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This Bipartisan Holiday Party Was for the Dogs
Florida representatives dress up Congress’ furry friends for their second annual howliday bash

From left, Reps. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Mini Poodle, Zoey, Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Welsh Terrier, Riggins, Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Mini Goldendoodle, Carmela, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and D.C. pound dog, Maya, pose for a picture at the Bipawtisan Howliday in Rayburn Building on December 10, 2018. Riggins is owned by Curbelo's communications director Joanna Rodriguez. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For nearly 15 minutes, Riggins, a 3 1/2-year-old Welsh terrier, sat alone in his elf costume, surrounded by fawning Hill staffers. The House’s second annual Bipawtisan Howliday celebration was off to a slow start.

When another canine finally joined the party, Riggins couldn’t contain his excitement. The male dog mounted Carmela, a 1-year-old mini goldendoodle, and the human attendees erupted in laughter as the owners broke up the display of affection.

Nearly 150 Activists Arrested in ‘Green New Deal’ Protest
The idea is especially popular among young voters, and many of the protesters were students

Capitol Police move media and protesters back as protesters with the Sunrise Movement demonstrate in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office demanding a climate New Deal from Democrats on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The group spearheading the effort for House Democrats to move Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” to the top of their legislative agenda appeared to score a victory on Monday as more than 1,000 demonstrators stormed the Capitol Hill offices of Democratic House leaders to stage sit-ins.

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, emerged from his office to address protesters and promised them that he is “committed to the House Select Committee on a Green New Deal.”

Rep. Mark Meadows on Trump’s Short List for Chief of Staff: Reports
Freedom Caucus chairman would be president’s third chief of staff in less than two years

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has been floated as a potential replacement for chief of staff in the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his top advisers are considering whether to make Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, his next chief of staff.

Axios first reported the president’s consideration of Meadows, one of his fiercest defenders in the House since he took office.

House Judiciary Democrat Promises ‘In Essence’ Impeachment Hearings
Steve Cohen introduced articles of impeachment in November 2017

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where Congress oversees impeachment proceedings, and first introduced articles of impeachment last year. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A leading Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee referred to the business empire of President Donald Trump as a “criminal enterprise” on Sunday and promised to investigate allegations that he has used his White House office to enrich himself.

The Trump Organization is “a criminal enterprise that he and his family has been engaged in, to run for president and once they got the presidency they monetized it,” Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen said in an interview with MSNBC.

With Opponents Dug In, Pelosi Has Little Room to Negotiate on Speaker Votes
At least 15 Pelosi opponents say they remain firm and will not vote ‘present’

Reps.-elect Max Rose, D-N.Y., left, and Jason Crow, D-Colo., pictured fist bumping at the new member office lottery on Nov. 30, are among the Democrats firmly opposed to Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid. Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., is among those who voted against Pelosi in caucus elections but appears open to supporting her on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 15 Democrats resisting Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid are holding firm in their opposition and say they plan to vote for someone other than the California Democrat during the Jan. 3 speaker election, providing Pelosi with little room to negotiate a victory.

With the House poised to have 235 Democrats seated on the opening day of the 116th Congress when the speaker election takes place, Pelosi can only afford to have 17 Democrats vote and say a name that is not hers to meet the 218-vote majority threshold. 

Baseball Legend Larry Doby Tapped for Congressional Gold Medal
Civil rights icon broke color barrier in the American League

Larry Doby in his days with the Chicago White Sox. (National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby is getting the Congressional Gold Medal.

The move drew praise from lawmakers not only from his home state of New Jersey, but also from Ohio, where Doby debuted and starred for the Cleveland Indians. After the Senate passed legislation last week to authorize the award, the next step is a signature from President Donald Trump.

Voting Rights Piece May Take More Time in Ethics Overhaul
“We’re not going to put any fixed deadline on that,” Sarbanes says

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., says work on a voting rights component of the Democrats’ planned ethics overhaul may require more time. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats who are preparing an overhaul of political and ethics laws, a top priority of the incoming majority, have acknowledged that a component aimed at restoring a key section of the Voting Rights Act may take longer than their speedy timeline for the bill.

Other pieces of the overhaul, which Democratic leaders have said they will designate as House bill 1 in the new Congress, could also run parallel to the main package as a way to garner bipartisan support in the Senate, said Rep. John Sarbanes, the Maryland Democrat who is crafting the bill.

Harvard Tradition Agitates Democrats’ Left Wing
Number of lobbyists, not identifying some as such, at orientation for incoming Democrats draws criticism

New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against the many corporate interests present at the Harvard Bipartisanship Orientation for New Members. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

A prestigious, 50-year-old orientation for new members of Congress at Harvard University predicated on the virtues of bipartisanship and civility has drawn intense criticism this week for the presence of lobbyists and business executives — evidence of the growing influence of the left wing of the Democratic Party that has abstained from corporate PAC money.

Most incoming members of Congress attend the storied Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress, which ran from Tuesday to Thursday. Since 1972, the Harvard Institute of Politics has hosted more than 700 current and former representatives, according to the school’s website.

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.

Trump Signs Spending Bill, Setting Up High-Stakes Oval Office Showdown
President will meet Tuesday morning with Pelosi and Schumer

Junior, a migrant from Honduras, waves the American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on November 25, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a two-week spending measure Friday that will avert a partial government shutdown, setting up a high-stakes meeting with congressional Democratic leaders who are opposed to his $5 billion border wall funding demand.

The House Appropriations Committee — not the White House — announced in a tweet that the Homeland Security Department and other unfunded agencies would not shut down later Friday. White House press aides had been unable to clearly state when their boss would put pen to paper.