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Heard on the Hill: Workin’ on His Fitness

Despite the heat and a busy workweek, Sen. James Inhofe managed to get in a little exercise Tuesday morning — just as he does every morning.

An HOH spy eyed the Oklahoma Republican power walking in Stanton Park on Capitol Hill, sporting an orange T-shirt, khaki shorts and a pair of “old-school ear phones” on his head.

The sighting shouldn’t come as a surprise: Inhofe tells HOH that for decades now he has jogged and walked for 40 minutes each morning to stay in shape.

And Inhofe’s a multitasker, listening to news radio shows on his headset to get the morning news while he works out.

“I’m real smart by the time the 40 minutes are up,” he jokes.

Rayburn Rodents

One office on Capitol Hill is having trouble getting rid of its newest staffer — a small, furry, four-legged one.

A House aide tells HOH that a mouse is loose in his office’s Rayburn House Office Building suite but that the Architect of the Capitol can’t set up traps because it has run out.

“The superintendent’s office just said they were out of traps because they have been inundated with requests for them,” the tipster reports.

Could there be a Capitol Hill mouse infestation?

Not likely, according to AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki, who says a “very aggressive regularly scheduled extermination program” keeps rodents at bay. She adds that the AOC has not denied traps to any office and that there is not a shortage.

For now, the Rayburn staffers are doing their best to avoid their unwanted co-worker by leaping onto their desks.

“I think our office would definitely qualify for the synchronized high jump, if there were such a thing,” our tipster says.

Shadow Senator’s Crown Jewel

D.C. shadow Sen. Paul Strauss (D) couldn’t join the floor debate Tuesday on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court — D.C. lacks Congressional voting rights, after all — so instead, he spent the day escorting Miss D.C. Stephanie Williams around the Capitol.

Not a bad consolation prize, eh?

Williams wore her full beauty queen regalia — tiara, sash, formal gown — for her visit, which included watching the Kagan debate and eating lunch in the Members’ dining room. Strauss tells HOH that he hopes Williams will get involved with the D.C. voting rights movement (and Williams later told HOH she plans to help out with the effort).

Strauss points out that, in a way, Williams represents D.C. more than he does.

“In Miss America, D.C. gets to compete fairly and gets represented,” Strauss says. “Here in this building, we don’t.”

Cupcake Committee

Nothing like a dozen cupcakes to make a wonky Senate meeting a little more fun.

Georgetown Cupcake owners and sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne arrived at a roundtable discussion hosted by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on Tuesday with a box of treats.

The pair, whose ordeals running their bakery are chronicled on the TLC show “D.C. Cupcakes,” say staffers and Members are some of their best customers. “We come up here for lots of deliveries,” LaMontagne says.

While Georgetown Cupcake may be the most successful small business in the country, according to Landrieu, the owners say the bakery almost didn’t open. The sisters struggled to find a bank loan to get things started until Eagle Bank took a chance on them.

Being Teachers for the Day

Summer and school don’t mix for most people, but they do in Arne Duncan’s world.

The secretary of Education gathered some of his Congressional friends Tuesday to read nature-themed books to about 80 children at Department of Education headquarters — and it turns out the Members-turned-teachers learned a little, too.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) read “The Lorax” aloud, while D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) read “Our Earth.”

“Some of the things about how we got deserts and dry lands I had forgotten,” Norton said afterward. “So, I think we ought to go back to our children’s books every once in a while.”

Maybe that’s the solution to passing climate change legislation?

The event was part of the “Let’s Read. Let’s Move” campaign, an attempt to keep kids mentally and physically stimulated through the summer. Others on hand included National Endowment for the Arts CEO Rocco Landesman and singer Cat Power, who read the classic “The Giving Tree.”

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Photos of the week ending June 14, 2024