Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Ben’s Chili Bowl can ‘soften the heart’ of Tea Party Congress

Bill Cosby at Ben's Chili Bowl

Bill Cosby participates in Ben’s Chili Bowl’s 55th anniversary celebration. (Photo by Nikki Schwab)

It seems that Washington has come up with a solution for the sharp partisanship on Capitol Hill–Ben’s Chili Bowl. On Thursday, the historic half smoke joint turned 55 and lawmakers, locals and Bill Cosby gathered outside to cheer the institution.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., noted that, in its 55 years, the U Street eatery has racked up the accolades.

“You’ve gotten everything else that the city can give,” she said and then made a promise. “So when Congress returns from recess–they’re out there until Sept. 9, so they can do no harm at the moment,” she said to giggles. “I’m going to take it to the floor of the House and give Congress an opportunity to commemorate a historic institution that it needs to take note of–one that could soften the heart, certainly the taste, even of the Tea Party House of Representatives,” she said.

Representing the other side of the aisle was political consultant Brian Summers, who’s been hanging out at the Ben’s jukebox for the past eight years. “See Ben’s is such a community spot, you have every blend of people, Democrats and Republicans coming in here, everybody coming in here equal,” Summers said. “I know you’re all probably wondering what a Republican has to say here today–the food is good and I love the chili–but I have a special note for Ms. Ali,” he said. Summers than presented owner Virginia Ali with a proclamation from President Obama.

“And you’re a Republican?” questioned Cosby, the restaurant’s celebrity guest. “I told you Ben’s was bipartisan right?” answered Summers.

The POTUS promised to come back to the restaurant with First Lady Michelle Obama. “Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrates more than good food, it celebrates family, equality and it fosters a strong sense of community for all who visit,” the president said in the statement.

Comments

Polititainment

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder' about candidacy

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's visa to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

White House

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.