Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts in "Drama"

February 9, 2016

Shkreli’s Lawyer: Congress Tried to Humiliate Him

Shkreli (left) stands with Brafman (right) at the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shkreli (left) stands with Brafman (right) at last week’s House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Benjamin Brafman, the criminal defense attorney for former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, is claiming the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s reason for compelling his client to testify last week was to humiliate him.

Brafman gave the committee advance knowledge that if Shkreli appeared before them, he would invoke the Fifth Amendment, he wrote in the New York Law Journal on Wednesday.

Full story

February 4, 2016

Martin Shkreli Invokes Attitude — and the Fifth

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Shkreli, right, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Rayburn Building on "methods and reasoning behind recent drug price increases," February 04, 2016. Turing had raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, appears on the monitor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shkreli laughs during his appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Martin Shkreli giggled and smiled his way through his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday and at times seemed distracted. And members of the committee called him out on it.

Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Shkreli, “Do you think you’ve done anything wrong?” Shkreli giggled.

Full story

January 19, 2016

Judicial Watch Wants More Info on CODELs

Lawmakers speak on a CODEL to Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt in 2013 (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers, such as, from right, Sens. John McCain, Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons, who here are discussing a trip to Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt in 2013, travel for a variety of reasons abroad. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Defense Department has a lawsuit on its hands over lawmakers jetting off together.

The group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking records about official congressional delegation travel, also known as a CODELs. Air Force jets and personnel usually are the means of travel for CODELs and Judicial Watch is looking for records concerning travel costs. Full story

January 4, 2016

Schock Recounts Office Redecorating Timeline

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., walks up the House steps to the Capitol for a series of votes on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schock dings the Chicago Tribune on social media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., has some words to say about the press Monday morning.

A Dec. 31 Chicago Tribune article reported that Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., has redecorated Schock’s old office, which became infamous for its “Downtown Abbey” décor. A fellow Tribune reporter tweeted the story out on Jan. 2 and Schock just responded. Full story

January 1, 2016

The Lighter Side of Congress

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 29 - Incoming speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with outgoing Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands beside in the House Chambers of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, October 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Out with the Boehner, in with the Ryan. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With another calendar year and session of Congress wrapped up, HOH would be remiss if we didn’t take a look back at what made it all special, from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s parking skills to the richest man in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa, dishing on where the cheapest sodas were,  from Capitol Police leaving guns in the potty to Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., doing 46 pushups. Full story

December 25, 2015

Onward Christmas Warriors …

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 18: Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, arrives for his media availability with Santa Claus before his rally at the Life Church in Mechanicsville, Va., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Does Cruz have Santa’s back? Survey results suggest voters are skeptical (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s beginning to feel a lot like the War on Christmas, at least for culture warriors alert to any signs of an anti-Santa strain. Lucky for them, Donald Trump is around.

In the latest example of pollsters having fun, the folks at Public Policy Polling have surveyed the land and, after checking it twice, found out that among voters who believe there is an assault on yuletide cheer, the billionaire developer is the 2016 presidential candidate they most trust to protect America from the War on Christmas. Full story

December 7, 2015

The View From 1982: The Washington Monument Standoff

(Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A young Komarow. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been more than three decades since Steve Komarow, news director and vice president at CQ News, was thrust into the national spotlight when he negotiated with a political activist threatening to blow up the Washington Monument. It’s a situation he is positive would play out much differently in the post-9/11 world.

“You can imagine someone trying to do that today,” the veteran reporter said of the hours-long standoff on Dec. 8, 1982, after nuclear disarmament advocate Norman D. Mayer drove a truck purportedly packed with explosives right up to the doors of the Washington Monument.

The then-mystery man trapped nine people inside the historic structure and demanded to speak to a single, childless member of the media. Enter Komarow. Full story

November 30, 2015

Democrats Won’t Charge Press for 2016 Convention Seats

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic National Convention has opted not to charge print media for a seat in the convention hall in July, more than a month after the GOP decided to do so.

“As has been the practice in past conventions, we do not plan to charge media for the writing press stands in 2016,” April Mellody, a DNC spokeswoman, wrote Monday in an email to Roll Call. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:27 p.m.
2016, Drama, media

November 17, 2015

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ Focuses on Hill Staffers

'Stabbing in the Senate' is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Capturing the real-life drama of Capitol Hill in fiction can be a daunting task, but Colleen Shogan had an advantage: She’s been there, done that.

Shogan, 40, now the deputy director of the Congressional Research Service, used her time as a Senate staffer as the basis of her debut mystery novel, “Stabbing in the Senate,” the first installment in her Washington Whodunit series. Full story

November 14, 2015

Opera Tenor Channels Young John Lewis in ‘Appomattox’

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during 'Appomattox.' (Courtesy Kennedy Center)

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during ‘Appomattox.’ (Scott Suchman/WNO)

There’s really no other place but the Kennedy Center to launch the premiere of an overhauled version of “Appomattox,” the Philip Glass opera about the end of the Civil War set at the eponymous courthouse.

The opera, which premiered in San Francisco in 2007, underwent a complete transformation after the Supreme Court upended the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Now there’s a new second act set during the Civil Rights era that features a young John Lewis — now the veteran congressman from Georgia.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 5 a.m.
Artsy, DC, Drama

November 12, 2015

Robert Pittenger to Ethics: Come at Me, Bro

Pittenger asked the Ethics Committee to investigate him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pittenger asked the Ethics Committee to investigate him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., has gone on the offensive as to whether or not he violated ethics rules, requesting Thursday that the House Ethics Committee investigate him.

The FBI and the IRS are currently investigating his former company, Pittenger Land Investment, according to local media reports, to determine whether Pittenger transferred money from the company to his congressional campaign in 2012. Pittenger contends he did nothing wrong, and he wants the Ethics Committee to prove it. Full story

November 2, 2015

Hispanic Caucus to NBC: Dump Trump

Trump will host SNL on Nov. 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trump will host SNL on Nov. 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hispanic members of Congress said Monday that Donald Trump hosting “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 7 is no laughing matter.

Trump is set to host NBC’s sketch comedy program, but members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are urging the network to un-invite Trump, pointing to his “inflammatory remarks” about Mexican immigrants. Full story

October 30, 2015

Overheard: Hurry Up, Chris Murphy

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

After midnight Friday, a live microphone captured one Senate clerk knocking Sen. Christopher S. Murphy’s sleepy pace.

“Yeah, uh, he better get his ass here, before, they’ve already lost one vote because he’s not here,” said the clerk, who may not have realized C-SPAN was capturing his 1 a.m. commentary.

Murphy, 42, the third-youngest lawmaker in the chamber, missed the cloture vote on the massive budget and debt ceiling measure that kept senators at the Capitol into the wee hours. Murphy made it to the floor for two subsequent votes on the measure, recorded at 2:32 a.m. and 2:43 a.m.

Asked about the absence, Murphy’s office said it was unintentional.

“He was delayed getting to the vote from his house,” according to a spokesperson, who noted the boss was present for final passage.

Murphy cheered the end of crunch-time deadlines in a statement about the fiscal package issued around 9 a.m.

“They say not to let the urgent crowd out the important, but that’s exactly what Congress has done in recent years,” Murphy said. “We spend way too much time panicking in the face of crises we inflict on ourselves. This budget deal means we can spend less time worried about shutdowns and more time working to improve the lives of the people we serve.”

Murphy urged Congress to “keep its eyes on the ball” and use the “breathing room” provided by the budget deal to tackle other big issues, such as mental health and long-term transportation funding.


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October 22, 2015

Democrats Pack Benghazi Hearing to Lift Clinton’s Spirits

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16: Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., left, and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., make their way to the House Democratic leadership elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Hastings, left, compared the hearing to his impeachment proceedings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s not often that all committee members show up when their panel holds a hearing. It’s even more rare that members not even on the committee attend the hearing, just to see what’s going on.

But Thursday was one of those rare occasions, with presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Capitol Hill to testify on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 7:10 p.m.
Drama, POTUS, Reps

Barber’s Back and ‘Completely Disappointed’ in Benghazi Committee

Barber said the Benghazi Committee turned into "a political witch hunt." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Barber said the Benghazi Committee turned into “a political witch hunt.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., was in D.C. for business Thursday, so he thought he would return to Capitol Hill to see the committee he helped create. He was not pleased.

Barber was one of seven Democrats who broke ranks in 2014 to vote to establish the House Select Committee on Benghazi. And as he sat in the hearing room, watching lawmakers question former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, he was “completely disappointed.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 6:27 p.m.
#tbt, Drama, Reps

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