Senators take break from ACA repeal for goodwill tennis match

By Jenna West, Medill News

July 28 (UPI) -- While senators were up all night on Capitol Hill during the "vote-a-rama" trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday, House members took their best shots at each other on the tennis court for charity.

Republicans and Democrats played in the 5th Annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic Thursday night at the Charles E. Smith Center. The tennis event brings members of Congress, news media and professional players together for a night of laughs and friendly competition. The players were divided into teams -- the Stars and the Stripes.


"A lot of these [games] are Republicans versus Democrats or politicians versus the media," said Kastles owner Mark Ein. "What we decided is we're going to have everyone on the same team and play a great night of tennis."

Players included Charlie Dent, R- Pa., Cheri Bustos, D-Il., Peter Alexander of NBC News and professional Brazilian tennis player Bruno Soares.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., was scheduled to play but had to stay back at the Capitol for the healthcare votes.

The Stars beat the Stripes 43-42 in seven sets.

Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, said he enjoys congressional sports rivalries and also played in last month's charity Congressional Baseball Game.


"If you're not on a committee with someone or involved with some caucus with them, you just don't meet them," Huffman said. "So these sporting events are a great way to make new friends."

The baseball game was marred by a shooting attack in which Steve Scalise, R-La., was seriously wounded during a practice before the event. Scalise, released from the hospital this week, is recovering. While security at the tennis match was evident, a Kastles spokesperson said there had been no undue concerns.

The tennis classic raised about $30,000 for four charities -- Friends & Family, TAPSS, N Street Village and the DC Public Education Fund.

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