Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

19 Posts

May 21, 2015

Conservatives Take a Break From Chick-fil-A

Some things belong to each other. Chocolate and peanut butter, as the good people at Reese’s point out. A sad guitar and a hardshell case, as Bright Eyes notes. And, as HOH asserts, a monthly discussion with House conservatives and Chick-fil-A.

But all good panel discussion food pairings must come to an end — or something like that. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 5 a.m.
Food, HillSide

May 5, 2015

Messin’ With Texas?

Matt Fuller

Messing with Texas? (Matt Fuller / CQ Roll Call)

Well, somebody really did it this time.

In an apparent violation of an inviolable maxim, someone on the Senate side went ahead and messed with Texas.

Full story

April 14, 2015

Lawmaker’s One Elevator Rule: Pee Before You Get On

Connolly, joking here with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday, is quick with a quip. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a typical scene at the Capitol Tuesday. The House had just finished its afternoon series of votes, the chamber was emptying and members were scrambling to get back to whatever it is members scramble back to their offices to do.

Full story

March 26, 2015

Schocked, Schocked That Coffee Is on House Floor (Video)

We're Schocked, Schocked he brought coffee on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We’re Schocked, Schocked he brought coffee on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Aaron Schock, whose resignation officially takes effect on March 31, may be leaving Congress, but not before breaking just one more House rule: Schock brought coffee to the House chamber Thursday.

The Illinois Republican was on the floor following his final vote to deliver a farewell speech. And as he waited, Schock found all sorts of ways to commemorate his departure. He shook hands with a number of members. He had one last back-patting hug with fellow Illinois Republican Rodney Davis, one last exploding fist bump with Wisconsin Republican Sean P. Duffy. In another violation of House rules, Schock also took a pic with his congressional buds Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Jason Smith, R-Mo., — or, rather, Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., took it for him. Full story

March 24, 2015

Richest Man in Congress Knows His Soda Bargains

Issa mixes with reporters to find affordable soda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Issa mixes with reporters to find affordable soda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Darrell Issa may be worth at least $357 million, but he apparently knows where to find the cheapest sodas on Capitol Hill.

On Monday evening, Issa came strolling through the House Press Gallery — sporting a goatee, HOH noticed — and revealed that, despite his Scrooge McDuck-level of wealth, he keeps it real in at least one regard.

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 11 a.m.
DC, Reps

February 25, 2015

Lawmaker’s Quest for Cookie Crumbles

In a truly devastating blow, Rep. Scott Rigell came up empty-handed Wednesday in his search for a cookie from the House Carry-Out, a setback that’s likely to drag down the rest of his day, maybe even the rest of his week.

Rigell, who was on his way to votes Wednesday afternoon, made a detour to the Capitol basement’s eatery for the expressed purpose of a confectionery pick-me-up. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:57 p.m.
Food, Reps, Restos

September 17, 2014

Michele Bachmann and the Right to Bare Arms

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Michele Bachmann came to the floor Wednesday afternoon to preside over the House chamber, there was one problem: She was wearing a dress — without sleeves.

After Speaker John A. Boehner opened the House, Bachmann was due to step in the chair. Unfortunately for the Minnesota Republican, the dress code governing the House chamber was written before the time when Michelle Obama was first lady. Bare shoulders are not allowed on the House floor.

According to a source who saw the hubbub, floor staffers huddled for a moment before approaching Bachmann and telling her she could not preside until she covered up.

“I was just told that I needed to have a jacket and it was no problem,” Bachmann told HOH on Wednesday afternoon. “I called the staff and said ‘grab one’ — I keep an extra one in my office — and they ran it over lickety-split.”

Bachmann said she agreed with the dress code, which is stricter for members when they are presiding over the House chamber than it is for when they’re on the floor. “And it isn’t different for women than it is for men, which I absolutely agree with,” she said.

While Bachmann waited roughly five minutes for her staff to bring over a jacket, Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., stepped in to pinch-hit as the presiding officer.

When her staff did arrive, they brought two options: a dark blazer and a white one. Bachmann, who was wearing a black dress, tried on both, opting for the black jacket in the end.

“I just thought this would look more professional,” she said.

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June 13, 2014

Tim Ryan Welcomes New Son, Brady Zetts Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan has already had a taste of fatherhood raising two stepchildren with his second wife, Andrea. But he’s about to get a whole new flavor in raising his new son, Brady Zetts Ryan, who was born on Thursday, just a few days shy of Father’s Day.

The Ohio Democrat announced the birth of Brady, a 19 ¾-inch tyke weighing in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces the day after the birth.

“We are thankful that Brady and Andrea are both doing very well,” Ryan said.

“Mason and Bella are very excited to have a new little brother,” Ryan said of his two stepchildren.

In a statement, Ryan thanked the doctors, nurses and their midwife for their “excellent care and kind words.” In February, he announced that his wife was expecting.

Ryan, 40, is serving in his sixth term and is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Budget Committee.

By Matt Fuller Posted at 1:45 p.m.
Kiddies, Reps

February 26, 2014

Reporter to Boehner: Nice Tan, Sir (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner has a special affinity for poking fun at reporters’ sartorial decisions. But on Wednesday, it was Boehner who found himself on the butt end of a joke.

The Ohio Republican began his question and answer session Wednesday morning with some classic schoolyard sarcasm regarding Bloomberg reporter Derek Wallbank’s decision to wear a light purple button-down Wednesday.

“Nice shirt,” the Speaker said.

Wallbank took the comment — or at least tried to take the comment — as a compliment.

“Thank you, sir,” he said. Full story

February 7, 2014

Paul Gosar’s Love for Legislation He Voted Against

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama signed the long-awaited farm bill into law Friday, prompting the traditional outpouring of congressional press releases. But among the digital back-pattings was one carefully worded missive that lauded Obama for signing provisions of Rep. Paul Gosar’s wildfire prevention legislation into law — even though Gosar voted against the final bill.

“When it comes to wildfires, 2013 wasn’t a good year, which is why I’m especially proud that the majority of my wildfire prevention legislation was signed into law today,” Gosar stated. Full story

January 24, 2014

Flying High With Former N.H. Sen. Bob Smith

Ex-Sen. Scott P. Brown may not have officially announced his candidacy for New Hampshire’s Senate seat, but former Sen. Bob Smith has — sort of.

(CQ Roll Call archives)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican lawmaker has filed papers for the New Hampshire Senate seat he held for 12 years — though he hasn’t exactly announced his candidacy formally.

He is, however, hitting the D.C. circuit in search of money and support. And HOH had the unplanned pleasure of sitting next to him on his return flight from Baltimore to Manchester, N.H., on Thursday.

If you ask Smith, he has every intention of beating sitting New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and fellow Senate alumnus Brown.

“I’m not running for my health. I’m serious,” Smith told HOH over the course of a roughly 45-minute discussion that ranged from the current race to the sheer magnitude of the universe. (He couldn’t seem to shake a recent Discovery Channel special on the solar system.) Full story

November 26, 2013

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardella’s Waiting Arms

As Mark Leibovich wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “#ThisTown writes itself.”

Indeed.

Bardella, right, has some company in his communications startup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bardella, right, has some company in his communications startup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As if the cocaine-busted Rep. Trey Radel needed another problem, he now has an empty press shop to deal with.

His communications director, Amanda Nunez, and a press aide, Caitlin Rush, announced Monday that they were leaving the Florida Republican’s office to join Endeavor Strategic Communications, the public relations shop headed by Kurt Bardella, former press aide, most famously, for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. #ThisTown

Bardella started Endeavor in September as a PR firm that “specializes” in a number of image management fields, including “crisis communications.”

All three players have some experience in that one field.

Full story

October 8, 2013

Tim Griffin’s Son Tests Old Adage: Vote Early, Vote Often

John Griffin may be the youngest person to ever vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dressed in his Christmas-sweater-vest-best, John — the toddler son of GOP Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas — accompanied his dad to evening votes Tuesday.

And John, who looks to be about 3 years old, voted for about a dozen members.

(Screenshot via Twitter.)

(Screenshot via Twitter)

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 9:43 p.m.
HillSide, Kiddies, Reps

September 27, 2013

House GOP Aide Questions Wisdom of Going to See ‘Prisoners’ Tonight

House Republicans might be rethinking their Friday night movie plans after word got out that the members would be hitting up the Regal in Chinatown to see “Prisoners.”

In a series of emails obtained by CQ Roll Call, Republican staffers revealed that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wants to do a movie night for the Republican members in town. And the plan is to see “Prisoners.”

That’s when Erica Elliott, the spokeswoman for McCarthy, asks a prescient question:

“Any chance the media reads WAY too much into the title of the movie, Prisoners?”

To answer Ms. Elliott’s question: yes.

Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have made a concerted effort to cast Republicans as the bad guys for taking the nation’s credit “hostage” for a “wish list” of demands. Obama says he will not negotiate. Speaker John A. Boehner says, “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.”

So when Republicans landed on “Prisoners” for their Friday night flick, it was probably going to raise some Democratic eyebrows — or at least prompt some Democratic press releases.

“Given Speaker Boehner’s crusade to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to Tea Party ransom demands, it’s not surprising that, in their free time, the Republican Conference would choose to spend their Friday night watching a film together about hostage taking.” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s communications director told CQ Roll Call.

“Perhaps, given the group, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ would be more appropriate for their movie night,” Hammill said.

But HOH will note that if you haven’t seen the original “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” then the sequel, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ (which is the movie actually playing at Regal), probably isn’t worth your time.

In fact, nothing at Regal looks all that good.

“Insidious: Chapter 2” — There was a Chapter 1?

“Don Jon” — Let’s not even go there.

“The Family” — 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so …

“Rush” — We think House Republicans, like us, have grown tired of Ron Howard.

“Baggage Claim” — 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” — Seen it.

“Battle of the Year 3D” — Also ripe for ridicule, especially if you’re spotted in the 3D glasses.

“The World’s End” — Hard to see how that’s much better than “Prisoners.”

So “Prisoners,” with a 79 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and 90 percent audience approval, may not be the worst Friday night flick — even if Democrats are delighting in the choice.

Elliott, who took a stern tone over the matter using words like “confirm” and “logistics,” said Republicans were still figuring out which movie to see.

“I can confirm that our office has had internal discussions about potential member services activities this weekend. I can also confirm that a member of Minority Leader Pelosi’s staff was mistakenly copied on the email chain and chose to forward it to members of the media. At this time, no final decisions have been made about logistics for this weekend,” Elliott said.

August 28, 2013

Rigell Letter Bravely Opposes Obama’s Plan to Bomb … Libya?

Rep. Scott Rigell

Rep. Scott Rigell’s letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday was by most measures a win for the Virginia Republican, who gained valuable media exposure in finding 116 lawmakers to urge congressional authorization before striking Syria.

But the letter wasn’t a complete success for the congressman or his office.

Throughout the day, Rigell’s office sent a list of current signatories that had a number of errors (left the second ‘n’ off of Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, guys). Michigan Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio was, somehow, “Rep. Jim Bentivolio.” And Raúl R. Labrador became, in what was either a mistake or a subtle shot at the Idaho Republican, “Rep. Raul Labrabor.”

But, perhaps, the most comical mistake came in Rigell’s press release touting his letter. The headline?

“Rigell Leads Bipartisan Effort Urging President Obama to Get Congressional ApprovalBefore Striking Libya”

While Rigell’s letter criticizes Obama for his 2011 intervention in Libya, the congressman’s staff might have wanted to check the timeline on that whole Libya thing.

His office did send out a corrected press release. Crisis (in Libya) averted.

By Matt Fuller Posted at 6:57 p.m.
Uncategorized
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