Word on the Hill: Free Condoms

Congressional showdown on VP debate stage

Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:00am

The Kelly Ayotte for Senate campaign is making an appeal to young voters this week — by handing out condoms.

From a table at the University of New Hampshire, the Republican incumbent’s campaign is touting Ayotte’s commitment to making birth control more accessible through free condoms, according to the campaign.

A reporter from local news station WMUR, Josh McElveen, tweeted a photograph on Monday, to which one respondent said, “I might not want to know this, but is there a logo…?”

Ayotte introduced a bill in 2015 that would incentivize contraceptive manufacturers to file with the Food and Drug Administration to move their products over the counter.

NARAL called the handout a “contraception gimmick” and pointed out Ayotte’s support for defunding Planned Parenthood.

“A bowl of free condoms won’t make up for Sen. Ayotte’s repeated votes to defund Planned Parenthood and end access to no-cost contraception,” NARAL’s states communications director James Owens said.

Congressional face-off in tonight’s debate

A senator and a former member of Congress take the stage tonight.

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence (formerly a House representative) participate in the best congressional face-off since VP and former Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s showdown in 2012.

The debate takes place in Kaine’s home state at Longwood University in Farmville at 9 p.m. Like last week’s presidential debate, it will run for 90 minutes without commercials. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will moderate.

D.C. sports meets SCOTUS

The Supreme Court is back for a new term. It issued orders on Monday morning and will hear oral arguments today and Wednesday. Monday the court denied a request from the Washington Redskins on a case to save its trademark amidst critics wanting to cancel it.

In other SCOTUS news, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was spotted on Thursday at the Arena Stage’s opening of “The Little Foxes.”

Hard cheese

Rep. Debbie Dingell won a bet with Rep. Mark Pocan when the University of Michigan Wolverines beat the University of Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, 14 – 7. Pocan now owes Dingell some cheese from Wisconsin.


Former Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr., outside The Palm (1225 19th St. NW) on Saturday night.

How are you spending recess?

Happy Birthday to…

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass., 36.

What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com.

Todd Ruger and Eric Garcia contributed to this report.