News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Ivanka Heads to the Hill

Photograph by Evy Mages

Senior advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will be on Capitol Hill today pitching a paid-family-leave program. According to the Hill, Trump is set to meet with senators Bill Cassidy, Marco Rubio, Joni Ernst, Todd Young, and Mike Lee in an effort to draft legislation that could be supported by both parties.

Her father, President Trump, has yet to definitively say if he will sign a bipartisan spending bill to avoid another government shutdown at the end of the week. After telling reporters Tuesday that he’s “extremely unhappy” with the deal, Trump later signaled that he might be amendable after a phone call with Sen. Richard Shelby, the Washington Post reports. A reminder that the last shutdown—the longest in government history—cost DC more than $1.6 billion.

Happy Wednesday. I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at and follow me on Twitter. Sign one frenemy up for this newsletter here.

Something you may have missed: Yesterday I linked to a GW student newspaper story about blackface in university yearbooks. Now comes word that University of Maryland yearbooks contain racist imagery. First noticed by a current UMD student on Twitter, the photos were confirmed by the Baltimore Sun. Oh, and American University found at least four blackface photos in its own archives.

What’s on my mind: The Nationals’s pitchers and catchers report to spring training today. Welcome to baseball season, everyone! (Let’s go Mets!)

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

FILM In 1969, Czech student Jan Palach set himself on fire in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After his death, thousands attended his funeral, making Palach a symbol of courage and resistance. As part of the Avalon’s “Lions of Czech Film” series, the theater will show the 2018 film Jan Palach, which follows Palach’s final few months and the changes in Czechoslovakia at the time. $12.75, 8 PM.

FILM Celebrate the unofficially official Galentine’s Day—yes, Valentine’s Day for you and your gals—with a screening of the Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph comedy Bridesmaids at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Show up early for a cocktail party before the film, and enjoy photo opps and live music. Party and film: $25-$40, 6:15 PM; Film only: $10, 7:55 PM.

Good reads:

Forget about politics for one moment and read this fascinating story about tidally locked planets—the places that may be humanity’s future home. (The Atlantic)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Join me and Brad Jenkins, a veteran of both the Obama administration and Funny or Die’s DC office, for a discussion on what it’s like to work in the White House, how Americans get their information, how to make policy entertaining, and more! Listen: The bar will be open, the laughs will be plentiful, and the karaoke optional. This is a great opportunity to mingle with folks in the know. Plus you get to meet me, which is often a memorable experience. It’s happening on February 27. Get tickets here.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.