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Word on the Hill: Joint Session

Celebrities and hemp today

President Donald Trump’s last big event at the Capitol was his inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
President Donald Trump’s last big event at the Capitol was his inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump heads to the Capitol today for his first address to a joint session of Congress, and as a result we don’t get to go to Mardi Gras.

The Capitol will be restricted to those with event credentials, starting at 5:30 p.m. See our list of restrictions around the complex.

Members of Congress bring guests with them and, oftentimes, those invitations are based on what is driving the news of the day. Some of the themes emerging this year are immigration, the 2010 health care law, police-community relations and gun issues. Check out our full list.

If you know of more guests, reach out to

GOAT on the Hill

Olympic gold medalist and retired swimmer Michael Phelps is testifying at a hearing on anti-doping efforts before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The panel’s news release referred to the most-medaled Olympian in any sport as the “GOAT” (greatest of all time). 10:15 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn. Watch for our coverage afterward.

Rowe on the Hill

Mike Rowe, best known for Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” is expected to testify at a hearing on tech education before the Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. 10 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn.

Hemp on the Hill

Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., James Comer, R-Ky., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky., are hosting an industrial hemp expo called “Hemp on the Hill,” with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., as honorary co-hosts. The expo brings lawmakers and entrepreneurs together to restore industrial hemp to American agriculture and will take place in the Rayburn Foyer at noon.

Maryland and Virginia among ‘best states’

U.S. News & World Report released its rankings of states based on education, health care, infrastructure, and economy. Maryland ranked eighth overall and Virginia was the second best state for government. The magazine declared Massachusetts the best in the nation.

Eat Italian

There’s a “Flavors of Italy” event in the Longworth House Office Building’s cafeteria today. Check it out for lunch to fuel up, you could have a long night at work.

Athletes on the Hill

Redskins defensive tackle Kedric Golston and retired Washington Capitals player and current Capitals analyst Alan May are scheduled to participate in a briefing about the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Act, hosted by the sponsor, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. Alongside the dogs will also be Mixed Martial Arts legend John Rallo and Fox sportscaster Bonnie-Jill Laflin.

Staffer shuffle

The Senate Republican Policy Committee’s policy analyst for healthcare is Alyene Senger, who was previously at the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. RPC’s former healthcare analyst, Alexandra Campau, recently moved to the White House to work on healthcare policy.

Freshman Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., announced his communications team on Monday, with Danielle Jensen as press secretary and Elliott Bottorf as director of digital media.


“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

— Trump on Monday to a meeting of governors. He wasn’t joking.


No joint session Tuesday birthdays in Congress.


What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to

John Bennett contributed to this report.