It’s August and Washington, DC has slowed down considerably – especially if you’re in traffic and trying to make it to Nationals Stadium in time for the first pitch. The House and Senate are on recess and overworked legislative staff who haven’t seen daylight for months have either left town altogether or are wearing jeans to work and taking it sloooow…
Legislators may have put policy issues behind them this month, but there are big problems waiting for them when they return after Labor Day. None of the annual spending bills have passed the Senate, the emergency supplemental aid to address the Central American immigration crisis hasn’t been passed, and there are hundreds of Presidential appointments to various government posts that await Senate confirmation.Read More
A bright, amicable woman stood out in the hallway and waved excitedly to us.
“Are you here for the documentary screening?” she asked eagerly, and when Tim and I nodded, she introduced herself as Jaime Saul, executive producer of the film we were about to watch. Inside what is normally a full-fledged committee hearing room, the film’s director, Grant Knisely, welcomed us warmly and thanked us for coming. As the House had passed a package of trafficking bills (our HTPA bill included) just days before, and given the anticipation of the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, the timing of this film could not have not been better.
This morning as I walked my two dogs, I passed a charming park full of playground equipment. It is just a couple blocks from my house in Washington, DC’s, Capitol Hill neighborhood, and there wasn’t a day I didn’t take my girls there when they were small. It teems with toddlers, nannies, strollers, grandparents – but not today. The iron gate was chained and padlocked and a large laminated sign hung from it, stating that the park is closed because of the federal government shut-down.
RECESS IS OVER AND MUCH TO DO
I have many friends who are legislative aides in the House and Senate, both Democrats and Republicans. They are much on my heart this week, as legislators returned to Washington from a five-week recess. They and their hard-working staff are taking up the solemn issue of whether to approve the use of force against the Syrian government in the wake of the regime’s recent use of chemical weapons against the civilian population near Damascus. Legislative aides and their bosses will also be struggling with a broken budget process that may well end up in a government shut-down in coming weeks, and increasing tensions between the executive and legislative branches.
A LITTLE HELP FOR THE HILL TRIBESRead More