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Congress, like many in the country, took off last Thursday and Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving and the following shopping holidays of Black Friday and the nascent Small Business Saturday. And, like many in the country, staffers took to Twitter while embedded in familial obligations and shopping mall queues alike. We've compiled the best of their holiday tweets below.
"my mom just texted me "happy thanksgiving. jesus just left" and would not provide any further information"
"Family scrabble. Pray for me. #Thanksgiving"
"I'm #Thankful I've made it through the first twenty-five years of my life without ever needing to know what the hell a playoff is."
"And no I will not miss missing Black Friday #CyberMonday"
"Black Friday Shopping...never ever ever ever ever even if there was a fire. What kind of animal do you think I am?#goWithOutMe #BlackFriday"
"For all the shoppers that are about to fight each other over random items on Black Friday, just remember that#AllFridaysMatter"
"What's more annoying than Black Friday madness? The recycled jokes & complaints about how ironic Black Friday is.#braceyourselves"
"Black Friday - be safe out there."
"Is there a Black Friday deal for parking tickets"
"How long until Thurs night of Thanksgiving to Tues after is just one massive consumerist binge? Will those soon be the only 5 days we shop?"
"Not even two days after Thanksgiving and people are already crossing streets at a diagonal again like they don't live in a society."
"I swear, I've done more than drink bourbon this Thanksgiving break."
"How is it possible that I got through security at @ATLairport in 10 minutes the day after Thanksgiving??"
"Thanksgiving is over, so it is officially acceptable to listen to Christmas music 24/7 and I will be doing so!#MerryChristmasHappyHolidays"
A veteran lobbyist and lobbyist for veterans has joined Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) on the House Budget Committee this month.
Steve Gonzalez served as assistant director in the economic division of the American Legion since 2011 before heading to the House Budget Committee as a policy adviser. While at the veteran's organization, Gonzalez lobbied at both the state and federal level for the group. Disclosures reflect Gonzalez lobbying on two issues in particular - supporting a constitutional amendment to make flag burning illegal and supporting a loosening of restrictions on firearm ownership by veterans with diagnosed mental health issues.
Price voted in favor of banning flag burning the last time Congress took up the issue in 2005 and 2006. The resolution passed the House but was defeated in the Senate by a single vote.
Before joining the American Legion, Gonzalez served as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, worked as an intern at the American Enterprise Institute, and worked on two campaigns for New York political offices.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has brought on a seasoned reproductive health lobbyist and analyst as a new legislative assistant.
M.A. Keifer - who goes by her last name - joined Lee this month from the organization Advocates for Youth, where she was a registered lobbyist from 2013 until her departure. Keifer held the position of international policy analyst at the organization which has the self-stated mission to "advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people's rights to honest sexual health information." During her time, she lobbied on issues such as contraception access, teen pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS and comprehensive sexuality education among others.
Before joining Advocates for Youth, Keifer briefly worked for Ipas, an organization advocating for an end to unsafe abortion practices. She also worked for Public Health Institute for two years, first as an intern, and then as a policy assistant.
Keifer received her MPH from George Washington University in 2012. She will cover HIV/AIDS, health, family planning, LGBTQ, immigration, medical marijuana and civil rights issues for Lee.
We spend a large part of our days looking at data. Documents often come in by the dozens and hundreds. And while most are boring - how interesting can staring at a phone directory or salary records be, for example? - we find daily reasons for interest, amusement or even concern packed in the documents. So we are launching a new running feature that we call "Caught our Eye."
Longer than tweets but shorter than most blog posts, Caught our Eye items will bring back the interest in reviewing documents and researching people. Some items might bring hard, breaking news. Others will raise eyebrows and lead some into further inquiry. Others might be good for a joke or two around the water cooler. All will enlighten about the people or workings of Capitol Hill.
Caught our Eye items will be published each morning for LegiStorm Pro subscribers. Non-Pro site users will be able to receive the news items a few hours later. In addition to having immediate access to the news, LegiStorm Pro users will have a handy way to search and browse all past items.