At the Corner of Budget Deal and Poverty

Hoyer discussed lessons learned from the past. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The budget hopefully will be coming up sooner than later,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said Wednesday.  

“Or maybe not,” House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said, laughing.  

Mayor Bowser Heads to Cuba on Saturday

Bowser is off to Cuba this weekend. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With President Barack Obama’s Cuba trip about a month away, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is headed to the Caribbean island.  

The goal of this trip is to form relationships for future opportunities in Cuba and “showcase the Washington metropolitan area’s strengths in transportation, tourism, health and education,” according to a news release.  

'City of Conversation' Illuminates Political Stage

Colin, left, and Hewitt, right. (C. Stanley Photography/ Arena Stage)

Arena Stage's production of "The City of Conversation" tells the story of national politics through the confines of Georgetown's elite salon culture, traversing three distinct recent eras.  

“I’m interested in D.C. politics in that this is where the rules are made that shape our lives,” Margaret Colin, who plays the main character, Hester Ferris, told HOH. “So I’ve been down here for protest marches since Roe v. Wade, I’ve been down here for my son, who went to Catholic University, so I’m familiar with D.C. But I’m here because it’s a really great part and I was invited to do it by a really great director.” The play opens in 1979 with Ferris working to procure the Democratic nomination for president for Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Hester prefers Kennedy over the incumbent, President Jimmy Carter whom she describes as nothing more than a "seat warmer President."  

Overheard: His Best?

Was this Obama's best State of the Union? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HOH received a bipartisan ‘yes’ and positive thoughts from lawmakers when asked if Tuesday night was President Barack Obama’s best State of the Union.  

“I thought it was the best of the eight that he’s given. The basic appeal to American values was good, the reaching out to [Speaker Paul D. Ryan] on the poverty issue was good, the acknowledgment that we got a lot done together last year … those were good things. I was pleased that he mentioned cancer … disappointed that he didn’t acknowledge that Republicans have doubled the increase what he asked for [in the omnibus]. He’s kind of catching up with us there.” –Rep Tom Cole, R-Okla. “Today was his best State of the Union, it was less political. It was an emotional moment when he declared a war on cancer; there is no member who hasn’t been affected by cancer.” –Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. “Today was very good, I think today was a good capstone. I think it was great that he had the opportunity to kind of broaden (his) vision, already transitioning from presidency to a statesman." –Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. “It didn’t seem to have as many highs and lows, the explosion, as many roaring applause lines. But it seemed more powerful, it seemed the tone was different than some of the other ones. A more thoughtful, deeper, tone than some of the previous ones and not just getting that great punch line.” –Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. “In fairness to the president, I’ve given my share of state addresses, they weren’t State of the Unions but I did eight of ‘em. Thematically, they’re very, very awkward speeches. You know, your staff and team give you like this colloquial laundry list of all the things you need to cover but thematically, it really doesn’t fit. So I have a degree of empathy for the president whether in this State of the Union address, in the last one, and they are difficult.” –Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. , referring to his eight years as South Carolina’s governor.  

The Red and Blue and Purple Carpet

Obama wore a blue tie and Biden and Ryan both wore red. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The best outfit pieces at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address were not visible from the cameras.  

“I’m wearing my Hillary necklace,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told HOH, holding up an “H” necklace over her gray sweater and jacket to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wore camouflage print low-heels, which she wore last year when she delivered the Republican response to the 2015 SOTU .  

Facebook Sees SOTU Chatter From Millions

People are discussing guns Guns in the context of the State of the Union on Facebook (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Guns are currently the most talked about topic on Facebook in the context of President Barack Obama and the State of the Union address, according to data released by the social media platform.  

The second most talked about is “Islam and Muslims,” according to Facebook, then ISIS, crime and criminal justice and terrorism. Overall, 15 million people have discussed the SOTU and Obama on Facebook in the past week.  

Designers on 2016 Presidential Campaign Logos: Meh

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s entrance into the 2016 presidential race  also meant the unveiling of his campaign logo: a bolded version of his last name with an American flag standing in for the letter “E.”  

Professional designers for the most part were not impressed with Walker’s logo — especially given its similarity to the logo of eyewear company America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses . And the general consensus on his logo and those of his rivals? A resounding "meh."  

Unions Target California Democrat Over Vote on Trade

Unions are searching for a primary opponent to Costa over his trade stance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Updated to better define Rob England's job title. The Democrats' battle over trade is not yet over, but unions are already zeroing in on a scapegoat: California Rep. Jim Costa.  

Costa is one of 28 Democrats who voted for Trade Promotion Authority last week — a vote that would give President Barack Obama the power to negotiate a trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations. Unions, which say Obama's plan will cost jobs in the U.S., have frozen campaign contributions to Democrats and threatened to put up candidates in primaries against those who support Obama's trade agenda.  

John Dingell, Ed Roybal Honored at White House

Dingell is the longest serving member of Congress ever. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two congressional trailblazers were among the 19 people to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom Monday, the highest honor awarded to a civilian.  

While Stevie Wonder smiled broadly as President Barack Obama related that one of Wonder’s records was the first he ever purchased with his own money, Obama also paid his respects to the late Rep. Edward Roybal, D-Calif., founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and retiring Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress ever.

Bill Cassidy Utilizes Weekly GOP Address, Again

Cassidy gave the weekly Republican address again last weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heading into a Dec. 6 runoff in Louisiana against Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Rep. Bill Cassidy took a second crack at the Republican weekly address to make his case for election to the Senate.

Just as in his first address in June, the doctor by trade recalled interactions with patients as a prominent forum to hear constituent concerns on the direction of the country.