Lots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle

Lawmakers are working on their bipartisan backhands, prepping for a charity tennis event that’ll team them up with partners from across the aisle.

“I played twice with my kid over the Fourth, in between marching parades,” Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said of his training regimen ahead of the Washington Kastles Charity Classic.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m very sore — I’m getting older but I’m getting ready anyway,” Brat said. The 53-year-old congressman is one of several members who will take on prominent journalists and sports pros at the Tuesday tennis showdown at Kastles Stadium in D.C.

Among those who will be serving up their best: Reps. Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyDem rep says lower tax refunds are 'bad news' for the economy Dem rep says refunds are low because GOP tax policy doesn't benefit most Americans House Dems worry about lack of women of color in leadership MORE (D-Ohio), Jared HuffmanJared William Huffman3 more steps to make 'First Step Act' work Congress just proved there is hope for honest discussion on climate Overnight Energy: Court rules for Trump in environmental case over border wall | House bill would stop Alaska refuge drilling | Ads target Dems over Green New Deal MORE (D-Calif.), Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyHill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons Ex-GOP lawmaker joins family firm  MORE (R-Fla.) and Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderKansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation Yoder, Messer land on K Street MORE (R-Kan.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoPence, GOP senators discuss offer to kill Trump emergency disapproval resolution Bipartisan think tank to honor lawmakers who offer 'a positive tenor' Trump tries to win votes in Senate fight MORE (R-W.Va.); journalists including CNN’s Michelle Kosinski and The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack; D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen; and former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’ MORE (R-Pa.).

But some lawmakers hitting the court are trying to keep expectations low.

“I wish I had the kind of time to do the kind of prep that’s necessary, but I’m getting ready,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.) said.

Before she was elected to Congress, Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosProgressive demands put new pressures on Democrats House Dems haul in record donations for February The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE said, she played in a women’s doubles league for years. But the Illinois Democrat said she has barely gotten a chance to pick up a racket to practice since stepping foot in the House in 2013.

“The last time I played tennis was at this tournament last year, so that’s what’s bad. So I’m not expecting to be too good,” Bustos said. “I go to the gym every morning, so it’s not like … I can’t keep up or anything. I mean, I ride bikes, I do the elliptical, I lift weights.”

“But I’m not going to be good — I know that,” she added.

“What I think makes this so special, as opposed to a lot of the other congressional charity sports events around town, is at this one, we don’t play Republicans against Democrats or White House against the Hill,” Mark Ein, the Washington Kastles’s owner, told ITK.

Ein, who’s also playing at the showdown, explained that teams are mixed so that each has players from each party, as well as members of the press.

Ein said 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales at the sixth annual competition will be donated to a variety of local charities, including the United States Tennis Association Foundation, which provides tennis education to kids in under-resourced communities. 

The Hill is a media sponsor of the event. 

So what will tennis fans see when Congress starts swinging?

“We can expect some great tennis,” said Ein, “some not-so-great tennis, a bit of trash-talking, a lot of laughs and always a really competitive match.”