As Democrats figuratively demanded Donald Trump Jr.'s head after revelations that he met with a Russian lawyer to get potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton, one delivered it to the House floor. Sort of.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., earlier this month read from Donald Trump Jr.'s now-public emails accompanied by a giant version of the Time magazine cover featuring Trump Jr.'s face and the words "Red Handed."
Typically used as visual aids, the charts or graphics members of Congress bring up for their speeches can sometimes upstage the words they actually say, so much so that there's a Twitter account, @FloorCharts, and accompanying website dedicated to chronicling them.
"Each week, I will see a dozen between both chambers and the various committees," said William Gray, who estimates he's cataloged some 5,500 props, charts, and posters in the five years since he started floorcharts.com. "It fluctuates, of course, depending on the news cycle."
The charts get their turn in the spotlight after inspiration strikes members or their staffers.
"I have heard some members of Congress sketch their ideas on napkins and pass them off to be made," Gray said. "I've heard more than a few props come out of brainstorms by communications staff. The price can vary, too — they cost anywhere from $10 for a cheap one where the paper is clearly taped to the poster-board, to $60 or more for a ‘fancy' full-printed item."
Floor charts tend to be more common on the Senate side, where speeches are longer than in the House. Requests are made through each chamber's printing and graphics department, located in the Dirksen building on the Senate side and the Longworth House Office Building on the House side.
"They can submit their requests in person at our service counter or via an online system," an official with the Senate sergeant-at-arms told the Washington Examiner. "Once printed, the senator's staff picks them up for display on the floor. Once they are no longer needed, they may be returned to the printing and graphics department for recycling."
Staffers then take the floor charts into the cloakroom, where they await transfer to the House or Senate floor to accompany a member's speech.
"Our ideas come from an array of places and people on our team. Some we print in our office while others we receive help from the Republican conference," a staffer for Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., said.
In April 2013, Rokita gave an extensive speech about federal debt that involved 10 different floor charts.
After their time in the spotlight, the floor charts and props are usually discarded, but not always.
Some staffers keep them in storage, and they may even be displayed in the congressman or senator's office.
Of course, then there are the times floor charts do get attention — for the wrong reasons.
Earlier this month, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke out against the then-pending version of the Senate healthcare bill accompanied by a blue sign with the words "War on Medicad" — complete with the typo.
Her name for a time on social media? Maria Cantspell.