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Heard on the Hill: Samoa’s Eni Faleomavaega Is in Step With Guam

Maybe it was the warm weather or the promise of a recess quickly approaching, but Members were in the partying mood when Guam celebrated the 66th anniversary of its liberation with a huge party in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room on Thursday.

Sponsored by Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D) and Del. Gregorio Sablan (D), who represents the neighboring Northern Marina Islands, the festivities featured traditional dishes and drinks (including tasty mango-flavored Bacardi cocktails), along with performances from dancers wearing native attire.

But the king of the party might have been Del. Eni Faleomavaega, who hails from Guam’s Pacific neighbor of American Samoa. HOH hears Faleomavaega called every American Samoan in the room to join him on stage to perform the Siva, a traditional Samoan dance.

Other Members who toasted Guam included House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Reps. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). Guam Gov. Felix Camacho also flew in for the soiree.

Teacher’s Pets?

Well, now we know who Tony Horton’s favorite students in Congress are.

The fitness guru, inventor of the popular exercise regime P90X, appeared at the National Press Club on Friday to discuss how his system is helping American troops get fit. But Horton also talked about the nation’s obesity epidemic, pointing out that several Washington power players are now taking a stand against obesity, including first lady Michelle Obama.

Horton added that several Members are also playing a role, giving a special shout-out to Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) — all of whom are known to have done the P90X regime, HOH notes.

Did Norton Predict the Earthquake?

The 3.6-magnitude earthquake that rocked Washington early Friday morning took everyone by surprise … or did it?

HOH couldn’t help notice that less than 24 hours before the unexpected quake, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill funding disaster payments to insurance policy holders stemming from “natural catastrophic events.”

Like, say, an earthquake … hmmm. The Democrat’s bill seemed awfully prescient, especially since earthquakes in the Washington area are exceptionally rare.

The text of the bill hadn’t yet been posted Friday, so we don’t know whether the measure specifically contemplates a quake in Washington, and Norton’s office didn’t return our call right away.

Perhaps she was too busy at her new job, moonlighting for the Weather Channel.

A Low-Key Table for One

Not all Senators dine at fancy restaurants with important people. Sometimes, they just want to kick back and eat a salad.

HOH eyed Sen. Sherrod Brown at the Cosi on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast on Thursday night as he ordered a salad and headed upstairs to the restaurant’s second level. The Ohio Democrat dined solo, although he chatted with restaurant patrons before settling in to quietly read a newspaper and eat.

An HOH Adieu

Dear HOH readers, it’s time for us to break up. It’s not you, it’s me. Can we still be friends?

After three and a half years of supplying you with a steady diet of dish, I’m giving up the gossip game to be Roll Call’s features writer. I’ll get the chance to write longer, more in-depth pieces and to tell the stories of the compelling characters and quirky institutions that make up our strange world of Capitol Hill.

Though I couldn’t be more excited about this new role, I’m a little sad, too.

It’s been a great ride. Of course, I’ll miss the puns. How rare is it to have a job that includes coming up with hot-dog jokes for an item about Rep. Anthony Weiner? And I don’t think I’ll ever again have the chance to use the word “natch” so liberally.

I must thank my trusty HOH co-pilots — first Anna Palmer, then Elizabeth Brotherton — and my editors and co-workers. (Beth will now be helming the Good Ship HOH alongside Alison McSherry, so I know the column is in good hands.)

But my biggest debt is to HOH’s loyal readers and those witty, observant and generous tipsters who supplied the fodder for these columns. You know who you are … but in true HOH fashion, I’ll never tell.

— Emily Heil

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Photos of the week ending June 14, 2024