Monday, June 14, 2010

Day on the Hill

As always you can go to the Flickr page for more photos.

On April 27 at 1pm, we all headed to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman David Drier, CMC alum from the class of 1975 and an alum of the Washington Program, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, my boss and representative. Mr. Drier has an office in the Capitol (something which only party leadership usually gets). Although some of us, including me, got there a little late, we all found our way into his office. His is the only office with a pinball machine in it (as you can see in the picture). As the former chairman and the current ranking member, he discussed with us the role of the House Rules Committee. He explained the difference between an open and closed rule, and his hopes that the open rule would be used more this year. He also explained the “read the bill” phenomenon, and how that originated due to a bill that was rushed through a couple of years ago. We then went around the room and explained where we were interning and what we were doing at each place. We also got to ask some questions. We then snapped a picture back in his private study.

We then went outside to the Capitol steps to wait for Ms. Schakowsky. It was a busy day with several different Members of Congress meeting various groups from their districts out on the steps. One prominent voice on the steps was a protestor who was in favor of the new immigration law that had passed in Arizona (this was only two or three days after it was signed into law). When we got to meet with Ms. Schakowsky, we went around the circle and explained where we were interning and then took a picture with her. At this point, most of the members had left and we were one of the only groups left. The protestor, possibly knowing Schakowsky’s liberal positions (she was named the most liberal member of the House), decided to focus on her. As we stood there taking the picture, he yelled at her non-stop, calling her “sweet lips” and “toots.” Although it was clear that we could hear him, we did our best to ignore him. Dr. Spalding then asked her to rate the heckler and she humorously said that he had some of the best pitch and consistency she had heard and that his performance is a testament to the first amendment. She went on to explain her opposition to the new Arizona law. We had a quick meeting because she was late for a meeting off of the Hill, but it will certainly be one of my most memorable experiences with a Member of Congress.

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