Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2014

Posts by Danielle Ryan

15 Posts

April 18, 2013

Jennifer Hudson Honored at ‘Grammys on the Hill’

Music met politics Wednesday night at the annual Grammys on the Hill awards, which honored Jennifer Hudson with the Recording Artist Coalition Award for her philanthropic and artistic achievements.

Dozens of musical and political stars mingled at a VIP cocktail reception at The Hamilton venue in downtown Washington before the awards dinner. Guests included producer Clive Davis, singer Yolanda Adams and songwriter Kara DioGuardi.

Jennifer Hudson Honored at Grammys on the Hill

From left: Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Clive Davis. (Danielle Ryan/CQ Roll Call)

Speaking to HOH, Hudson said the award was “extra special” to her.

“Because it’s not just for the arts, but because it’s just like me being me, being the person that I am and trying to make a difference in the world,” she said.

Librarian of Congress James Billington was also there to be honored for the work the library has done to preserve historic audio recordings.

Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., their parties’ respective whips, were among a dozen members of Congress on hand to show support for the protection of intellectual property.

Hoyer turned to the Ten Commandments to illustrate what he said should be the guiding principle when it comes to protecting musical property.

“Thou shalt not steal,” he said. “There’s no caveat.”

Jennifer Hudson Honored at Grammys on the Hill

Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Steny H. Hoyer.  (Danielle Ryan/CQ Roll Call)

Proceeds from Grammys on the Hill go to the Grammy Signature Schools Program, which works to keep music programs alive in schools.

Hudson told HOH how important school music programs were to her as a child.

“I would not be here if it was not for music programs in school growing up — that’s what made me a dreamer,” she said.

“I would hate to see that being taken away from kids and schools.”

After receiving her award, Hudson wowed the crowd with powerful performances of “Hallelujah” and  ”One Night Only.”

As the evening drew to a close, more than a dozen members of Congress joined singers and songwriters on stage for an unrehearsed but rather lively rendition of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”

Jennifer Hudson Honored at Grammys on the Hill

(Danielle Ryan/CQ Roll Call)

April 15, 2013

Take Five With Rep. Chellie Pingree

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions all relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, tells us what’s on her playlist and who she’d want to play her in a movie of her life.

Full story

April 10, 2013

Minnesota Delegation Digs Into Annual Hotdish Fight

It’s not every day that you get to watch members of Congress battle it out over who can make the best hotdish. But for HOH, Wednesday was that glorious, calorie-laden day.

Senate Democrat Al Franken hosted the third annual Minnesota delegation “Hotdish Cook Off” in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Minnesota Delegation Digs Into Annual Hotdish Fight

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Ex-Reps. Vin Weber, R-Minn., and Gerry Sikorski, D-Minn., pulled bipartisan judging duty, sampling each of the nine featured dishes and ultimately weighing in on their favorite.

After great deliberation, House Democrat Tim Walz took top honors and earned bragging rights for his dish, dubbed “Hermann The German Hotdish” after a bobblehead statue of the Hermann Monument in New Ulm, Minn.

Full story

March 14, 2013

Former Rep. John Edward Porter Gives Congress a Tongue-Lashing

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., were honored at Research!America’s annual advocacy awards dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, the organization’s nod to their commitment to private and public sector medical research and innovation.

But things took an interesting turn, when former Rep. John Edward Porter — now chairman of the board of Research!America — took aim at Congress, accusing both parties of “idiotic posturing that is supposed to pass as governing.”

“The United States preaches democracy to the world. Our founders gave us a strong framework for making inclusive decisions,” the Illinois Republican said. “Then we do everything possible to scam the system for partisan advantage.”

The crowd, if somewhat surprised by the scathing attack, lapped it up.

Full story

March 11, 2013

Take Five With Rep. Trey Radel

It’s Tuesday. That means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s weekly chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., a former journalist, talks about his favorite book and shares with us some advice that he received from his parents while growing up.

Full story

March 4, 2013

Cherry Blossom Mania in Full Bloom

It’s official: The cherry blossoms are on their way.

If you, like HOH, were wondering about the lingering winter weather and distinct lack of springtime feeling around Washington, D.C., lately, worry no more.

Monday morning at the Newseum, the National Park Service announced this year’s prediction for the peak blooming dates of Washington’s famous cherry blossoms.
Full story

February 27, 2013

Troubles Visit the Folger’s Exhibit

A current exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library that aims to highlight Irish-English relations in the 16th and 17th centuries as “more than a binary story of oppressor and oppressed,” has received strong criticism from a top Irish scholar in Washington.

Cóilín Owens, professor emeritus at George Mason University, had some harsh words for the curators of the new exhibit in a letter sent to the Irish Embassy in Washington, the two exhibit curators and the Folger Shakespeare Library itself. Owens’ letter, however, was leaked to IrishCentral.com, a website aimed at the global Irish diaspora, igniting some unintended media controversy.
Full story

February 25, 2013

Take Five With Rep. Rodney Davis

If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress by asking five fun questions.

This week, freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., tells us whom he’d choose to swap lives with for one week and why his mom is an inspiration.
Full story

February 18, 2013

Take Five With Rep. Mark Takano

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH catches up with a member of Congress over five fun questions. This week, freshman Rep. Mark Takano,
D-Calif., shares the similarities between being a teacher and being a member of Congress, and he tells us what he misses about his sunny California district.

Full story

February 14, 2013

Camp Gets Tracy’s Kids Courage Award

A bunch of Washington’s own stars (and by that we mean members of Congress) rolled out the red carpet Wednesday evening for a Hollywood-style, Oscar-themed event to benefit Tracy’s Kids — an art therapy program designed to help children and their families deal with the trauma of cancer.

The event, “And The Winner Is …”, is the eighth annual Tracy’s Kids Courage Award ceremony, and it’s held to recognize “a public person who exemplifies the strength, dignity and perseverance” necessary to face the challenges of the disease.

Full story

February 11, 2013

Take Five

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH has a chance to get to know a member of Congress by asking five fun questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, freshman Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., tells us what she’s reading, what she’s missing and where she’d go if she could escape Congress for an impromptu vacation.
Full story

January 25, 2013

God 1, Obama 0

Daughter: The sky is still really pretty … even when Obama is president.

Father: That’s right. God is still King.

— An exchange HOH overheard Friday between a father and daughter in town for the March for Life rally.  (The daughter could not have been more than 3 or 4 years old.)

January 21, 2013

The Inauguration Weekend Superlatives

Inauguration weekend was an absolute mind scramble.

Every night became a blur of fabulously attired people cracking politically correct jokes while hovering over embarrassingly overflowing buffet spreads or waiting in line to drain dry the wealth of open bars.

Full story

January 20, 2013

‘The House I Live In’ and a John Legend-ary Performance

For some lucky ticket holders, inauguration weekend kicked off Saturday with a screening of Eugene Jarecki’s provocative documentary about America’s war on drugs, “The House I Live In,” at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood.

The documentary offers a scathing critique of America’s criminal justice system and was co-produced by Danny Glover, Brad Pitt, Russell Simmons and John Legend.

“The drug war and its extraordinary injustice to human beings in this country, people of color, poor people, not only must end, but it must now be at the top of the to-do list here in Washington,” Jarecki said. Full story

January 17, 2013

Roof Blaze Won’t Close Hank’s on the Hill for Long

Oyster-lovers, rest easy. The fire at the Pennsylvania Avenue location of Hank’s Oyster Bar early this morning didn’t cause any damage that would force the eatery to close for long.

The building suffered “minimal” damage, a spokeswoman for the restaurant said, and it looks as if it could be up and running — or “up and shucking” as they say at Hank’s — in a matter of days.

Hank’s was planning to be open extended hours over inauguration weekend. While that plan is off the table now, the restaurant could reopen in time for Inauguration Day festivities.

According to the spokeswoman, there was “a small fire on the roof” in the wee hours of the morning. The cause is still unknown.

Initial reports claimed that one person suffered minor injuries, but HOH has confirmed that everyone at Hank’s is safe and well — including neighboring buildings, which suffered no fire damage.

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