Capitol Hill

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.

‘Mr. President will correct the record:’ Trouble with names, speakers and Roman numerals — Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of May 12, 2019

Workers begin setting up the stage for the annual Memorial Day Concert on the West Front of the Capitol on May 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress was abuzz this week with flip phones, mispronunciations and confusion over who’s turn it was to speak.

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.

Katie Porter receives the gift of poetry for Mother’s Day
Hallmark may have found its next card writer

California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter’s son honored his mom on Mother’s Day with a poem paying homage to her profession. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

These days, moms are lucky to get a text from their own offspring wishing them a “Happy Mother's Day!” If they’re really lucky, they’ll get a post on Instagram (that they may or may not see). If they’re REALLY lucky, a FaceTime (lookin’ at you, Mom).

Rep. Katie Porter received the gift of poetry.

Mother’s Day can be tough. Here’s how one woman copes
‘I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,’ says former Hill staffer Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik poses with her book “Longing for Motherhood” on Friday. Mother’s Day isn’t always easy, but this policy director has hope. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While a lot of us will spend Mother’s Day scrolling through Instagram and double-tapping our friends’ “First Mother’s Day! #blessed” posts, Chelsea Patterson Sobolik, a former Hill staffer, will avoid it all.

“I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,” she says.

Hey Congress, there’s an app for that!
Students swarm Capitol Hill, showcase computer science skills

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#HouseOfCode, a Computer Science Festival on Capitol Hill, welcomed 232 students from 129 congressional districts who all assembled in a packed room inside Rayburn. These high-tech middle and high schoolers wore their “congressional app challenge” cotton tees with pride, favoring computer applications over the typical D.C. attire. The task was to showcase their contributions to computer science and, once I showed up, explain “coding.”

“Coding ... is a language where you’re trying to write an application,” high school senior Ryan Lee began explaining before his galactic-themed game, “Space Exploration,” caught my attention. (I’m a sucker for space and, full disclosure, he lost me at “language.”)

Watch: Schumer pays tribute to journalist and former classmate Robert Pear

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer mourned Washington journalism legend Robert Pear on the Senate floor Wednesday, May 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The congressman spent his weekend falling 12,000 feet. What’d you do?
The sky is the limit for Rep. Jeff Duncan

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If Rep. Jeff Duncan looks a little winded today, it might be because he fell 12,000 feet from a helicopter this weekend.

It’s her third battle with cancer, but the New York City Marathon awaits
When Kristina Baum’s not fielding press calls as a Capitol Hill staffer, she’s training for the big race

Kristina Baum’s third and latest cancer diagnosis came from a routine check-up and an almost-canceled MRI on a busy Monday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Kristina Baum’s high school track coach didn’t think she was fast enough for his team. He doubted she could handle a 2-mile race, so he put her in one anyway, hoping to weed her out. He wanted her to quit.

She didn’t prove him wrong that day, and that was nature’s fault; the skies opened up, canceling the race. But it takes about 30 seconds in her presence to realize something about Baum: she’s definitely not a quitter.

Shooting of Capitol Police Officers Was Turning Point for Department
20 years later, department has seen budget nearly quadruple as concerns rose

Members of the United States Capitol Police honor guard stand with a wreath during the annual United States Capitol Police memorial service on May 8 honoring the four USCP officers who have died in the line of duty. This year is the 20th anniversary of the deaths of Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson while protecting the U.S. Capitol from a gunman'’s attack on July 24, 1998. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It has been 20 years since a man with a gun walked into the U.S. Capitol and went on a shooting rampage that killed two Capitol Police personnel and set off two decades of hardening security around Capitol Hill.

Security protocols have ramped up everywhere from airports to museums, and much of the change is attributed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. But on Capitol Hill, the deaths of Detective John M. Gibson and Officer Jacob J. Chestnut on July 24, 1998, prompted big changes even before the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.