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Heard on the Hill: Brown’s Brief Briefing

Sen. Scott Brown might be a former model, but he wasn’t exactly displaying model behavior during a classified briefing last week.

The Massachusetts Republican raised a few eyebrows during a Tuesday briefing for members of the Homeland Security and Intelligence committees when he insisted on asking questions out of turn, a senior staffer who attended the briefing tells HOH. According to the staffer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Intelligence panel, asked Senators to hold off on their questions until all the assembled agencies finished their presentations.

But Brown interrupted the proceedings before officials from the final agency spoke, telling colleagues he was pressed for time. And when Feinstein reiterated her plan to let all the agencies speak before Senators could pose questions, Brown used a well-worn excuse. “He said, ‘My wife is in town, and you know how that goes,'” the staffer said.

After asking his out-of-turn questions, Brown slipped out of the room.

“I think people were pretty surprised. … It was like his time was more important,” the staffer said.

Brown’s office disputed the story and insisted that Brown asked questions along with other Senators in the hush-hush briefing.

The Rocker and The Lobbyist

It was like a mini high school reunion when alt-rockers Sister Hazel played the 9:30 Club on Saturday night. The band’s lead singer gave a shout-out from onstage to his classmate, lobbyist Dan Berger.

An HOH tipster tells us that Ken Block, the band’s frontman, greeted Berger, who’s a lobbyist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, during a break between songs.

Berger was in the audience with his wife, Aimee.

The two men attended Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla. But they clearly took quite different career tracks after graduation; we’re guessing Berger wears a suit and tie way more often than his rock-star fellow alum.

How to Celebrate the Passage of This Resolution? A Road Trip!

Just in time for that summertime family vacay — you know, the one complete with stops at the button museum and world’s largest ball of twine — the Senate has passed legislation recognizing June as “RV Centennial Celebration Month.”

Sponsored by Indiana Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and Dick Lugar (R), the resolution honors the 100th anniversary of the recreational vehicle in the United States, noting that the RV is a beloved, affordable way for Americans to vacation (one in 12 U.S. households owns one).

“RV vacations allow families in the United States to build stronger relationships, explore the great outdoors, and take part in healthy activities,” the resolution reads. Furthermore, according to the resolution, “an RV offers the freedom, comfort, and flexibility to see all parts of the United States, from historic landmarks and National Parks to local campgrounds and sporting events.”

So fill up that tank and head out on the open road — and make sure to stop by the world’s tallest thermometer.

Baucus Goes Incognito

HOH spotted Sen. Max Baucus flying very much under the radar at the brand-new Aqua al 2 restaurant on Capitol Hill on Friday night.

The Montana Democrat and his girlfriend, Melodee Hanes, stopped by the new Hill hot spot and apparently didn’t have reservations. When the host told them to wait at the bar, the Finance chairman clearly didn’t engage in the kind of “do-you-know-who-I-am” tirade that often gets Washington VIPs tables when they want them.

Instead, anti-diva Baucus and his date cooled their heels for a few minutes before apparently deciding to grab dinner elsewhere.

Senators: Sometimes they really are just like the rest of us.

Overheard on the Hill

“Meeting w new group of interns for DC office. They will b on staff for 6 wks.”

— Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a Monday afternoon tweet. Be warned, dear readers: Looks like the yearly swarm of khaki-clad summer interns is headed our way.

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Photos of the week ending June 14, 2024