Heard on the Hill

A portrait unveiling for ‘Alaskan of the century,’ Uncle Ted Stevens
Senators reminisce about the late Alaska senator and his legendary salmon fishing trips

Catherine Stevens, far left, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, attends the portrait unveiling for the senator, with family members, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., second right, in the Old Senate Chamber on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some senators are better fishermen than others.

When senior lawmakers gathered with many of their former colleagues to unveil the leadership portrait of former Senate President Pro Tempore Ted Stevens on Wednesday, it was inevitable that there would be plenty of discussion of the legendary salmon fishing trips hosted by the late Republican from Alaska.

‘Dadvocates’ join fight for paid family leave
Reddit CEO Alexis Ohanian among dads calling for paid time off

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat, holds his daughter Emmy while Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida, talks with Reddit Founder and CEO Alexis Ohanian. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

They call themselves “Dadvocates,” men who say paid family leave is not just crucial for moms, but for dads who want to bond with their newborn and create more equity when it comes to child care expectations within the home.

Alexis Ohanian, venture capitalist, founder of Reddit and proud “business dad,” said it will be strange when he one day explains to his daughter that paid family leave was not always the law.

That time Justin Verlander and Kate Upton visited the Capitol and Uncle Fred
Before he was a World Series foe, he was a tourist

From left, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., his niece, model Kate Upton, and her then-fiance Justin Verlander, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers at the time, pose for a picture on the House steps on May 10, 2016. Verlander was in town for a series between the Tigers and the Washington Nationals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington Nationals fans will root for their team tonight as it takes on the Houston Astros and one of their ace pitchers, Justin Verlander, in Game 2 of the World Series. Was it really three-plus years ago that Verlander, then hurling for the Detroit Tigers, visited the Capitol with his then-fiancee, supermodel Kate Upton, for a tour with Uncle Fred, R-Mich.? (That being Rep. Fred Upton.)

Indeed. And how quickly things change. Not only did Verlander and Kate Upton marry and Verlander add a World Series ring in 2017 after being traded to the Houston Astros that year, but Verlander was teammates back then with, who else? Nationals ace Max Scherzer. 

‘We have been scorned’: Democratic Women’s Caucus lays out agenda
U.S. maternal mortality rate is a top concern

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley had a few choice words to share at a Tuesday event for the Democratic Women’s Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — well, we have been scorned,” Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley said Tuesday, lending a little sass to  the Democratic Women’s Caucus news conference to roll out its policy agenda.

Formally launched this spring, the caucus laid out plans for the 116th Congress that focus on economic opportunity, safety and freedom from violence, equality, access to health care, supporting women in the military and veterans, and empowering women across the globe.

How to choose a proper name for your secret identity/Twitter burner account
Sorry, but Pierre Delecto, Reihnold Niebuhr are already taken

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, aka Pierre Delecto, takes a ride on the Senate subway in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Let’s say you’re a public official who wants to concoct a secret identity so you may pass among the commons, at least on Twitter, undetected. What’s one to do in choosing that all-important double’s name? 

It’s become more than an academic question with the news that Sen. Mitt Romney let slip during a recent profile that he devised a secret Twitter account so he can follow conversations happening on the social media website. “What do they call me, a lurker?” the Utah Republican asked The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins.

Rep. Abby Finkenauer engaged to Elizabeth Warren campaign staffer

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, has added another ring to her left hand (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Abby Finkenauer announced her engagement over the weekend to fellow Iowan Daniel Wasta, who serves as Iowa political director for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.

“The couple has been together for nearly two years and are excited to build their life and home together in Iowa where Rep. Finkenauer and Mr. Wasta both grew up and where their families still reside,” said the Iowa Democrat’s congressional office in a release.

From poverty to power: Staffer for Rep. Darren Soto reflects on childhood
23-year-old Clarissa Rojas is communications director for the Florida Democrat

A chance encounter at a Chick-fil-A drive-thru helped turn Clarissa Rojas toward a career in government. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“My mom would be upset that I’m doing this interview,” Clarissa Rojas said softly inside the lively Longworth House Office Building cafeteria. “I’m doing it because I think it’s important that people know what Capitol Hill is made of.”

Rojas, the new communications director for Florida Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, didn’t find herself in one of the nation’s most expensive cities because her parents could afford it. After all, her father didn’t even pay the child support she and her older brother could’ve used growing up.

Photos of the Week: Everything but Infrastructure Week
The week of Oct. 18 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Capitol workers lower the flag to half staff after the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pay to play: Will California prompt congressional action on college athletics?
The norm for college athletics has been steadily rising revenue, and business shifts

Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler catches a 22-yard touchdown pass during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. A new California law may prompt congressional action to allow student-athletes to be compensated. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images file photo)

For college football fanatics, nothing compares to waking up on that first crisp autumn Saturday morning to prepare for a whole day of game watching. Tuning in to ESPN’s “College GameDay.” Sipping bourbon at the tailgate without facing societal judgment for drinking before noon.

College football’s shared rituals and traditions provide millions with a weekly source of escapism and entertainment every fall. The game offers excitement, frustration and camaraderie on any given Saturday thanks to the dizzying skills of its student-athletes.

Iowa battlefield extends from politics to gridiron
Healthy trash talk is all part of life in Iowa-Iowa State rivalry

Sen. Joni Ernst is a proud Iowa State alumna, and not shy about it. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa is a perennial political battleground, but Iowans know the most intense contest happens on the gridiron every year, when the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones try to demolish one another in one of college football’s oldest rivalries.

The reward? A move up in conference ranking, bragging rights and the coveted Cy-Hawk trophy. This year, ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast from Iowa State territory in Ames for the first time in school history on Sept 14. Iowa won, 18-17.