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Word on the Hill: Brandon Marshall’s Big Play

Sen. Orrin Hatch and New York Jets wide receiver make mental health push

Hatch shakes hands with Marshall before the start of the Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Mental Health in America on Thursday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Hatch shakes hands with Marshall before the start of the Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Mental Health in America on Thursday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall shared his experience with borderline personality disorder on Thursday with a Senate committee investigating mental health issues in the health care system.  

“My purpose is to help bridge the gap in the mental health community,” said Marshall, who was diagnosed in 2011 and has since been an advocate for awareness and treatment.  

[Weekend Guide: White House Correspondents’ Dinner] Marshall, who was invited by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said his three months of outpatient treatment cost $150,000 and insurance was so difficult to work with that he didn’t bother getting the money back.  

“We need to develop and support programs that are affordable, accessible and scalable,” he said. “This is the last great stigma in our country and it’s a civil rights issue.”  

Ranking Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said in his opening remarks that his brother suffered with schizophrenia. “Like so many families across the country, you went to bed at night constantly thinking that your loved one might the next day hurt themselves or somebody else.”

Powerful exhibit comes to Russell

   

One exhibit photograph: Ruth (Gerda) Seelig Hirsch, holding Arabic teapots from her life in Israel. (Photo courtesy of the exhibit)
One exhibit photograph: Ruth (Gerda) Seelig Hirsch, holding Arabic teapots from her life in Israel. (Photo courtesy of the exhibit)

“Portraits in Black and White: Survivors and What They Carry,” a collection of portraits depicting Holocaust survivors, will be displayed in the Russell Senate Rotunda beginning Monday. Remaining until May 6, the exhibit will be in commemoration of the annual Days of Remembrance.  

The show is the culmination of Los Angeles-based artist Barbara Mack’s seven-year collaboration with Holocaust survivors. “The art really moved people, and as it moved people, they then started reading the blurbs that go with the photographs and through that, they’re actually learning about history from people who are alive,” she said in an interview.  

The portraits are all black and white. “It almost shows the soul of the person when you’re doing portraits in it,” Mack said. Additionally, she asked that each survivor bring an object with them for the photograph. One woman brought a very thin little garment, which she was wearing when she escaped from a death march.  

This project came about when the head of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles asked her to do portraits of certain survivors. “I never had actually thought about doing it before, but it brought back my history,” she said. Mack’s great-grandmother died in the Holocaust.

The Argus Quartet will be playing music composed by two high school students inspired by meeting with Holocaust survivors to accompany the art at 12:15 p.m. on its final day in the Rotunda.

Tornado hits Babin’s old office in Texas

   

Texas Rep. Brian Babin, right, talks to Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma about tornado damage to his home in Texas overnight on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Texas Rep. Brian Babin, right, talks to Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma about tornado damage to his home in Texas overnight on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin arrived at work on Wednesday, he told colleague Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma about tornado damage in Texas earlier that day.  

The congressman’s old dental office, which is now owned by his son-in-law, was hit by the tornado. A few trees were knocked down, but not too much damage occurred, according to his office. But, unfortunately, the damage will keep the office shut down for a few weeks.  

Babin’s residence is in Woodville, Texas, where he ran a dental practice before coming to Congress in 2014.  

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