Heard on the Hill

Floor Charts for the Floor Show

Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Screenshot from C-SPAN)

Botched votes, eight-hour speeches, endless milling around — watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

On Feb. 8, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky discussed how much money the government spent on a National Science Foundation study to see if taking selfies makes people happier.

Paul uses a lot of floor charts, and @FloorCharts keeps track of his greatest hits

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of CSPAN)
(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

On Jan. 29, Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania gave a one-minute speech about a company within his district cleverly called Kanga Roof.

The company had just held its 10th Holiday Roof Giveaway, in which it gives a new roof to a family in the community.

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of CSPAN)
(Courtesy of @ThatSoRabin screenshot of C-SPAN)

On Feb. 6, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, displayed a simple one-word floor chart. 

It was a response to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Democrats committed treason when they did not applaud at his State of the Union.

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of CSPAN)
(Courtesy of @FloorCharts screenshot of CSPAN)

On Feb. 5, Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, brought a floor chart featuring a tweet that Speaker Paul D. Ryan had deleted. 

The tweet was criticized for being out of touch because it touted a $1.50 a week pay raise from the Republicans’ tax plan.

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