I got to sit in the gallery in the house chambers on Thursday morning, which I've been wanting to do since I've been here. It was a great time to be there watching. When we got there, they were debating on the Stock Act which would outlaw insider trading among congressmen. It was pretty unanimous that insider trading should be illegal, but the democrats were struggling with some of the other stuff that was stuck in the bill they didn't like. Nancy Pelosi then got up and gave a speech urging the dems to pass it and send it to conference, as these negative parts of it could be changed then. Watching votes is pretty exciting. Most of the time there aren't many congressmen in the chambers, but when they vote, they all have to be there so an alarm sounds and they all come from their offices to put in their vote. The room is really bustling when there are 400+ congressmen in there. The vote lasts 15 minutes, and when it gets to the end of the time it is pretty nuts as the last few come rushing in and everyone basically shouts at the speaker of the house to wait for one or two more! These panels above the press box light up with all the congressman's last names and either a green Y or a red N to show how they voted. Then afterwards they had a 5 minute vote on whether to send it to conference. Both votes were pretty uncontested at 400 something to less than 10. Then, there was discussion on next week's schedule. Eric Cantor (House Majority Leader) and Steny Hoyer (Minority Whip) were going back and forth about different timings for at least 30 minutes. It was AWESOME! I could sit in there all day, and it was great that I got to see a lot of the leaders speak. Unfortunately, you can't take pictures in the chambers so I can't show you all what it was like.
I also finally got to meet with our office's communications director and talk about PR for a while and some ideas I had come up with. I've been hoping to do that for a while, and it is a great reminder of what I want to do and how much I love it. I also got a recommendation for a pretty interesting sounding book about PR so I ordered that right away and am excited to read it when it comes in the mail.
Another exciting piece of news from this week is that Jake is coming to see me! I am thrilled! I left to come here thinking I wouldn't get to see him for four months, as we didn't know if either of us could get off any time from work. It was a great surprise that things worked out, and I will have to start planning some exciting things for us to do while he is here.
I guess I never wrote about it on here, but my aunt, my cousin, and my cousin's partner are also coming to see me! They have never been to DC and thought it would be a great time to come while I am here. I have been getting ready for them to visit, too. I haven't seen my cousin since I was really young, and I've never met her partner since they live in California so that will be a lot of fun.
Thursday we went to see our second play for theater class. It was called Time Stands Still. The story is about a couple who are a photojournalist and writer, and they just got back from a war zone. The woman was severely injured and almost died from a roadside bombing so they have to reevaluate putting their lives on the line for their jobs. It really made you question why people would put themselves in danger to take a picture, film something, or write about it. It is amazing the dedication people have to a profession like that.
Yesterday, I went to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. They are in the same building, which is basically divided down the middle. There is an entire section of portraits of the presidents and many other portraits, including some of pretty recently famous people. The American art was neat too with some older parts and some more modern art. It was actually snowing when I left the museum, and it was very very cold today.
|Front of the Museum|
|Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts|
|Different portrait of Bill!|
|Cool piece of American modern art|