“Free hugs,” the five students yelled as lawmakers entered and left the Capitol building for votes as amused U.S. Capitol Police watched nearby. (They were offered hugs too.)
“I got a free hug,” said Rep. Cheri BustosCheri BustosLawmakers join women's marches in DC and nationwide Trump country Dem takes risk by skipping swearing-in Liberal Dems warn against narrow focus on rural or coastal voters MORE (D-Ill.), who got one both on her way in and out.
Other lawmakers, such as Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), offered fist bumps instead.
Several male lawmakers declined the offers, explaining they were saving hugs for their wives.
“I'm gonna hug my wife -- hopefully soon,” said Rep. Tim Griffith (R-Ark.).
But Reps. Mark Sanford (S-S.C.), Krysten SinemaKyrsten SinemaRyan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote The Hill's 12:30 Report House Dem hopes Senate feels ‘urgency of now’ for cyber MORE (D-Ariz.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria Ten rumored Trump Cabinet picks who didn't get a job MORE (D-Hawaii), and Pat Quigley (D-Ill.) all partook. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) even stopped her car to get out and get one.
The students, who are in town for a student government conference, were most excited to see their hometown lawmaker Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who took a group hug and told them “keep up the good work.”
The students said after Thursday's shooting incident, they thought the lawmakers could use the hugs.
“You guys gotta come here more often,” Rep. Xavier Beccerra (D-Calif.) told them.