Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 29, 2015

Posts by Niels Lesniewski

84 Posts

March 19, 2015

Lawmakers Have Their Own NCAA Bracket Challenge

Lawmakers Have Their Own NCAA Bracket Challenge

Boehner posted his Roll Call bracket on Instagram. (Screenshot)

Occasionally, members of Congress are just like the rest of us.

Wander around the Capitol the next few weeks and you’re just as likely if not more  to see TVs tuned to the NCAA tournament as to C-SPAN or cable news. And this year, some top lawmakers are having their brackets put to the test in a Yahoo! group arranged by friend of HOH and Roll Call alumna Meredith Shiner.

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March 17, 2015

Late Night With … Ted Cruz!

Late Night With ... Ted Cruz!

Cruz takes his humor to late night TV (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

After a weekend in South Carolina and New Hampshire, Sen. Ted Cruz took his act to 30 Rock Monday.

The Texas Republican, who is contemplating a bid for the White House, appeared as a guest on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” The host happens to be from the first-in-the-nation primary state. Cruz was back in the building Tuesday morning for more serious programming.

“Historically, we have found when senators from Texas come to New Hampshire, it’s because they want to run for president,” Meyers said. “It’s that or you want to buy like cheap liquor at our liquor stores.”

“Well, you know tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day,” Cruz quipped in response.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 9:09 a.m.
TV Land

March 9, 2015

Heitkamp, Booker Host Frosh Mixer

A pair of senators who were recently freshmen are hosting a bipartisan dinner for their new colleagues Monday evening.

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Cory Booker of New Jersey were hosting the event at Heitkamp’s residence. At least five of the Senate freshmen were planning to attend, according to a Senate aide, who noted that all of them were invited for a light-hearted evening designed to help foster bipartisanship among some of the newest senators.

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Shelby Missed Selma Ceremony, Citing Scheduling Conflicts

While the nation’s attention was focused on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the senior senator from Alabama was hours from Selma, participating in his annual tour of the state’s 67 counties.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby’s office posted photos on Twitter from unrelated events with constituents in four counties, including an equipment company in Lamar County and a 3M facility in Marion County. According to his office, the Alabama Republican had previously scheduled the events in the northwest corner of the state.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 1:31 p.m.
Nationwide

March 4, 2015

Snowstorm Forecast No Match for Senate, House Resources Hearings

Snowstorm Forecast No Match for Senate, House Resources Hearings

Capitol Police patrol the East Plaza of the Capitol during a January snow shower. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

No, the Senate hearing about the Arctic, chaired by a senator from Alaska, won’t be cancelled due to a little snow.

An aide to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski said there was a zero percent chance Thursday’s hearing on U.S. opportunities in the Arctic would be cancelled due to the snow that’s expected in the nation’s capital.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:53 p.m.
HillSide

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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

Loretta Sanchez, is feeling the love. The former senator celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/sotu_35_012710-445x332.jpg" width="445" height="332" /> 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.

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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.

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