Paul Morigi/WireImage
Jacqueline Andriakos
March 26, 2015 07:40 PM

Batman has landed in Washington.

Ben Affleck, who stars as the crime fighting superhero in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, managed to sneak in a Bruce Wayne reference while testifying at a Congressional hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The actor and philanthropist, 42, spoke in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee about foreign aid at the Diplomacy, Development and National Security hearing, during which he gave a special shout out to a Batman enthusiast on the panel.

As he thanked committee members before his opening statement, Affleck turned to Senator Patrick Leahy and said, “I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my costar in Batman,” referring to Leahy’s cameos in recent Batman movies.

“The role is marginally smaller than mine, but I understand that you are quite good,” he joked, garnering a chuckle from the Vermont representative.

Affleck also acknowledged Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 59, who also gave testimony at the diplomacy hearing just before the Argo star.

He admitted that the business mogul and global aid activist – whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world – was a tough act to follow.

“Thanks for having me follow the greatest and most important philanthropist in the history of the world,” he joked. “I’m sure I’m going to come off great.”

With wife Jennifer Garner, 42, and 9-year-old daughter Violet sitting behind him, Affleck shifted to a more serious manner to make a case for foreign aid and discuss his Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy effort he founded that focuses on aiding communities in the African country.

“The next two years represent a critical turning point,” he said. “Business and investment is strong and powerful aid. It gives people a sense of self-confidence and a sense of meaning in their lives. And it brings goods to the market, a practice of which has built this country.”

Watch the complete hearing here.

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