Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 3, 2015

Posts by Niels Lesniewski

101 Posts

July 31, 2015

64 Lawmakers Rally Behind Alexander Hamilton

Pascrell has come to the defense of Hamilton. (Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pascrell and others come to the defense of Hamilton. (Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the House headed for August recess, a group of 64 lawmakers is uniting against reducing the role of Alexander Hamilton on the 10-dollar bill.

A new letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew is the latest effort, led by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., and Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands.

Full story

July 27, 2015

Lindsey Graham Shows Off New iPhone

Graham shows off his new iPhone at the Senate subway. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Graham shows off his new iPhone. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham got an iPhone.

And the South Carolina Republican says he doesn’t intend to begin texting or sending email — but he is getting calls and reading the news on the snazzy new device.

Full story

July 23, 2015

#tbt: Roll Call Praises John Kasich on Congressional Pay Stance

Kasich and Domenici, seen here as chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kasich and Domenici, seen here as chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Back when this publication wrote editorials, newly declared presidential candidate and current Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich won plaudits for pushing back on the politics of congressional pay raises.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, the Ohio Republican worked to block a Senate provision from being included in a budget resolution conference report that would have called for a seven-year congressional pay freeze. Roll Call reported that even senators were unaware of the language, which was attributed to Senate Budget Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M.

Ultimately, a pay freeze amendment was adopted for fiscal 1996 as part of the old Treasury, Postal Service and general government appropriations bill, but that applied only to that year, as opposed to Domenici’s sweeping plan to freeze the salaries for seven years.

Here’s how Roll Call editorialized about the efforts of Kasich and Domenici, 20 years ago this month: Full story

July 13, 2015

Taylor Swift Concert at Nats Park or Political Fundraiser?

Thune isn't gonna hate-hate-hate-hate-hate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thune isn’t gonna hate-hate-hate-hate-hate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When senators finished voting for the evening Monday, at least a couple of them were heading to Nationals Park — not for an evening of baseball, but rather to use a pop sensation to raise campaign money. Music star Taylor Swift is in town for a pair of concerts over the All-Star break.

Republican Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Jerry Moran of Kansas are among the lawmakers cashing in.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Nationals, Sens

July 6, 2015

Rand Paul Won’t Be Going Hollywood

Paul is questioning a grant headed to Hollywood. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul is questioning a grant headed to Hollywood. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul may have just given away any chance of winning an Oscar.

The presidential hopeful’s regular series on government waste is turning its attention to a familiar foe of Republicans: Hollywood.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 2:23 p.m.
Artsy, Flicks

June 19, 2015

Bill Pascrell Comes to Alexander Hamilton’s Defense

Pascrell has come to the defense of Hamilton. (Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pascrell has come to the defense of Hamilton. (Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At least one member of Congress is coming to the defense of Alexander Hamilton.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., is prodding Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to reverse course on his plan to reduce the presence of the first occupant of that office and instead take the historic step of putting a woman on the $20, supplanting President Andrew Jackson.

Full story

June 11, 2015

A Sea of Smiles at Taste of Hawaii

If the Taste of Hawaii gets much bigger, it will take over Upper Senate Park.

(Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

(Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

At least a dozen lawmakers sampled some of Hawaii’s finest offerings at the second annual event, along with a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 in a spacious Dirksen Senate Office Building hearing room.

Several guests overheard Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a repeat visitor, preaching the gospel of Spam musubi. Multiple sources told HOH the New York Democrat roped Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., into trying the exotic treat, and Schumer was still gushing about the magic of potted meats on his way out the door.

Democratic Sen. Mazie K. Hirono again led the event, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. Full story

House Republicans Claim Pre-emptive Baseball Victory on Wikipedia

A fan holds a sign during the 53rd Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A fan holds a sign during the 53rd Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Partisan sparring over the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game is well underway, including on Wikipedia.

According to the Congress-Edits robot, the Wikipedia entry for the game was edited anonymously from inside the House to declare the Republican team victorious in Thursday evening’s contest, allowing the GOP to break the tie and claim the Roll Call Trophy.

Full story

June 1, 2015

Thomas Massie Talks Tesla

Massie is seen in a reflection on the back of his Tesla pointing to his "Stand With Rand" magnetic sign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massie is seen in a reflection on the back of his Tesla pointing to his “Stand With Rand” magnetic sign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Rep. Thomas Massie drove up to the Capitol to support his Kentucky GOP colleague Sen. Rand Paul’s bid to halt provisions of the Patriot Act, the congressman’s car turned heads.

Massie drives a sleek black Tesla — the electric car from entrepreneur Elon Musk’s automaker. He explained that unlike traditional gasoline-powered automobiles, his transportation of choice will effectively run on coal, a natural resource that has long driven the Kentucky economy.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 1:07 p.m.
Stylin', Techie

May 28, 2015

Graham Bids Reluctant Farewell to Air Force Reserve

Graham, right, toured a detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan as part of his Air Force Reserve duties in January 2013. (Sgt. Katie D. Summerhill/U.S. Army File Photo)

Graham, right, toured a detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan as part of his Air Force Reserve duties in January 2013. (Sgt. Katie D. Summerhill/U.S. Army File Photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham has known for months that with his 60th birthday approaching, the deadline for mandatory retirement from the Air Force Reserve is just ahead of him.

“I’ll be retiring at the end of the month,” the South Carolina Republican said shortly before senators departed for Memorial Day recess. “Let’s put it this way: If I get called up between now and then, something really bad happened.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:12 a.m.
#tbt, Sens

May 27, 2015

Senate Seersucker Thursday Returns June 11

Cassidy, center, is behind the seersucker effort. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cassidy, center, is championing Seersucker Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is time to once again mark your calendars — Seersucker Thursday will be June 11.

The Senate tradition was resurrected last year after being discontinued in 2012 amid concerns the event wasn’t appropriately serious. The wearing of the lighter summer suits dates to the days before air conditioning in the Capitol, but it was Republican Trent Lott of Mississippi who really started the annual event in 1996.

Full story

May 18, 2015

In Philly, Rand Paul Waxes About Christian Laettner

 

 

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150)

PHILADELPHIA — Not far from the scene of one of the most memorable moments in the history of sports, Sen. Rand Paul recalled a story he might want to be careful about telling in his home state of Kentucky.

During March Madness in 1992, the Republican senator was living in Durham, N.C., where he attended Duke Medical School. So like just about everyone else, Paul was tuned in to the East Regional final, which was played at the old Spectrum here that year, and featured the buzzer-beating jump shot by Christian Laettner, leading the Blue Devils past the Kentucky Wildcats.

Full story

April 27, 2015

McConnell Records Radio Introduction for Derby Day (Audio)

mcconnell

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

Many Kentucky radio listeners will hear a familiar voice at the start of coverage of the Run for the Roses.

Over an instrumental version of “My Old Kentucky Home,” Louisville-based 840 WHAS is featuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introducing the news radio station’s coverage of this year’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. Full story

April 21, 2015

Dick Durbin, Honky Tonk Man (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said he would personally be willing to meet with actual or prospective Democratic challengers to former Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Full story

April 16, 2015

Reps. Stefanik, Comstock Join Launch of ‘Empowered Women’ Effort

Stefanik, left, and Comstock, center ... (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Stefanik, left, and Comstock, center, joined The Empowered Women Project for its launch event Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 200 people, including no shortage of current and former congressional aides, gathered Wednesday evening to launch a new platform for conservative-leaning women.

The Empowered Women project, a nonprofit that launched a website Wednesday with a manifesto, is the brainchild of GOP political strategist Mindy Finn, who has worked for, among other things, Twitter and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Full story

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