Heard on the Hill

Photos of the Week: Farewell to George H.W. Bush Edition
The week of Dec. 3 as captured by Roll Call's photojournalists

Mike Dean, chief upholsterer of the House of Representatives, vacuums the Lincoln catafalque as the Capitol prepares for the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week, Congress paused to pay respects to the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at age 94.

Here’s the entire week in Washington:

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill
Scalise has a new floor director, Mink is honored in Hawaii, and Corker sends off grads

Dominic Gregoire, 10, holds a picture of Tyrel Wheeler, who was killed in a 2011 Massachusetts shooting, at an event with lawmakers and victims to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention on Thursday. Dominic's aunt, Nina Bradley, was also killed by a gun. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

The Ethics Nightmare Before Christmas
Whatever you do, don’t eat the pizza

Toy soldier Christmas decorations stand guard in front of the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Dec. 6. Holiday parties on the Hill can be an ethical minefield. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

December can be a minefield for members of Congress and staff trying to celebrate, socialize and not step over the line. With the holiday season already well underway, inboxes are strewn with invitations, and booze and gifts lie in wait at every turn.

Whatever you do, don’t eat the pizza. At parties around Washington, it’s not the calories that count — it’s whether the food and drink comply with strict ethical guidelines.

For Riverby Books, a Time to Close
For owner Paul Cymrot, decision was personal, based on several factors

Paul Cymrot, the owner of Riverby Books, in one of the store’s coziest spots. He is closing the store’s Capitol Hill location at the end of the month. Cymrot and his father Steve opened it in 2001. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The closing of Riverby Books’ Capitol Hill location brings with it all the hallmarks of the great literature that animated its business: a sense of place, change, ambiguity and loss.

“I love the way it looks. I love the way it feels. I have a lot of memories here. It’s a neighborly place,” owner Paul Cymrot said of what he will miss most about the store he opened at 417 East Capitol St. SE in 2001 with his father, Steve.

Andy Barr Started Out as Mitch McConnell’s Intern
‘I kind of dove right in,’ Kentucky Republican says

From Mitch McConnell’s intern to Heritage Foundation hire, Andy Barr had worn a lot of hats in Washington before he returned as a lawmaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thousands of House and Senate staffers storm across Capitol Hill each day, many with ambitions of their own for one day holding higher office. They may want to take a page out of Rep. Andy Barr’s book.

The Kentucky Republican, fresh off a 51-48 victory over Democratic fighter pilot Amy McGrath in the midterms last month, will be back for a fourth term in January. It all started with an internship in Mitch McConnell’s office.

The Antonia Ferrier Guide to Being Kind and Not Sweating the Small Stuff
Veteran Capitol Hill aide joining public affairs firm Definers

Antonia Ferrier is leaving the Senate to work in public affairs at Definers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Antonia Ferrier is moving on from Capitol Hill, but she isn’t totally done with politics.

“I will definitely keep my toe, if not my foot, in politics,” the veteran staffer said in an interview at a coffeeshop downtown Thursday. She’s still figuring out exactly how she will continue to help the Republican team, and for now is looking forward to her new role off the Hill in public affairs.

Capitol Christmas Tree Glows After Delay in Honor of Bush
Speaker Paul Ryan lights up the ‘People’s Tree’ for his fourth and final time

The Capitol Christmas tree is seen alongside the Capitol Dome after the official lighting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. (Jerel Flint/CQ Roll Call)

As Speaker Paul D. Ryan flipped the Christmas switch for the last time on Thursday, he paid tribute to a man he called a “beacon of joy.”

“This is my fourth and final time leading this event, and each time the tree is more stunning,” Ryan said before lighting the Capitol Christmas tree.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill
Here’s what’s happening on Thursday, Dec. 6

The Capitol Christmas tree stands in front of the Capitol on Wednesday. The annual tree lighting was postponed from Tuesday until tonight because of the funeral of of President George H.W. Bush. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

These 10 Lines Had Dignitaries Laughing at Bush’s Funeral
Longtime friend Alan Simpson delivered a moving eulogy peppered with knee-slappers

Members of the public pay their respect at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 3. A day later, at Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral, a longtime friend lightened the somber mood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“He placed great value on a good joke,” George W. Bush said Wednesday at his father’s funeral. “That’s why he asked [Alan] Simpson to speak.”

The elder Bush’s longtime friend, a Wyoming Republican, is known for his blunt speech and humorous style, whether during his time as a senator or in a series of high-profile public roles.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill
Reid name change tabled, Faso says no, and members pay their respects to Bush

NBC’s Chris Matthews, center, and Bret Baier of Fox News pay their respects to George H. W. Bush in the Capitol Rotunda as the former president lies in state on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see, too.

She Won Two Elections in One Day
Take 5: Susan Wild just took the oath. Come January, she’ll do it all over again

Rep.-elect Susan Wild, D-Pa., is seen after the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Susan Wild got elected to Congress this fall. Twice.

A resignation and a bout of redistricting paved the way for her dual wins. The Democrat got sworn in Nov. 27 to replace Charlie Dent, who had resigned to take a television gig

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill
Speier opens up, Maloney looks back, and Rubio has dibs on Dolphins job

A member of the military salutes as the casket of the late George H.W. Bush is carried into the Capitol to lie in state in the Rotunda on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see, too.

Tornado Strikes Congressman’s Hometown, Grazes McDonald’s His Dad Built
Rodney Davis breaks out the chain saw after rare December tornadoes

The McDonald’s co-owned by Davis’ dad and brother took a hit when a tornado passed through town. (Courtesy Rep. Rodney Davis)

After a rare December tornado hit his hometown in central Illinois over the weekend, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis is on cleanup duty. 

While his own family and property went unharmed, many neighbors got hit hard. And the twister banged up the sign of the business where Davis first worked as a teenager — a local McDonald’s franchise built by his dad.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Davis’ hometown takes a hit, Ryan takes on science, and Kilmer is an art project

An America flag flies at half-staff on the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building in honor of the former President George H.W. Bush. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see, too.

Jim Hagedorn Follows in His Father’s Office Footsteps
Minnesota Republican picks the same office suite as his father

Rep.-elect Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., got the office he wanted — the same one his father occupied back in the day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Jim Hagedorn got a little nostalgic Friday during the office lottery for incoming members of the 116th Congress. He picked Cannon 325 — the same suite his father occupied when he served in the House more than four decades ago.

The Minnesota Republican drew the number 45 earlier in the day, which meant he was relying on the 44 members who came before him in the afternoon office picking session not to choose the suite that holds special meaning for him.