Lawmakers Fete University of D.C.

Posted July 19, 2012 at 11:25pm

What event can bring together a bipartisan group of Members of Congress right before votes on a Thursday night, when many Members are in a rush to hightail it out of the city for the weekend?

It’s not Stephen Strasburg on the mound at Nationals Park, nor the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner, but rather the University of the District of Columbia’s third annual Capitol Hill Reception.

A number of Members – including Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and others – attended the Thursday night reception in the Rayburn House Office Building, which gathered together UDC students, administrators, D.C. government officials and the school’s board of trustees to celebrate the school and its accomplishments.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) was a co-host of the evening reception.

Patrick Bateman, UDC’s deputy director of federal relations, said Congress has been generous with its support for the university and its initiatives, and he touted a Congressional internship program the university has been running for a year as an example of the way Congress and the university work together.

Doyle said he came out to celebrate UDC’s success because D.C. is Members’ home away from home, and he felt it was important to support a university that seeks to better the community he spends a good amount of his time living in.

Issa, whose committee chairmanship oversees the District, echoed Doyle’s sentiments, saying UDC’s success helps make the city that Members of Congress live in during their workweek a better and safer place by educating the city’s residents.

“The success of this city is our success,” Issa told HOH. “This city continues to move in a great economic direction, crime is down, price of homes is up, the beauty of the city is up, all of that benefits the federal city for those of us who work here as federal officers, and certainly that’s the reason why we have a great relationship with the university.”