Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 18, 2014

Posts by Cady Zuvich

7 Posts

July 30, 2014

The GOP Twitter Shuffle: Eric Cantor Edition

Eric Cantor’s exit as House majority leader is near, yet he still reigns as owner of @GOPLeader, at least for now.

If history in GOP Twitter accounts is telling, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., — who currently tweets from @GOPWhip — will take over the outgoing Virginia Republican’s Twitter handle, with Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., moving to McCarthy’s official GOP Whip account.

Making a Twitter account switch is not new to the Republican Party. John Boehner tweeted from @GOPLeader until taking over as speaker of the House in 2011 (you can now find him at @SpeakerBoehner). During that same time, Cantor’s handle was @GOPWhip.

Similar to his absences from GOP leadership news conferences, @GOPLeader has been largely silent since Cantor’s primary loss to economics professor Dave Brat. Cantor has tweeted from @GOPLeader three times since his loss, twice to congratulate new Republican leadership and once to make note of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

Will Cantor bid us adieu with one last farewell tweet on @GOPLeader before handing the account over to McCarthy? Only time will tell.

July 21, 2014

Take Five: Rep. Cheri Bustos

Take Five: Rep. Cheri Bustos

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., speaks about her career as a journalist at the Quad-City Times and growing up in the Land of Lincoln among politicians right at her kitchen table. A lightly edited transcript follows.

Q: You earned a master’s degree in journalism and worked as an investigative reporter in Illinois. What was it like?

A: I believe that every day, you could walk into the newsroom and you were in the position to make a difference. I’m a pretty competitive person. My goal every day was to make sure I was making a difference in the community but also to have the above-the-fold, banner story as many days as I possibly could.

Q: You grew up around politics. Your dad was a chief of staff to Sens. Paul Simon and Alan Dixon. What lessons did you pick up from being around politics at such an early age?

A: Sitting around our kitchen table from a very early age on, we talked politics and we talked policy. Never once can I ever remember my dad saying, “Go away, this is an adult conversation.” I could sit around and listen to these guys as long as I wanted to listen to them.

Q: You recently spent Mother’s Day in Afghanistan. What was your biggest takeaway from it?

The most moving part of it was to sit down with our American troops on Mother’s Day when they were away from their children. … If there’s something that has meant a lot to me during my short time here in Washington, it is getting to know a lot of veterans and those who serve to a level that I have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices they’ve given for the country and what their families have given.

Q: You were MVP of the 2013 Congressional Softball Game. How do you keep in shape?

A: I get up at 4:30 a.m. pretty much every morning during the week. I work out for an hour and a half. I do weights and I ride the bike, I run or I play tennis. It’s my release.

Q: You’re finishing your first term in Congress. What advice could you give to incoming freshmen?

A: Have great people around you because this is very much a team effort. If there’s any success that I’ve had, it is a direct reflection of the people I work with. We have a very smart team and an extremely hardworking team, both here in Washington and back in Illinois. We all understand why we’re here.

By Cady Zuvich Posted at 4:06 p.m.
TakeFive

July 18, 2014

FLOTUS Tweaks Congress Over School Lunch at Kids’ State Dinner

First Lady Michelle Obama’s battle for school lunch reform continued to heat up Friday as she urged a room full of kids and parents to become advocates for healthy lunch programs, despite “grownups’ ” attempts to block reform.

“And while the vast majority of the schools are doing just fine with these new standards, those few complaining voices happen to be the loudest voices and they’re getting the most attention right now,” the first lady said at the third annual Kids’ State Dinner, slamming Congress for “undoing some of the progress” made.

With 54 kid representatives from each state and territory attending the dinner after submitting winning recipes, Obama took the opportunity to center her remarks on school lunch, suggesting the voices of parents and children are necessary in the fight for healthy, nutritious lunches. A panel of judges — which included White House chef Sam Kass — picked the tastiest and healthiest recipes among the 1,500 submissions. Full story

July 8, 2014

Jared Polis and Dan Maffei Welcome New Daughters

Jared Polis and Dan Maffei Welcome New Daughters

(Courtesy of Rep. Maffei)

 

For Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., the past Fourth of July weekend was remembered for more than fireworks and American flags. The dads each celebrated births of their daughters, skipping out on typical Independence Day festivities.

Rep. Maffei and wife Abby Davidson Maffei on July 4 announced the birth of Maya Elizabeth Maffei. Born July 3 at 6:23 a.m., Maya’s birthday is just one day before her father’s, with Rep. Maffei turning 46 this past Independence Day. Abby Davidson Maffei works for humanitarian organization CARE.

In a statement, Rep. Maffei and his wife announced that Maya — the couple’s first child — weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 inches long.

“Maya is the biggest little birthday present I could have ever dreamed of, and we are so delighted to welcome her into the world,” Rep. Maffei said in a statement.

Also during this past weekend, Jared Polis and his partner — writer Marlo Reis — welcomed daughter Cora Barucha into the world on July 4, posting to Facebook a picture of Cora donning a quilted American flag sweater. Cora weighed 9 pounds and

Jared Polis and Dan Maffei Welcome New Daughters

(Courtesy of office of Rep. Polis)

was 21 inches long.

Polis’ office confirmed Cora’s birth and Polis’ sister, Jordanna Schutz, explained the origins of Cora’s middle name on Facebook.

This is the couple’s second child. In 2011, Polis became the first openly gay parent in Congress after the birth of son Caspian Julius. As with that news, Polis has decided to keep the details of this birth tightly held.

Schutz said her great-great aunt, Kasha Barucha, fled to the United States from Russia in order to protect her family during the 1905 Russian revolution.

“Barucha means blessing,” Schutz posted to Facebook. “It is a good day to celebrate two blessings: my new niece, and the promise of ‘Inalienable Rights’ to ‘Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

July 3, 2014

Malia Obama’s July 4th Sweet 16

Malia Obamas July 4th Sweet 16

Malia, far right, turns 16 the same day as America’s birthday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the Obama family, Friday’s Fourth of July celebrations will also mark another milestone — Malia Obama’s sweet 16 birthday.

President Barack Obama made note Tuesday during a speech in Washington of Malia’s upcoming Independence Day birthday, with the president showing some apprehension as Malia begins to inch toward adulthood.

“With the Fourth of July on Friday — also Malia’s birthday for those of you who are interested — she will be 16,” the president said before beginning his remarks on the Highway Trust Fund. “A little worrisome.”

Turning 16 means Malia may soon be behind the wheel, as she will be at the minimum age eligible to obtain a driver’s permit in the District. Michelle Obama confirmed to Jimmy Fallon in February that Malia will indeed be on the road this summer, warning Washingtonians to “watch out.”

The Obamas have in the past marked Malia’s birthday in an array of locations, including on the campaign trail in 2012 and at Camp David in 2009.

Also in 2009, the president addressed military families on July Fourth in Washington as Malia turned 11 years old.

“When she was younger, I used to say that all these fireworks were for her,” the president said. “I’m not sure she still buys that.”

By Cady Zuvich Posted at 2:51 p.m.
FLOTUS, Kiddies, POTUS

June 26, 2014

Queen Silvia of Sweden, EDM DJ Tiësto Here to Protect the Kids

The queen of Sweden is in town advocating global child protection initiatives as part of her World Child Foundation, and was the headliner at a Thursday lunch at the Swedish Embassy just hours before another of her initiatives kicked off a music festival featuring electronic dance figure Tiësto.

“It is something we owe each other as human beings,” Queen Silvia said of protecting kids, in front of a crowd of stakeholders at the House of Sweden in Georgetown.

Advocates for child protection in both the private and public sector, including Carolyn Miles, president of Save the Children, as well as Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF’s Child Protection Unit, attended the lunch.

WCF has raised over $80 million for more than 600 projects that protect and aid children experiencing abuse and exploitation, according to the organization. “Regardless of our individual roles, focus areas or expertise, we are all working toward the common objective of protecting the most vulnerable among us — the children,” Swedish Ambassador  Björn Lyrvall said.

Full story

June 25, 2014

Congressmen Cover Prince, Battle Over ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘Raspberry Beret’

Two congressmen took to Twitter to show off their musical chops, commemorating “Purple Rain,” Prince’s top-charting, critically acclaimed sixth album that turned 30 years old on Wednesday.

First up was Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Also from Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Ellison posted a 6-second Vine of himself from his office performing “Purple Rain,” acoustic guitar and all. Ellison tweeted his disbelief in the album’s age and added the hashtag, “#Purplerain.”

In response to Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., tweeted his Prince performance for “Raspberry Beret,” Prince’s first single off his 1985 album “Around The World in a Day.” Also with acoustic guitar, Crowley crooned the verse: “She wore a raspberry beret/The kind you find in a secondhand store.”

How do their covers stack up to Prince’s original versions? Which congressman’s take on Prince is the best? Will any other members of Congress step up to the plate to show off their favorite Prince song? Let us know in the comments section.

 

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