they’re hearing from their representatives.

Some members of Congress have refused to hold such events while others have imposed new rules on attendance and conduct.

Town Hall Winners and Losers So Far
If lawmakers can’t meet with constituents, why do they have a job?

Voters don’t always need to be agreed with, but they always want to be heard — and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., delivered on that, Patricia Murphy writes. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re halfway through the Presidents Day recess, the first during President Donald Trump’s first term in office. Coming after early stumbles from Trump, and with major legislative changes looming for health care and immigration, and the ascendance of a national effort to protest the president’s agenda, it’s no surprise that town halls would become a focal point for the anger swirling on the left. 

[It’s Not “AstroTurf” if the anger is real]