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Adios, La Loma: Requiem for a Senate-side institution
Mitch McConnell calls it ‘the shutdown we all oppose!!’

La Loma, a popular Mexican restaurant at 316 Massachusetts Avenue NE, has closed. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whether it was the convenient location a short walk from the Capitol, the bustling street-side patio or the tanker-sized margaritas, La Loma carved out a place in the life of Capitol Hill. And just like that, its 21-year Senate-side run on Massachusetts Avenue Northeast was over. 

If any place proved the real estate maxim of location, location, location, it was La Loma. Southwestern natives grumbled about the quality and execution of the fare, but it didn’t matter. Even the rain or cold wasn’t enough sometimes to keep people away from the patio, festooned with its green awning and multihued umbrellas, particularly during happy hour. And when the sun was out, it made for a mad dash to lunch, particularly on the Senate’s semi-workdays, Monday and Friday — and especially during recess. 

Bend it like Bacon
Members face off in the 7th annual soccer match

Democrats have owned the pitch in recent years, but Don Bacon has been practicing hard.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’m no soccer expert (believe it or not), but I know enough to know that when someone in the United States gets excited about “football,” it’s rarely over a little leather black-and-white ball getting kicked around.

So when I saw the announcement for this year’s Congressional Soccer Match, I felt bad. Bad because I had forgotten there was a congressional “soccer” game — which, by the way, has its very own Wikipedia page.

The Bachelorette and football: Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of May 20-26

The rosé will be flowing at Stoney’s “Bachelorette” watch party. (CQ Roll Call)

Yes, you can ride in a bow tie, and other lessons from Bike to Work Day
Rep. Earl Blumenauer joined packs of cyclists for the annual commute and free T-shirt frenzy

(Ed Felker/CQ Roll Call)

We caught up with Rep. Earl Blumenauer as he whizzed down the street during his Friday commute to Capitol Hill.

(And by “we” I mean my colleague and cycling enthusiast Ed Felker, who puts the pedal to the pavement rain or shine and kindly wore a GoPro for the occasion.)

Republican players are low, but camaraderie is high ahead of Congressional Softball Game
Lawmakers and press corps unite to fight against breast cancer

Florida Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor waits for her pitch at last year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. This year’s game is scheduled for June 19. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The official list of players in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game is OUT! (to be read in an umpire’s voice) and we have just over a month before members of Congress and the D.C. press corps face each other on the field again.

The members team, which is historically composed of a bipartisan bunch of female lawmakers, has seen a decreasing number of Republican players over the years, one of them being last year’s MVP, former Rep. Mia Love. This year Sens. Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito, Res. Cmmsr. Jenniffer González-Colón and Rep. Martha Roby make up less than a third of the team.

Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix recalls her ‘most terrifying days’
Felix testifies on maternal health and mortality on Capitol Hill

Allyson Felix, U.S. track and field Olympic gold medalist, testifies Thursday during a House Ways and Means hearing in the Longworth Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track and field star in American history, was on Capitol Hill on Thursday — not to discuss the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or preach about fitness, or boast about her gold medals, but to speak to the rising maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist began her statement humbly: “I’m Camryn’s mom.” The testimony that followed was birthed from her own personal experience. When Felix was 32 weeks pregnant, a prenatal doctor’s appointment and common case of “swollen feet” led to bedrest and the discovery of preeclampsia, which put her and her unborn baby at risk. Doctors then scheduled an emergency C-section.

Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell eulogize Richard Lugar with Capital Challenge memories
Vice president and Senate majority leader were among dignitaries in Indianapolis for Lugar’s funeral on Wednesday

The late Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., was a regular participant in the ACLI Capital Challenge (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

It was fitting that Sen. Richard G. Lugar’s funeral service would take place the same day as the ACLI Capital Challenge race, and both Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took full advantage of the fortuitous timing.

Pence, the former Indiana governor and congressman, and McConnell, from neighboring Kentucky, were among the dignitaries who made the trip to Indianapolis for the Wednesday afternoon funeral. The group traveling aboard Air Force Two included other lawmakers, as well as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Kyrsten Sinema and Mike Gallagher are still the fastest members of Congress
Arizona senator and Wisconsin rep repeat in ACLI Capital Challenge

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher were the fastest members of Congress in Wednesday’s ACLI Capital Challenge. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

The chill in this morning’s air wasn’t enough to give runners cold feet at the annual ACLI Capital Challenge.

The race, in its 38th year, pits members of Congress, high-ranking political appointees and judges, and members of the media against each other in a 3-mile race to see who’s the fastest — and fittest — in D.C.

Sen. Ron Wyden has a surprise prediction for the Portland Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter could be the series X factor, Wyden says

Sen. Ron Wyden high-fives fans after the final buzzer in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals in May. (Courtesy Ron Wyden)

Last time Heard on the Hill caught up with Sen. Ron Wyden, the 2016 NBA Finals were underway. Asked which team would take home the championship that year, the Oregonian ran with his fellow West Coasters, the Golden State Warriors, over the Cleveland Cavaliers. (LeBron, however, had other plans.)

Now, as the 2019 Western Conference finals tip off Tuesday night in Oakland, the longtime Portland Trail Blazers fan has a more black-and-red choice of a champion.

Stoney’s turns up as former Hill staffer Luke Stone makes ‘Bachelorette’ debut
Stone, who was once a staff assistant for Rep. Brad Sherman, overcomes cringeworthy first impression

Former Hill staffer Luke Stone’s “Bachelorette” appearance stopped some Stoney’s patrons in mid-bite. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

D.C.’s own Luke Stone cleaned up last night on “The Bachelorette” and scored himself another shot on his quest for Hannah B’s love.

As you can see from “chicken wing guy” in the above photo, he had viewers uncertain of his fate up until about the last 10 minutes of the season premiere.