Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 2, 2015

Posts by Emma Dumain

31 Posts

March 24, 2015

Scalise, McHenry Go Forward, Move Ahead With Whip It Good PAC

Scalise, McHenry Go Forward, Move Ahead With Whip It Good PAC

Scalise, measuring a possible whip? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When the House Freedom Caucus comes along, you must whip it. When a close vote’s held open on the floor too long, you must whip it. Whip it good.

These might not be the actual words to the infamous 1980 masterpiece by Devo, but GOP Reps. Steve Scalise and Patrick T. McHenry are welcome to borrow from HOH’s mediocre parody lyrics when touting their new fundraising operation, which is named for the song’s seminal refrain. Full story

By Emma Dumain Posted at 4:48 p.m.
AwesomeSauce, Reps

March 19, 2015

Mark Takano Schools Marco Rubio on Net Neutrality

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., may seem like a nice guy, but he went all “Mr. Hand” on Sen. Marco Rubio over the Florida Republican’s op-ed on net neutrality.

Takano, a Harvard graduate and former public high school teacher, took to Facebook Thursday and scorched the presumed 2016 GOP presidential candidate, giving him an “F.” Full story

March 4, 2015

Spotted: Capitol Hill Fox Says ‘Hi’ To Lunchtime Crowd at Rayburn

The Capitol Hill Fox is back in business.

After a multi-month sojourn from delighting members and aides, a source told HOH that everyone’s favorite woodland creature was spotted Monday by “dozens of people” as it graced the congressional grounds. Full story

By Emma Dumain Posted at 6:37 p.m.
Critters

February 24, 2015

Why This Member Has Rubber Ducks on His Desk

Why This Member Has Rubber Ducks on His Desk

Stylings most fowl in Swalwell’s office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Like most members, Rep. Eric Swalwell has put personal touches on his Capitol Hill office.

The two-term California Democrat has a rack of wine bottles from vineyards in his district on display and a simple crucifix hanging above the door.

Unlike most members, a modest collection of small, rubber ducks sits at the edge of his desk.

Full story

August 28, 2014

In Marie Claire Profile, Jennifer Hing Dresses Up and Opens Up

Jennifer Hing, the communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, is known around Capitol Hill for pairing stylish yet work-appropriate outfits with a practical pencil threaded through her ponytail or tucked behind one ear.

But in a photograph accompanying an article published today on the Marie Claire website, Hing eschews her pencil for an oversized clutch bag, and her tailored blazer for a sweeping avant-garde cape.

She’s the subject of one of three short profiles appearing in the September issue of the women’s magazine under the headline, “Change Agents: 3 Women Who are OWNING their Future.” Hing, plus Deborah Turness, president of NBC News and the creative director and executive vice president of design for Banana Republic, Marissa Webb, are presented as “power players reinventing the rules in their respective businesses and proving that the future belongs to those who seize it.”

Hing told HOH she was contacted “out of the blue” to participate in the profile and still wasn’t quite sure how she was selected or whether someone tipped off Marie Clare that she might be a good interview subject.

Full story

June 23, 2014

Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Bill Mahers #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Coffman, left, and Walorski are two of the House Republicans targeted in the Bill Maher ‘Flip a District’ project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There are just two chances left to nominate House GOP lawmakers for ousting at the hands of HBO’s Bill Maher.

The political comedian announced during the June 20 “Real Time With Bill Maher” that he has added Republican Reps. Tim Walberg of Michigan and freshman Jackie Walorski of Indiana to his list of incumbents who might be vulnerable in the November midterm elections.

Full story

June 21, 2014

Joseph Crowley Savors Diamond Memories From Congressional Baseball Games

Joseph Crowley Savors Diamond Memories From Congressional Baseball Games

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle — or “Coach Doyle,” as he’s deferentially called by colleagues — doesn’t want to see anybody get hurt at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

That’s a good thing for a team of amateur athletes with an average age far past that of a professional ballplayer in his prime, and perhaps especially good for Rep. Joseph Crowley.

“I’ve been hurt twice in the last three seasons,” the New York Democrat readily admitted. “I’ve been hurt at the game. Typically, it’s pulling a muscle.

“We’re so psyched,” Crowley explained. “The adrenaline’s pumping. You’re running from votes, you’re changing in the car, you’re running into the stadium. There’s no time to warm up, the game starts. You’re just, like, pumping. All those people there!”

He paused and smiled. “It’s a really, really cool thing.”

Crowley, the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus when he’s not manning first base, played in his first Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 1999, as a freshman lawmaker. He’s seen a lot and has a humble idea of his place in the scheme of things. “The second year, I remember I was out in the outfield, and I didn’t have my cleats that morning, and I was shagging a fly ball,” he recalled. “The field was so wet and dewy, I just lost my feet completely. Bang! Right smack on my back. And I got up and I said, ‘Why am I doing this? I don’t know why I’m doing this.’”

Crowley uses the word “hate” for anyone who’s a standout player, and “jealous” for anyone who competes to play first base. The latter point has been the source of a rivalry between him and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

But despite his somewhat imposing stature and gruff baritone, Crowley is quick with a laugh and his eyes twinkle when he’s talking trash — a sign he takes it all in stride.

Some of Crowley’s favorite memories? “I enjoyed watching the Weiner years,” said Crowley of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, a fellow New York Democrat and Mets fan.

Crowley’s nicknamed the Democrats’ star pitcher, Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, “Franchise” and calls freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy of Florida, “Franchise 2.” Murphy, Crowley said, is “like a gazelle” on the field.

He says his favorite moment inside the diamond was in 2012, the same day the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

“Folks made signs out in the field,” Crowley said. “‘Supreme Court 1, Republicans Nothing.’ Something like that.”

Was there ever a low-point in his congressional baseball career?

“Yeah,” Crowley said, trying to deadpan but ultimately bursting out laughing. “The day Steve Largent struck me out my only time at bat. I said, ‘I’m never gonna be here again!’ ”

The Oklahoma Republican who’s in two halls of fame — pro football’s and the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game’s — made him look silly. “I was there at the plate, and he threw a ball, and I fouled it off. And he threw another ball, and it was a ball. And he threw another ball, it was a strike, and I knew it was coming, and all I could do was look at it. And I watched it. It was a beautiful pitch, it was a curveball over the plate, and I remember thinking: ‘That guy is such a great athlete. I hate him.’

“But that was 15, 16 years ago,” Crowley shrugged. “Every year is a new beginning. I’m hoping to hit it out soon.”

Get your tickets to the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

 

Related:

Republican and Democratic team rosters for the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game

Congressional Baseball Game Helps D.C. Adults Get Second Chance at Washington Literacy Center

 

 

May 13, 2014

Bill Maher: Michael Grimm Has ‘Likely Flipped Himself’ on #FlipaDistrict

Bill Maher: Michael Grimm Has Likely Flipped Himself on #FlipaDistrict

Has Grimm “flipped himself?” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bill Maher might be giving up on “flipping” Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s district.

The liberal comedian explained on his HBO show “Real Time” last week that the New York Republican is probably now capable of putting his seat in Democratic hands all by himself.

“There has been a development that I must tell you we here at ‘Real Time’ could not foresee,” said Maher, “and that is that the very first schmoe that we put up on our Tweet 16 board of finalists … has most likely flipped himself by getting arrested and possibly going to prison.” Full story

March 31, 2014

Maher Continues to Bait Grimm, Farenthold for #FlipaDistrict

Comedian Bill Maher still wants to #flipadistrict from Republican to Democrat, and on his HBO show on March 28, he continued to lambast two of his GOP targets: New York’s Michael G. Grimm and Texas’s Blake Farenthold.

“They got pisssssssssssed!” chuckled Maher.

Maher read a statement from Grimm as reported in the lawmaker’s hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance: “From the ultra-liberal new Mayor Bill de Blasio and now the left-wing, anti-Catholic Bill Maher, a troubling pattern is emerging where the most radical progressives in the country are coming out and supporting my opponent.”

“I don’t even know who your opponent is!” Maher crowed. For the record, Grimm’s likely Democratic challenger is Domenic Recchia, a former city councilman from Brooklyn.

“It’s said that you can tell a lot about someone by who opposes them,” Farenthold told Breitbart News. “In the case of liberal pundit Bill Maher … I wear his disapproval of me as a badge of honor.”

The Texas Republican, in a separate interview with KTRH News Radio, said, “I do have a Democrat running against me. Unless Maher is able to get him a lot of money, I think I’m okay.”

“I love it when politicians reveal themselves like this,” Maher told his audience after quoting Farenthold. “That’s the point of us doing this. That yes, you have a big wallet, and I don’t think in America ‘I have the biggest wallet’ should always win.”

Fourteen additional House Republicans will be nominated by fans via Twitter over the next few weeks, ultimately to be whittled to one candidate whose midterm opponent Maher will support.

Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

March 24, 2014

Maher’s Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

The first round of votes has come in: Reps. Michael G. Grimm of New York and Blake Farenthold of Texas are “fan favorites” — to be ousted from office in November.

The two lawmakers are among the total of 16 House Republicans who will be nominated via Twitter by the public over the coming weeks as part of political comedian and liberal firebrand Bill Maher’s #FlipaDistrict campaign.

Mahers Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

Grimm, with friend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Once all the candidates are narrowed down “bracket-style,” Maher will target the “winning” incumbent for defeat in the midterm elections.

Mahers Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

Farenthold (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maher won’t be running himself, of course, but the host of HBO’s “Real Time” has plenty of money to throw behind the official Democratic challenger, plus a coterie of fans enthusiastic to aid in the effort. Full story

August 12, 2013

Murphy Brown’s Taxation Without Representation

In our latest edition of Fictional Franchise — the series that examines fictional characters and who represents them in Congress — we look at the fictional residents of the District of Columbia and their non-voting representative, Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

In the past, we’ve concentrated on themes such as baseball players or characters from great American novels. This time around, we’re concentrating on the District itself.

The rules for the series go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more on the rules here.)

Speaking of rules, while the title of this series is “Fictional Franchise,” these Washingtonians are not actually enfranchised when it comes to congressional representation.

By the way, we skipped “The West Wing.” Aaron Sorkin concentrated so much on his characters’ work lives that it was to the exclusion of their home lives. So we determined that we did not have enough research to make definitive determinations on the gang.

Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen)
“Murphy Brown”
Georgetown

It’s hard to reconcile the fact that Murphy Brown, patron saint of a generation of female reporters, is not represented by a voting member of Congress. One gets the sense if she were real, the law would have been changed by now.

It is widely believed that Brown’s townhouse is on Dent Place in Georgetown, a neighborhood home to many famously fictional people.

And while she may have the dance moves of an “Animal House” extra, she is still the coolest fake journalist ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MINvev9mC3M

Full story

July 24, 2013

Mark Sanford’s New Business Casual: Shorts on the House Floor

Somebody obviously didn’t tell Rep. Mark Sanford the House moved up the Wednesday evening vote series an hour earlier than anticipated. Otherwise, he might have changed clothing first — or taken a shower, at least.

The South Carolina Republican came into the Speaker’s Lobby sporting a sweat-soaked T-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers.

Asked by HOH if he had thought he had adequate time for an exercise run before having to report to the chamber to vote on amendments to the Defense Department appropriations bill, Sanford deadpanned, “I think that’s a fair assessment.”

Mark Sanfords New Business Casual: Shorts on the House Floor

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

For the most part, he stayed sheepishly in one corner of the long hallway, hovering near one of the chamber doorways to monitor when he needed to run out onto the floor and cast his votes and trying to ignore giggling reporters.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is a stickler for proper attire, and has been known to admonish male lawmakers from the dais for not wearing required jackets and ties. Sanford donned a blazer supplied by an aide when he had to go into the chamber, but took it off when he was in the Speaker’s Lobby, perhaps wanting to avoid taking it into the dry cleaner’s.

Mark Sanfords New Business Casual: Shorts on the House Floor

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., asked Sanford if he needed to borrow a tie. “I might,” Sanford replied.
Other colleagues were less helpful.
“Nooooo wayyyyyyy,” freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., drawled.  “Noooo wayyyyy. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve only been here six months.”
He then suggested Sanford pull down his shorts a little bit so they looked like pants. Sanford declined.

June 20, 2013

More Tea, Mr. Speaker? Courtesy of DCCC

More Tea, Mr. Speaker? Courtesy of DCCC

(Courtesy Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has decided to play the role of peace broker between Speaker John A. Boehner and the tea party. In a tongue-in-cheek move, the DCCC delivered to the Ohio Republican on Thursday a gift basket containing a teapot, an assortment of gourmet tea bags and mugs engraved with the names of 13 of his chief antagonists.

An intern dropped off the package at Boehner’s personal office in the Longworth House Office Building shortly before 11 a.m., according to a DCCC aide who alerted CQ Roll Call about the offering earlier in the morning.

“Dear Speaker Boehner,” read an attached note, scrawled by hand in blue ink on DCCC stationery. “With another mutiny brewing, we’re sending you a tea party to calm down your tea party. We include personalized mugs for your convenience.”

The letter concludes, “~the Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte.”

No word yet on whether Boehner will invite lawmakers — not all of whom are officially affiliated with the House Tea Party Caucus or considered loyalists by national tea party groups — over for a sit-down.

We do wonder, though, whether Boehner’s staff will ensure every member gets his or her own special mug.

Here’s a full rundown, courtesy of DCCC:

By Emma Dumain Posted at 12:39 p.m.
Foolishness

April 19, 2013

Ricin Man and His Trusty Dog, Moo Cow

By now you may have already heard the tale of the capture of Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator-turned-suspect for sending ricin to elected officials and who might also have believed he was being targeted for uncovering a refrigerator full of black market body parts.

But there’s always another side to every story and, the way Curtis tells it, it starts with a drive with a dog named Moo Cow. Full story

April 14, 2013

Spotify Access Is Spotty

The House is alive with the sound of music — well, almost.

Last week, staffers and members of Congress rejoiced to learn that they would regain access to Spotify, a popular music-streaming program, on the House network.

They would return to Capitol Hill from a two-week recess ready to pick up where they left off before the House computer overlords blocked the program for fear it would expose government computers to cyberattacks.
Full story

Page 1 of 3

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...