Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2015

August 28, 2015

Lousiana State Society Gives Back to D.C. on Katrina Anniversary

It’s often music or booze that brings the Louisiana State Society together.

Each May, they boil thousands of pounds of crawfish, potatoes, corn and sausage to serve with cold Abita beer. D.C. Jazz Fest makes it onto the group’s calendar, and any music venue hosting bands with Bayou roots becomes a featured destination. Full story

Miss D.C. Heads to Atlantic City for Miss America Pageant

miss dc

Haely Jardas, Miss District of Columbia for 2015, heads to Atlantic City Sunday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

“Wear it when you have the evening gown competition,” said Anise Jenkins, a longtime D.C. statehood activist, when she handed Haely Jardas a bright red hat with “Free D.C.” emblazoned in white letters.

Jardas, 24, is headed to Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday to compete in the Miss America pageant as Miss District of Columbia 2015. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:30 p.m.
DC, Parties

The Fastest Candidate — Running for the White House

marco rubio

Rubio threw a football around during a recent trip to Iowa. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Does anyone care to challenge Marco Rubio to a 40-yard dash?

“I’ll tell ya this: I’m the fastest person running for president,” the Republican presidential candidate and Florida senator said Friday in a radio interview. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Ted Cruz (Video)

Congressional Hits and Misses’ member marathon rolls on this week with Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and presidential contender who doesn’t shy away from “wacko birds,” syrup guzzling or scaring children.

Full story

August 27, 2015

Obama Explains Willie Mae’s Scotch House Grease Spot

Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call

Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call

“If you come to New Orleans and you don’t get a grease spot on your clothing, you didn’t really enjoy the city.”

— President Barack Obama, reflecting Friday on the stain on his suit, courtesy of eating the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House in the Crescent City.

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Larry Craig Day’s 8th Anniversary

The fallout from Craig's arrest continues to this day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The fallout from Craig’s arrest continues to this day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was eight years ago today that Sen. Larry Craig’s congressional career ended up in the toilet.


On Aug. 27, 2007, Roll Call’s John McArdle went up with a story detailing how the Idaho Republican had been arrested on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by a plainclothes cop “investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom.” He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Aug. 8 in Hennepin County District Court, paid $500 in fines and fees, was sentenced to a 10-day jail term that was stayed and given one-year probation.

“It was the strangest day of my political reporting career,” McArdle, now producer and host of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” told HOH. Full story

Office Space: Mike Honda’s Living History (Video)

Honda shows off his office in the Longworth House Office Building on July 15, 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Honda shows off his office in the Longworth House Office Building on July 15, 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael M. Honda gave a tour of his congressional office in 2010 for Roll Call’s “Office Space” series, which returns this fall.

“The California Democrat spent the first few years of his life living in a Japanese internment camp in Colorado, a fact that he pays homage to in the foyer of his space in the Longworth House Office Building,” reporter Ali McSherry wrote in the original 2010 story. “A large poster hangs on the wall with the words “explaining internment” printed on it.”

Full story

August 26, 2015

Hoopsters Trash Talk at White House Ceremony

Obama receives a jersey from Taurasi during an event at the White House Wednesday. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Is Obama sucking in his gut as Taurasi offers him a jersey during the White House event? (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Hey, what’s a little trash talk among hoopsters? Baller-in-chief Barack Obama welcomed the WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury to the White House today, and, according to the official White House transcript, POTUS engaged in a little back and forth with the Mercury’s Diana Taurasi:

  • TAURASI: Well, on behalf of the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA, we want to give you a 2014 WNBA Championship jersey.
  • TAURASI: It’s an XL. (Laughter.) So you might have to get on the Atkins. But thank you very much for having us, Mr. President. It’s an honor. (Applause.)

We hear the commander in chief likes his cheeseburgers, so that should make the transition to the protein-heavy Atkins diet all the easier.


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National Dog Day: Congress and Its Furry Friends

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Harry S. Truman famously instructed politicians looking for friends to “buy a dog” and it seems many on Capitol Hill have taken that advice to heart. As social media celebrates National Dog Day, CQ Roll Call digs into the archives to retrieve our favorite photos of our furry friends on Capitol Hill.

Click through to see Bill Frist meet some big bloodhounds, Kent Conrad and his longtime companion Dakota, images of Capitol Police K9s at work and the tourist dogs that come to sightsee with their people.


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Hashtag #TrumpThis: Lawmakers Mix It Up on Social Media

Dingell (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dingell’s Facebook posts could some day rival her husband’s Twitter feed for sheer “what-the-heck” value. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In an age of sanitized social media, Donald Trump has proved to be a politician doing his own messaging can be an asset. In that spirit, here’s a look at some of our favorite pols doing their own thing. (Seriously, we hope it’s not a staffer doing this stuff.)

The first politician who comes to mind for tweeting-on-his-own has to be Sen. Charles E. Grassley. @ChuckGrassley has been entertaining his 89,000 followers for years with updates on issues that come up during his town halls, the status of Iowa’s deer population and, sometimes, just Grassley bein’ Grassley.

(He was all right!)

Grassley also has a unique (and well-documented) ability to bemoan the lack of history on the History Channel.

Why, indeed, congressman. Why, indeed.

Grassley has also been known, from time to time, to break into Weird Twitter™.

And yeah: He’s better at tweeting about deer than you’ll ever be at tweeting about anything.

Thank you, congressman. Thank you so much.

On Twitter, it’s easy for Debbie Dingell to be overshadowed by her husband and congressional predecessor, former Rep. John D. Dingell — @JohnDingell, as we think about him now — but the freshman Democrat seems to have grabbed hold of her Facebook and reminded us all that, actually, your mom’s Facebook could get worse. (Not that we don’t love your Facebook, Mom, or that we don’t love your grammatically shorthanded Facebook screeds, congresswoman.)

Sunday morning….grocery shopping, post office, dry cleaners, laundry, drop off at goodwill, coffee with the boys at…

Posted by Debbie Dingell on Sunday, August 23, 2015

(She signs the Facebook posts that she does with “D2,” which is a great nickname, as well as the best “Mighty Ducks” movie.)

Yeah it’s Friday! So to top Wednesday off, John broke a tooth. Got him to the dentist yesterday, tooth fixed. And I was…

Posted by Debbie Dingell on Friday, August 21, 2015

It may be a cross between TMI and tl;dr, but it’s solid Facebooking IMO.

A long day……John Dingell in a house without electricity isn’t an experience I recommend anyone share but the power…

Posted by Debbie Dingell on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What is Facebook for if not editorializing?

While most members aren’t doing their own Twitter or Facebook, some members have taken to Instagram as their one social media outlet. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seems to fit that description.

He likes the outdoors. (You might notice Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., really enjoyed this recent dispatch, as did Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.)

(Screenshot via Instagram)

(Screenshot via Instagram)

(McCarthy kicked off a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters at the end of July by explaining this Insta. He told reporters falcons won’t come to your glove unless you have food. “They don’t make friends,” he said. “They just want to eat.”)

And he’s a sucker for a good #tbt. (Aren’t we all?)

Anyway, keep doing you, members of Congress. Maybe it’ll win you the presidency one day (or maybe not).


Using Social Media to Showcase the Speaker’s Lighter Side

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August 25, 2015

Free Snow Cones for Those Who Hate Internet Taxes


(Flyer image courtesy of SBEC)

In its push to freeze efforts to tax Internet access, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council will be passing out snow cones on Wednesday.

The shaved-ice desserts will be dished up on Delaware Avenue and D Street Northeast for two hours, starting at noon. Planners invite anyone on the Hill to stop by for a free cone.

Full story

2016 Candidates on Display at Iowa State Fair

Ah, the Iowa State Fair, where 2016 candidates vying for the highest office in the land and their surrogates hoist themselves into tractors (John R. Kasich), hork down pork on a stick (Lindsey Graham), pose for awkward selfies (Debbie Stabenow), toss footballs with little kids (Marco Rubio) and try, unsuccessfully, not to look to sweaty for the camera (Tom Harkin). Roll Call’s Al Drago was there for the sugar-induced highs and lows and everything in between.


See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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August 24, 2015

HOH Word of the Week: District Days/District Work Period

District days/district work period. Time off from Washington to go home and work on constituent matters. The House has a periodic schedule of district work days; the Senate takes off one week each month. This practice has been abused by some members, who use it as vacation time.”

— The Congress Dictionary, by Paul Dickson and Paul Clancy.

(Editor’s Note: The copyright for this source is 1993, which shows how much, and how little, things change.)

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Jim Webb’s 1979 Thoughts on Violence, Women and Sexuality

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Jim Webb says he’s changed his mind about his feelings on women in combat. The Virginia Democrat and 2016 presidential candidate spelled out his objections in a 1979 Washingtonian piece that is bracing in its argument that women in combat roles would have dire effects on the military’s viability.

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Webb said he was “proud” of the first two females who recently graduated the Army’s Ranger School, was “totally comfortable now with the military being able to make these decisions in a way that goes to performance” and noted their matriculation from West Point.

Webb’s team even put up on his 2016 campaign web site a story touting the CNN appearance. It’s a big turnaround from his Nov. 1, 1979 Washingtonian article (“Jim Webb: Women Can’t Fight”). Its language about human nature, gender roles and the place of women in the service academies, is stark.

Among its more memorable passages: Full story

August 21, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Steny Hoyer (Video)

Heard on the Hill continues its August recess “best of-a-thon” with a tribute to House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who shows off his insults, his credit card and his resemblance to Mick Jagger.

Full story

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