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Word on the Hill: It’s November

Congress in costumes, and McCaskill’s husband’s heart ‘working better’

The last month of fall is here. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The last month of fall is here. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy November! Now that Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is only 23 days away.

November brings a recess in both chambers — on the 10th for Veterans Day, and the week of the 20th for Thanksgiving.

There’s a lot to get done before the holiday season, so it should be a busy month.

Rep. David S. Pumpkins, R-Ark.

Rep. Rick Crawford in the blazer worn by SNL character David S. Pumpkins. (Courtesy Rep. Crawford)
Rep. Rick Crawford in the blazer worn by “SNL” character David S. Pumpkins. (Rep. Rick Crawford via Twitter)

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., went trick-or-treating as David S. Pumpkins on Tuesday. The congressman tweeted a photo of him in the Tom HanksSaturday Night Live” character’s signature pumpkin-emblazoned blazer with Pumpkins’ tag line, “Any questions?”

Here’s an oral history of how the bizarre sketch came about.

Send your Halloween photographs to, and we’ll publish the best of trick or treat on the Hill

McHenry flaunts his ice cream sandwich

(Screenshot of Rep. McHenry's Instagram)
(Rep. Patrick McHenry via Instagram)

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., posted on Instagram photographs of him eating an ice cream sandwich and tagged former Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, responding to a story in the latest issue of Politico Magazine in which McHenry recounts the first time he met the former speaker in 2005 while he was eating an ice cream sandwich.

“Boehner lit a cigarette and scowled at him. ‘Don’t do that,’ he said, pointing to the frozen snack. ‘Why?’ McHenry replied. ‘You’re gonna be a fatass,’ Boehner told him.” 

In the same piece, Boehner predicted McHenry would be speaker one day.

App Challenge submissions on display

The time to submit an entry to the third annual Congressional App Challenge, in which members feature young constituents’ entrepreneurial work in the technology field, has ended. The challenge launched on July 25, and student coders could submit work to participating members of Congress.

This year, 162 members participated, using judging panels, hackathons and “demo days” — like a science fair for apps — to choose their districts’ winners. The winning apps will be shown in a revolving PowerPoint presentation on a screen in the Cannon Tunnel, next to the Congressional Art Competition entries.

Each spring, winners are invited to Capitol Hill to demo their work for the House of Code event.

Briefing for children

Take a break from work this afternoon and attend a briefing on “Accelerating Progress on Child Survival,” co-hosted by Save the Children Action Network, UNICEF and Gavi. It’s from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor’s Center, Room 208. RSVP here.

Democratic economic briefing

Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., are hosting a roundtable discussion on economic and community developing financing.  It’s part of Kildee’s “The Future of America’s Cities and Towns” initiative. The discussion is at 3 p.m. in the Cannon House Office Building room 234.

Veggie lovers’ food truck launches

An Economist-branded food truck hits the streets of Washington, selling the meat-free Beyond Burger to all D.C. veggie lovers. Be on the lookout. (The Economist Group is Roll Call’s parent company.)

McCaskill’s husband health update

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeted a video of husband Joseph Shepard’s heart “working better” on Tuesday. That morning she tweeted that he is still in the intensive care unit.

Happy birthday to …

Two House Republicans entered the world on Nov. 1, 1953:

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., 64.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, 64.

ICYMI: congressional kids on Halloween

Check out what lawmakers’ childrendressed up as for Halloween. Send us your own pictures, and we’ll add it to our gallery.

What’s going on?

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

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