Kevin Miller’s Capitol Shenanigans…
In the age of this economy, there is no time off. Whenever I hit the road, my job doesn't end at nine in the morning. Like so many Americans, I begin my second job. Here's a look at what happens once the mic is turned off in Washington DC.
Today I took an Uber ride to Alexandria, Virginia. We should have a video of the ride up for you shortly. It's a good look at how traffic in DC is different from traffic in Idaho. You'll see the Pentagon from the highway and the Air Force Memorial. Plus we interview the Uber driver, who gives us his take on Idaho.
I met with a few folks who help us get some of our news maker guests. It was a good interactive meeting about the importance of local, state, and national issues. The complimentary steak sandwich was worth the trip!
I then walked to the Capitol to take a bunch of photos while touring the rotunda. I know it's not physical work, however, when you're not used to walking, it takes a toll. I'd have to say the Capitol Police were on their game. I was questioned several times before being allowed in the building.
Once inside, I received my media credentials. I proceeded to get lost literally several times before finding Congressman Simpson's Office. A special thanks to the lady who directed me to the underground transit that runs underneath the Capitol. Once at Congressman Simpson's Office, I was escorted around the building by Billy the Intern. He did a great job of giving me the history of all the items that I photographed.
I had a chance to view the House of Representatives voting from the House Gallery. I wish I could've shared video and photos of the vote with you. The House forbids anyone taking them inside its chambers. They prohibit all electronic devices in the gallery. Who would've thought that the House is social media free?
I was expecting a serious look at the issues before the House. What I saw was a mix of a rogue studio hall mixed in with a pep rally. The members debate the issue and then get called in by a bell to vote. Yes an actual bell reminds them of their scheduled times. I waited two hours in the gallery to watch the vote. I wanted to see our two congressmen in action. Here are my impressions of watching from the House Gallery.
John Boehner is really tan! He works every member as they were representing his Ohio District. He looked to be the best dressed person in the room. Debbie Wasserman Shultz looks a little different than she does on TV. The feisty DNC Chairwoman spent most of her time talking to republicans while voting.
Our two congressman seemed to live in opposite worlds. Congressman Labrador was near the front looking at his phone before voting while conversing with colleagues . Congressman Simpson held court in back talking to different members. Their interaction with others highlighted their differences in my eyes. I didn't see them speak to each other, however, I was only there for one of their many votes.
The House is divided into two halves. On the right is the republican side and on the left is the democratic side. The chamber has been in use since 1864. Like a lot of things on TV, it is much smaller than it appears on the little screen. Members vote by inserting a card into a device and pressing a button either for yes or no. It takes longer to get money from an ATM. They then go back to talking until the next vote. It sounds like a great gig if you can get it.
Which makes me wonder how many of our elected Washington Politicians understand how many of us are working second jobs because of this economy? Congress needs to talk less and work more. That's true whether you work one job or many.