John Shimkus

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol
Bernie in bronze, Moore opponent says he can't hold a job, and job prospects for federal workers

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., leaves Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's holiday-bedecked office in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

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

Proposal Restricting National Mall Access a ‘Game Changer’ for Hill Athletes
Senate and House softball league commissioners say they’re already squeezed for space

Congressional staffers practice their softball game on the National Mall in April 2009. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Park Service has pitched a curveball to congressional aides who use the National Mall for recreational sports.

The park service held meetings last week with leagues from across the city — including the House softball league — informing them that it planned to permanently close access on the Mall, from Third Street to 17th Street, to “organized sports.”

Kevin Brady: A Low-Profile Tax Writer for the Highest-Stress Time
Texan may be the most obscure Ways and Means chairman in such a pivotal role

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, places books of the current tax code on the dais, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Millions of taxpayers, not to mention seemingly all of K Street’s lobbyists, are focused this week on the work of a man precious few outside the Beltway have ever heard of — but who’s among the most powerful people at the Capitol at the moment.

Perhaps expecting Kevin Brady to be a household name is asking too much of the typical American household, where two out of three people can’t name their own member of Congress.

Photos of the Week: House in While Senate's Out, Congressional Football and a Wharf
The week of Oct. 10 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., holds up bunny ear fingers behind a a technician testing the microphones before the start of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The House was the only chamber in session this week in Washington. The lawmakers headed out of town Thursday for their own recess. The Senate returns next week. 

The congressional football team played a game against Capitol police officers this week while D.C. leaders christened a new wharf in town. 

Five Top Energy and Environment Priorities as Congress Returns
Energy bill, drinking water, Yucca, nominations and WOTUS

Washington’s Maria Cantwell, left, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are eager to advance their bipartisan energy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

With lawmakers returning to kick off the fall working session, energy and environment policies won’t be high on their to-do list, but their champions aim to fill any floor schedule gaps with measures that could provide some legislative accomplishments.

Here are five priorities they will push this fall:

House Passes Delay for EPA's Obama-era Ozone Standards

Rep. John Shimkus said the legislation was a needed change to the previous administration's ozone pollution standards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House on Tuesday passed, 229-199, a bill to delay the compliance date for Obama-era ground level ozone standards.

The measure (HR 806) now heads to the Senate, where its fortunes do not appear as clear after Senate Democrats expressed strong opposition to similar language appearing in legislation before the Environment and Public Works Committee.

By the Numbers: Richmond, DeSantis, Others Pad Their Baseball Resumes
Both sides had standout performers at the Congressional Baseball Game

Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitches during the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the usually lighthearted run-up to the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was marred by a horrific shooting at the Republican practice session last week, Capitol Hill came together for an emotional night of bipartisanship and baseball. But one thing it did not do was make the players go easy on one another.

“I did tell [Republican manager Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton] that I love him before the game, and I love him after the game, but during the game, we’re going to play to win,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the Democratic manager, quipped at a pre-game press conference. With the coveted Roll Call Trophy on the line, that was exactly what they did, defeating the Republican squad, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, though, there were standout individual performances on both sides.

Democrats Down Republicans, Both Down the Rhetoric
Emotional evening at Congressional Baseball Game

Steve Scalise fans waves signs before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday, June 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When winning Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle gave the Congressional Baseball Game trophy to his counterpart, Rep. Joe L. Barton, to put in Rep. Steve Scalise’s office while he is recovering, it summed up the feeling of the evening.

“It’s so awesome to show everyone that we actually get along and I want that to be the message that everyone takes away tonight,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said after the game.

Partisanship Shut Out at Congressional Baseball Game
Unity a big winner after gunman had disrupted GOP practice

During player introductions, Texas Rep. Roger Williams shakes hands with California Rep. Nanette Barragán as, from right, Reps. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, Joe L. Barton of Texas and Pete Aguilar of California look on during the Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated June 19, 2017, 1:58 p.m. | The final moments of the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Thursday perfectly demonstrated the event’s purpose — finding unity amid heated competition.

Though the Democrats overwhelmingly beat the Republicans 11-2, that final score was eclipsed during the trophy presentation at the end of the night.

Democrats Reclaim Congressional Baseball Title, Bipartisanship Rules
Night ends with gracious hand-over of trophy

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta slides in safe at home as GOP catcher Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois tries to apply the tag during the the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats regained their mojo on Thursday night at Nationals Park with a commanding 11-2 victory over the Republicans at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game.

But with the tragic shooting during the Republicans’ team practice the day before, esprit de corps was the main game plan for both teams, dispelling for at least a night, the clouds of highly charged partisanship that has plagued both sides of the aisle this year.