Congressional Records

Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN) and Frank Murphy Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. took time to visit with about a dozen constituents from back home on Thursday, including my wife and me. We had arranged for a staff-led tour of the U. S. Capitol, which began in our congressman’s office.

view from Congressman John Duncan's office The view from Duncan’s office in the Rayburn Building is spectacular. He was elected to congress in 1988 and got the better space as he moved up in rank. I asked his staff, who told me this is the third office Duncan has occupied.

The congressman went around the room asking each of us, kids included, a little about ourselves. He had an anecdote for every situation, having visited every school in his district. He told my wife and me that he attended Bishop Stika’s 25th anniversary Mass.

I asked Rep. Duncan about his famous vote against the Iraq war. He said the vote would have made his father, a loyal Republican, roll over in his grave.  However Duncan also talked about the fiercely independent spirit of East Tennessee, dating back to the Civil War. He told us he had originally voted to support the war in Afghanistan but now wanted it to end. Duncan recapped to us his speech on the floor of the House that morning on the same topic.

I also asked about the drinking water the congressman provides at the Tennessee Valley Fair. He said that the late Tim Russert came to Knoxville for a speaking engagement. During his remarks, Russert said he had some time to kill earlier in the day and that he visited the fair. He was amazed that Duncan could get political capital by giving away water.

man playing bagpipes as he walks past the Capitol Hill Club Since we were there on St. Patrick’s Day, it made perfect sense that a random bagpiper would be playing Irish tunes as he walked along 1st Street, past the Capitol Hill Club.

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