Heard on the Hill: Oh, Right. It’s Valentine’s Day!

Posted February 15, 2011 at 6:15pm

Perhaps he forgot to send his valentine a card?

Rep. Steve King briefly appeared flustered Monday evening — Valentine’s Day, we note — as he waited to testify before the House Rules Committee. The Iowa Republican waited behind Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who were answering questions about the continuing resolution.

After about an hour and a half of testimony, Rules Chairman David Dreier released Dicks and thanked him for coming.

“Mr. Dicks is a very busy man, and he’s spent a great deal of time with us,” the California Republican said, prompting Dicks to note, “And it’s Valentine’s Day.”

Just then, a light seemed to go off in King’s head.

King said something under his breath, smiled, slammed his papers on the chair next to him and started vigorously typing on what appeared to be his BlackBerry, a spy tells us. A C-SPAN video from the hearing confirms this — King can be seen sitting behind Dicks, and his eyes get wide after Dicks mentions Valentine’s Day. Although the camera then pans to Dreier, when it gets back to Dicks, King is seen furiously typing away.

“Don’t [know] who the message was to, but it seemed to be triggered by the reminder that it was either dinnertime or late-ish on Valentine’s Day,” our tipster says.

A King spokesman did not immediately return HOH’s request for comment, but King seemed OK when he testified. He even recalled that Rules member Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) was his valentine — or rather, date — to the State of the Union address. “That was a great time,” McGovern recalled, laughing.