Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 22, 2014

Posts in "HillSide"

November 19, 2014

Lee Zeldin Making Friends All Over Congress

Rep.-elect Lee Zeldin has only been around Capitol Hill for a few days, but he’s already making quite the impression among the New York delegation.

As originally reported by Newsday, the incoming Republican huddled with Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer earlier this week for a strategy session about all things Empire State. At one point during that exchange, Zeldin reportedly asked Schumer if Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel was actually Jewish, to which the senior senator replied, “I think so.”

When word got back to Israel, the House lawmaker gave Zeldin some guff online.

Zeldin attempted to smooth things over by floating a “manischewitz summit” — an offer that’s still hanging out there.

“It has not been scheduled yet,” an Israel aide said of the proposed sit-down. Full story

November 18, 2014

Pols Rally to Help Veterans Shift Into Tech Mode

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is lending a hand to a newly formed support network aimed at moving returning veterans onto the front lines of data crunching.

Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, both Republicans, have signed on alongside Maryland Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to serve as honorary co-chairmen of the nascent NS2 Serves Training Program, a workforce-realigning initiative designed to usher military personnel into the field of information technology.

NS2 Serves, the charitable arm of SAP National Security Services Inc., is expected to share highlights from its ongoing efforts Tuesday during a congressional reception. The get-to-know-you event — formally dubbed “Improving the Well Being, Employment Status and Opportunities Available to Post 9/11 Veterans and Their Families” — is scheduled to take place in room SVC 209 of the Capitol Visitor Center from 5 to 7 p.m.

A budding coalition of like-minded organizations — including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Boeing Defense, Space and Security; Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Working Wardrobes and VetNet — should also be onsite for the roll out of the cooperative effort. Full story

November 17, 2014

Congressional Ribbing Devolves Into Game of Moans

Mischief makers in the employ of Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn went medieval on one of their own in an ongoing prank war commemorating everyone’s unrelenting march toward grim death.

Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Reynard, who formally entered middle age (Happy 40th!) on Sunday, discovered a certain cherished memory plastered across the entryway to his workplace upon strolling into Cannon Monday.

Congressional Ribbing Devolves Into Game of Moans

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Given the history of good family fun in our office, it came as no surprise to me. I figured winter was coming,” Reynard said of the snapshot of him perched atop the ultimate seat of power from HBO’s bloody, incest-driven family drama, “Game of Thrones.” Full story

November 14, 2014

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

Pols from different sides of the aisle are lockstep when it comes to the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans break into the financial services field.

During its six-year run, the program — which revolves around a six-month residency focused on advanced education, fieldwork and mentoring — has helped nearly 80 retired military personnel pursue alternative careers.

“This makes all the sense in the world. The skill sets that our military have … lead to success in the financial services world,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said as he rallied attendees at a Capitol Hill reception he co-chaired with Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, and Republican colleagues Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey. “[And] we’re still not doing enough.”

Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., circulated amongst the WSWF alumni and Franklin Square Capital Partners execs (their company co-sponsors the WSWF project) on hand to network.

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

Rep. Scott Peters listens in during a reception on Capitol Hill for the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

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

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Congress had been gone for weeks before trickling back into town Wednesday for the latest lame-duck session. A few hundred congressional aides celebrated the triumphant return of the resurgent Republican Party by getting their fill (and then some) of food, drink and plush collectibles at the National Bison Day reception.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Attendees mingling in Dirksen during the National Bison Day reception. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The annual soiree, which took place in Dirksen, attracted scores of staffers and interns but few lawmakers. Projected guest speaker Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., turned out to be a no-show, but event organizers noted that Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., managed to swing by for a bit.

By the time this roving reporter penetrated the herd, the promised bison sliders and gourmet meatballs had been devoured. The food basically gone (save for a lone bowl of broken, pathetic-looking potato chips), partygoers turned their attention to sucking dry every last bottle of Budweiser and Bud Light bartenders could fish from icy bins.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s way too wobbly. It would probably only take one person to knock it over,” a visibly buzzed guest estimated while eyeballing the evening’s oversized star attraction. Full story

November 12, 2014

Jim McDermott Marshals Support Around ‘Korengal’

Ex-Navy psychiatrist-turned-Rep. Jim McDermott will attempt to kick-start a conversation about veterans’ mental health issues by hosting a screening Thursday of the Afghanistan war-tracking documentary, “Korengal.”

Event organizers have scheduled an opening reception for 6:30 p.m. in the Congressional Auditorium of the Capitol Visitor Center, with a 7:30 p.m. screening to follow. They will also host a panel discussion with McDermott, filmmaker Sebastian Junger and representatives of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors afterwards. Interested parties may RSVP via email (jack.dannibale@mail.house.gov) or by phone (202-430-0311).

The unflinching film, which follows directly in the footsteps of Junger’s earlier, award-winning effort, “Restrepo,” explores the horrible toll modern combat exacts from those stuck on the front lines of the decade-plus long war on terror.

“You do terrible things. Then you have to live with them afterwards,” one soldier explains on camera.

A McDermott aide said the Washington Democrat has been working with Junger and Vietnam War veteran turned author Karl Marlantes for the past few years on establishing a national commission on veterans intended to help unburden battle-scarred warriors.

“Today, we are seeing too many casualties among American soldiers in their transition home.  In light of this crisis, Congress must act,” McDermott counseled in a release.

Related:

In ‘Korengal,’ Junger Closes the Book on Afghanistan

Film Captures Afghanistan’s Toll

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:57 p.m.
Flicks, HillSide, Reps

November 11, 2014

Thundering Herds Expected Wednesday for Bison Day Fest

The bison lobby is storming back onto the Hill Wednesday for its annual congressional reception — a celebration of things large, lumbering and mammalian.

The National Bison Day shindig (NBD was actually on Nov. 1, but this is close enough for government work, right?) is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Dirksen 106. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to RSVP via Eventbrite.

One of the sponsors told HOH this year’s festivities would include complimentary bison sliders (courtesy of Western Buffalo Company), bison meatballs (a new addition to the program), bison-shaped cookies and samples of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s barrel-aged wares (everything’s coming up Kentucky!)

Amateur photographers can also snap away at the planned Beards for Bison “selfie station.” Full story

November 7, 2014

Bend the Elbow With Northwesterners at Annual Beer Fest

The state societies for expats from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are once again taking over the North Hall of Eastern Market to celebrate their favorite regional export: craft beer.

The annual “Go West Beer Fest” is scheduled to take place Nov. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature, for the very first time, signature pours from Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Company.

Non-members can get a taste of what they’ve been missing by forking over $30 — a fee which has, in past years, entitled guests to unlimited pours from participating breweries (Redhook, Big Sky and Deschutes).

According to one organizer, mobile vendors DC Slices (specializing in thin crust pies and fully loaded tater tots) and Dirty South Deli (grilled Andouille sausage and pimento cheese sammie, please) have been tasked with making sure that visiting bellies remain full.

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November 3, 2014

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

(Screenshot)

Election night 2014 is looking like it’ll be a nail-biter.

With so many variables in play — Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately prove detrimental to Democrats’ professional health? Who will independent candidates caucus with on Capitol Hill? How long (and how many runoffs) before we divine the next Senate majority leader? — one might be tempted to grab a drink, catch a movie and perhaps wait for “The Daily Show” recap on Wednesday, rather than suffer through umpteen hours of wall-to-wall news coverage.

But that’s not how #ThisTown rolls, is it? Full story

October 31, 2014

Jim Moran Recounts Raucous Bipartisan Brawl

Cheers to Matt Laslo for getting retiring Rep. James P. Moran to open up about how incensed pols used to settle their differences in #ThisTown.

Jim Moran Recounts Raucous Bipartisan Brawl

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During a recent sit-down with “Bills and Brews,” the Northern Virginia Democrat shared his take on what transpired after he and former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., got into it on the House floor.

Per Moran, fellow short-timer George Miller, D-Calif., and ex-Reps. David R. Obey, D-Wis., and Robert K. Dornan, R-Calif., all mixed it up in the ensuing scuffle.

Cunningham, who Moran said suffered a broken hand during the melee, remembered things much differently. “He sucker-punched me,” the then-lawmaker told the Los Angeles Times in late 1995.

No word on whether Cunningham fared any better in the prison yard during his time away.

Catch the whole harrowing tale — as well as Moran’s valedictory address on party politics and D.C. schools — here.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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George Clinton Up to Get Down With D.C. This Weekend

George Clinton Up to Get Down With D.C. This Weekend

Dr. Funkenstein’s in the house. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment File Photo)

Singer, bandleader and newly minted author George Clinton is scheduled to crisscross Chocolate City over the next few days, starting with an under-the-radar trip to the Library of Congress.

As part of the ongoing celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, various professional organizations — including members of the Library of Congress Chapter of Blacks in Government, the African American Cultural Association, the American Folklife Center at the LOC and the Music Division at the LOC — have invited the Godfather of Funk to chat about his book, “Brothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” and decades-long musical career.

“Since this program is a sponsored by staff organizations, we have not advertised to the public. However, public wishing to attend the program will not be turned away,” LCBIG President Michele Chisholm assured HOH.

Dr. Funkenstein is expected on stage of the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building from noon to 1 p.m. Per organizers, “House of Soul” host James Funk will interview him for a bit before bowing out so folks can line up for autographs. Full story

October 29, 2014

Medium Rare Brings Fried Turkey Service to Barracks Row

Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher is importing a holiday tradition to Capitol Hill: staff will fry up — for free — any turkeys folks brought by his new(ish) Barracks Row location on Thanksgiving morning.

Bucher says he instituted the neighborly program back in 2008, and explained he has followed through with the meal-making assistance virtually every year since, though he noted he “took last year off.” His best showing so far: 120 birds dunked in a single day.

“We’re going to save people from burning down their house or going to the emergency room,” Bucher told Fox DC about his self-styled community service. This year’s deep-frying fest is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Full story

October 24, 2014

Gay Chorus Flier Vandalized in Longworth

An unknown vandal scrawled the slur “fags” across an advertisement for a Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. holiday concert posted in the Longworth House Office Building.

Gay Chorus Flier Vandalized in Longworth

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

According to the chorus’ director of marketing Craig Cipollini, the flier, which was tacked to a bulletin board outside the Creamery, told HOH that a congressional staffer and friend of the chorus who works in Longworth noticed the aberration upon arriving at work Wednesday morning.

“We’re not sure, but it looks like it happened Tuesday evening or late Tuesday afternoon,” he said of the defacement.

Full story

October 23, 2014

Boston Terrier Intent on Conquering D.C.

Rep. David B. McKinley ought to thank his lucky stars a certain someone wasn’t feeling that ambitious Wednesday when he sauntered into the West Virginia Republican’s congressional office.

Based on what we know now, that impromptu visit from a seemingly confused pup could just as easily have spiraled into a hostile takeover.

You see, HOH’s new friend, Clark, has big plans.

The civics-minded pooch tends to mug for the camera (a la his antihero idol, Frank Underwood).

And is not averse to bucking the system in order to resolve pressing personal priorities. Full story

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