Skip to content

Word on the Hill: Scientist Turned Politician Takes the Stage

Things to do this weekend

California Rep. Jerry McNerney is a scientist turned congressman. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)
California Rep. Jerry McNerney is a scientist turned congressman. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., wrapped up the week with some laughs in the service of science. 

Taking the stage at a science comedy night show at DC Improv on Thursday night, the congressman talked about his background and what it’s like to be a scientist in Congress. McNerney is a former wind-turbine engineer and holds a doctorate in mathematics.

The D.C. Science Writers Association hosted the event, which was headlined by comedian Matthew Broussard

Rep. Jerry McNerney, center right, poses at Thursday’s science comedy night with, from left, Matthew Broussard, Robert Mac and Kasha Patel.

Happening today …

The Congressional Task Force on Childhood Obesity, led by Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, is holding a childhood obesity prevention awareness expo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check it out in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Weekend plans?

Since it finally feels like fall, here are some indoor-outdoor things to do around D.C. this weekend.

Check out The Wharf: HOH attended the Thursday grand opening of D.C.’s newest business district, which stretches for a mile along the Southwest Waterfront and features shops, food options and a concert space. Read HOH’s guide to the district before you go. You might even catch the signature daytime fireworks.

On the other waterfront: Sequoia, the iconic restaurant on Georgetown’s waterfront, has reopened after a multimillion dollar renovation. A gallery of contemporary art completes the new look. The restaurant seats 400 people inside and 460 outside, which includes spots at a new outdoor bar, but it’s best known for its views of the Kennedy Center and Watergate Hotel. Check it out at 3000 K St. NW.

In betweenFogo de Chao will give you a reason to head back downtown this weekend. Its new fall menu includes a Cowboy Ribeye, as well as a new meat board, burger and — for non meat lovers (but fall lovers) — a roasted butternut squash and cranberry salad and a butternut squash soup. Check it out downtown (1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) or in Virginia (1775 Tysons Blvd. Suite 50) before the menu additions end on Jan. 1.

Whitehouse in college

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., tweeted a photograph of himself from freshman year of college for a #TBT on Thursday.

Staffer shuffle

Colin MacCarthy is the new press secretary for Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif. He formerly was the director of new media for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under former ranking member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Overheard on the Hill

“Why don’t we just stay in tomorrow and get moving on some of this … instead of making threats about the Christmas holiday?”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reacting to Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s assertion that he would keep the House in session over Christmas if necessary to get tax overhaul done. The House is scheduled to be out on Friday.

ICYMI: Congressional Football Game action

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., attended Wednesday night’s Congressional Football Game for Charity. HOH caught up with him on the sidelines.

Loading the player...

Happy birthday to …

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., 59.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., 57.


Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., 63.

What’s going on?

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

Recent Stories

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a life in photos

House GOP looks ahead to Plan B ahead of doomed stopgap vote

Supreme Court to hear arguments on funding for financial protection agency

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein dies at 90

‘You’re getting screwed’: Trump, Biden take general election green flag

Menendez told colleagues he’s not quitting. Now what?