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

Posts by Niels Lesniewski

79 Posts

January 28, 2015

Govs Rib Each Other Over Snowstorm

The governor of Vermont tweaked the governor of another New England state Wednesday morning for his state’s handling of the snowstorm that hit earlier this week.

“I send the regrets of Gov. Malloy of Connecticut. We got whacked pretty hard in the Northeast with a little bit of a snowstorm in our transportation infrastructure and you know, he would be here if he were not digging out. In Vermont, we got hit too, but our southern states aren’t as accustomed to snow as we are up in Vermont, so he’s still digging,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said at a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on the need for a new highway bill.

While the blizzard did not meet expectations in New York City, parts of Connecticut were walloped by the storm, including the eastern shoreline. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was scheduled to testify, but a committee aide said Wednesday morning that Malloy had canceled because of the weather. Shumlin appeared with Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama and South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist.

“I should say that that’s the Deep South too, Gov. Bentley,” Shumlin quipped.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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January 26, 2015

John McCain’s Counterterrorism Contretemps

John McCains Counterterrorism Contretemps

McCain discussed Yemen on Patrick’s radio program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Yeah, you know, Yemen falls to the Houthis, and we’re talking about football.”

— Sen. John McCain, asked on Dan Patrick’s radio program if he had spoken to fellow senators about the controversy over whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. This year’s Super Bowl, featuring the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, will be played in the Arizona Republican’s home state.

Related:

Reid Opines on ‘#Deflategate’

Nevada Senators Blast League Over Deflategate

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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November 13, 2014

Jerry Moran Brings ‘Under New Management’ Cake to GOP Lunch

Jerry Moran Brings Under New Management Cake to GOP Lunch

Moran with an “Under New Management” cake outside a Senate Republican lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jerry Moran borrowed a page from a fellow Kansan Thursday to celebrate the Republican takeover of the Senate.

The outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman brought a decorated cake for the enjoyment of his fellow senators to the Republican Conference lunch in the Lyndon B. Johnson room. “Under New Management” the cake blared in frosting, along with an exterior photo of the Capitol Dome.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:09 p.m.
Food, HillSide, Sens

October 26, 2014

Pete Rose Hustles Into Kentucky Senate Race

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a pass on making a call about one of America’s great sports controversies.

Asked if baseball legend Pete Rose should finally be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Republican said, “He’s the Hit King, but I’ll leave it to those who do the voting.”

That’s according to a survey published by the Lexington Herald-Leader, which asked candidates on the ballot about a series of less serious policy questions.

Full story

October 2, 2014

Overheard: Being Biden Is a ‘Bitch’? (Video)

Overheard: Being Biden Is a Bitch? (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minutes after repeating his familiar warning that sometimes he does not know when to stop saying all that he means, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. let out quite a quip at Harvard’s Institute of Politics Thursday night.

When a questioner identified himself as the vice president of the Harvard student body, Biden chimed in, “isn’t it a bitch, I mean … that vice president thing?”

Full story

September 19, 2014

Michele Bachmann Asks Al Franken to Help Defeat Al Franken

Michele Bachmann Asks Al Franken to Help Defeat Al Franken

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michele Bachmann wants Sen. Al Franken to make a campaign contribution — to defeat Al Franken.

The retiring Minnesota Republican congresswoman’s campaign fundraising pitch for her home state’s GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden reached the personal residence of Franken in Minneapolis, according to a copy of the mailer obtained by HOH.

Full story

September 17, 2014

Chuck Grassley’s Birthday Blizzard

Chuck Grassleys Birthday Blizzard

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley plans to put a birthday present to good use to grab himself a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but he hasn’t quite decided on the flavor yet.

“Either Reese’s or Snickers,” the Iowa Republican said Wednesday.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced during a committee hearing that he and ranking member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah were giving Grassley the gift certificate to Dairy Queen for his 81st birthday. Grassley is a former chairman and ranking member of the Finance panel.

Grassley’s birthday coincides with Constitution Day, which he highlighted on Twitter by announcing he had completed his annual 6.21-mile birthday run from his D.C. house to the Capitol, dubbed the “Home to the Dome” run. Grassley said his usual run is 3 miles.

Grassley also received birthday greetings from his longtime Iowa colleague, Tom Harkin.

 

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September 12, 2014

Menendez Unexpectedly Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Akaka

Menendez Unexpectedly Sings Happy Birthday to Akaka

Akaka, seen her getting a kiss from Rep. Loretta Sanchez, is feeling the love. The former senator celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Daniel K. Akaka got an unexpected birthday song on Thursday.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had been trying to reach the Hawaii Democrat to wish him a happy 90th birthday. When Akaka returned the call, he was riding the Dirksen subway toward the Capitol along with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

Full story

September 11, 2014

Overheard: Martin Dempsey’s Eventful Week

Overheard: Martin Dempseys Eventful Week

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Every day is eventful. … Today Iraq, tomorrow Ebola.”

— Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey, crossing the Senate basement on Thursday

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 8, 2014

Overheard: McConnell Blasted for Going to Work

Overheard: McConnell Blasted for Going to Work

(Win McNamee/Getty Images News)

The campaign of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell this fall, is criticizing the minority leader for heading to Washington, D.C., as the Senate returns.

“Today, scandal-ridden Mitch McConnell is running back to Washington, DC, in an attempt to dodge the tough questions he faces back home. In a new web ad released Monday, Alison for Kentucky holds McConnell accountable for his refusal to answer to the people of Kentucky,” the Lundergan Grimes campaign said in announcing the video.

Full story

September 2, 2014

Flashback: Moira Bagley Smith’s Guide to Hill Booze Scene

Flashback: Moira Bagley Smiths Guide to Hill Booze Scene

Bagley Smith chronicled the intricacies of flip cup at the Ugly Mug during her time at Roll Call. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By now, you’ve seen the announcement that Moira Bagley Smith is joining the staff of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., as communications director.

While on staff here at Roll Call in the aughts, Bagley Smith wrote regularly for our old Mug Shots feature. In that role, she brought readers to Sonoma just a year after the wine bar opened, to board games at Trusty’s and to a flip cup tournament at The Ugly Mug.

“The bar sport — a beer-chugging, cup-flipping relay race — is a test of concentration and nerves, rather than strength,” Bagley Smith said in describing flip cup in 2006.

Full story

August 28, 2014

New Englanders, and Political Figures, Relieved as Market Basket Standoff Ends

New Englanders, and Political Figures, Relieved as Market Basket Standoff Ends

Market Basket employees wave to cars in Londonderry as they call for customers to boycott the embattled New England grocery store chain on Aug. 17. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Across a broad swath of New England, there’s cause for celebration this Thursday — about the local supermarket.

Driving around New Hampshire last week, the scene was unavoidable: Protesters waving signs outside of local Market Basket stores, with cars honking as they drove by. Inside the stores, bare shelves abound, especially with the perishable goods, little fresh dairy or produce to speak of, an empty butcher case. Most importantly, there were hardly any customers. The public had backed the employees with an old-fashioned boycott.

Politicians across the spectrum had called for resolution, and thus it came as no surprise when the statements started to appear lauding the announcement late Wednesday that an agreement had been reached to bring back the popular previous management, including from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Full story

August 25, 2014

Sherrod Brown: Switch to Wendy’s or White Castle if Burger King Goes to Canada (Video)

Sherrod Brown: Switch to Wendys or White Castle if Burger King Goes to Canada (Video)

Brown is not happy with Burger King’s reported plans to go Canada. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a statement that might make the late Dave Thomas proud, Sen. Sherrod Brown said Monday that if Burger King sets up shop in Canada as part of a tax inversion, customers should switch to Wendy’s or White Castle.

“Burger King’s decision to abandon the United States means consumers should turn to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers or White Castle sliders. Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way'; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers,” Brown said.

Full story

August 22, 2014

How Expensive Is a Mug of Bacon?

How Expensive Is a Mug of Bacon?

From the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MANCHESTER, N.H. | One Republican senator from the Midwest might as well be asking: Will taxes raise the sticker price of this mug of bacon?

The menu item at the iconic Red Arrow diner currently goes for $13.99 — and for six bucks more you can keep the mug. The diner is a must stop for any politician stumping in the Granite State. Your correspondent ate breakfast this week at a counter spot marked with a small plaque noting that former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., (now a candidate for Senate in New Hampshire) had once graced the same seat.

How Expensive Is a Mug of Bacon?But Sen. Ron Johnson’s office has a beef about government regulation of the porky breakfast product.

A new blog entry on the Wisconsin Republican’s website says, “the idea that government should be able to use taxes and regulations to make its citizens avoid the wholesome foods they prefer is repulsive.”

It references a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Oklahoma State professor Jayson Lusk about the promotion of  a vegetarian diet by some as a means to combat climate change.

Full story

August 13, 2014

Dean Heller Challenges Harry Reid to Grow a Beard

Dean Heller Challenges Harry Reid to Grow a Beard

 Reid will not be growing a beard. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dean Heller has issued a challenge to his Democratic counterpart from Nevada.

The Republican has challenged Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to grow a beard in honor of the sesquicentennial of the Silver State. It’s a challenge that Heller said Reid did not accept, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:58 a.m.
FightingWords
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