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April 19, 2015

Posts in "HillSide"

March 26, 2015

Schocked, Schocked That Coffee Is on House Floor (Video)

Schocked, Schocked That Coffee Is on House Floor (Video)

We’re Schocked, Schocked he brought coffee on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Aaron Schock, whose resignation officially takes effect on March 31, may be leaving Congress, but not before breaking just one more House rule: Schock brought coffee to the House chamber Thursday.

The Illinois Republican was on the floor following his final vote to deliver a farewell speech. And as he waited, Schock found all sorts of ways to commemorate his departure. He shook hands with a number of members. He had one last back-patting hug with fellow Illinois Republican Rodney Davis, one last exploding fist bump with Wisconsin Republican Sean P. Duffy. In another violation of House rules, Schock also took a pic with his congressional buds Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Jason Smith, R-Mo., — or, rather, Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., took it for him. Full story

A Taste of March Madness at Charity Basketball Game

A Taste of March Madness at Charity Basketball Game

Richmond, left, looks to pass to one of his teammates. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

“We talked about madness in March — this is as mad as it gets!”

The game announcer summed up the electricity in the Gonzaga College High School gymnasium Wednesday night as the Home Court Charity Basketball Game went into a second overtime. “Hill’s Angels,” made up of members of Congress and staffers, were tied with Georgetown faculty aka the “Hoya Lawyas,” at 41 points a piece. Next basket would win. Full story

March 25, 2015

Congresswoman Demonstrates ‘Worst Parking Job Ever’ (Video)

Updated 5:02 p.m. | Abandon all hope, ye who happen to park anywhere near geometrically challenged-motorist Eleanor Holmes Norton.

A HOH tipster watched in horror Wednesday as the D.C. delegate, 77, awkwardly forced her way into a wide-open spot in the carefully controlled corridor of New Jersey Avenue Southeast sandwiched between the Longworth and Cannon House Office buildings.

Congresswoman Demonstrates Worst Parking Job Ever (Video)

(Screengrab)

“If she parks like that she should not be a member of Congress anymore,” one mystified observer — who wisely recorded more than a minute of the automotive travesty — said as the video was being captured. The tipster said Norton rubbed the correctly positioned, red sports utility vehicle to her immediate left with her improperly angled silver sedan. Full story

March 23, 2015

O Can He Sing

O Can He Sing

Now-Secretary of State John Kerry played in the Congressional Hockey Challenge in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mike Sommers, chief of staff to Speaker John A. Boehner, is not Canadian.

But the top aide to the House leader from Ohio has a hard-to-explain love for the national anthem of our True North neighbors. He’ll let it shine on Wednesday at the 2015 Congressional Hockey Challenge.

Full story

Hot Button Time Machine: Dan Mitchell’s Budget Tips

With House and Senate Republicans readying the horses for trading in the hopes of taking a victory lap after reconciling their competing spending priorities, HOH elected to check in with keen political observers about what has to happen to salvage the perennially doomed budget negotiations from ultimate ruin.

Approving a symbolic funding blueprint — it is non-binding, after all — and following through with the corresponding appropriations bills have over the past few decades largely become passé on Capitol Hill.

Hot Button Time Machine: Dan Mitchell’s Budget Tips

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, concludes a news conference Monday in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama enjoyed one year (2009, his first in office) of unified support for his budget, but since has seen congressional leaders pass the buck via highly politicized continuing resolutions or desperation-move omnibus bills.

Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at Cato Institute specializing in fiscal policy, would love to see that trend reversed.

But that, he projects, will take time. Full story

March 18, 2015

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital has whipped up the ultimate can’t-say-no event of the century: a fundraiser (duh) honoring lady lawmakers with ties to the civic-minded organization (grrl power!) by plying attendees with custom treats forged from the group’s signature baked goods (synergy, FTW).

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The inaugural shindig — dubbed “2015 Sweet Success: Celebrating 104 in the 114th” — is expected to lure confection lovers to the UPS Townhouse on Capitol Hill from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition to commemorating sash-wearing wonders past and present, organizers have arranged for a dessert cook-off featuring local toques. Full story

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

Back when Mr. Henry’s put down roots on Capitol Hill, congressman turned commander in chief Lyndon B. Johnson was still calling the shots in the Oval Office, the only Washington Senators anyone cared about were the ballplayers who took the field at RFK Stadium and relations with Cuba were far less relaxed than they appear to be today.

Eight presidential administrations later, the family-run establishment (601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) endures — providing safe harbor to locals against changing tides that continue to wash away neighboring dive bars.

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not that that kind of staying power comes easy. Mr. Henry’s, which once upon a time showcased the talents of soul singer Roberta Flack and attracted its share of gay and lesbian fans, has since seemingly faded into obscurity.
Full story

March 17, 2015

Politically Savvy Student Owns Being a Congressional Albatross

Lauren Dickinson isn’t worried, per se, that she may be a harbinger of death (career-wise anyway) for self-styled, rockstar politicos.

If anything, she’s fascinated by the power she seems to exert over self-destructive Republicans.

“Just call me the kiss of death. I’m 2 for 2 with Schock & Radel,” the George Washington University student mused online while showcasing a composite shot of her posing alongside the scandal-plagued pretty boys.

It’s unclear, however, just how potent Dickinson’s grasp may be. Full story

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | Lawmakers from the two last-to-the-party states share not only unique geographic ties (neither is directly connected to the Lower 48; both boast treacherous terrain), sometimes they also break bread together.

They did so Monday night, during a collegial get-together hosted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Full story

March 11, 2015

Staffers Can Let It All Hang Out in Pseudonymous Cloakroom

Recovering Hill staffer Ted Henderson wants to liberate congressional aides from the specter of having their deepest, darkest work gripes traced back to them via pre-existing communication platforms.

His solution: the identity-eschewing Cloakroom.

Staffers Can Let It All Hang Out in Pseudonymous Cloakroom

(Screenshot)

Ex-Rep. Dale E. Kildee’s former aide, who mined his inside-baseball experience to create the online advocacy tool Capitol Bells, told HOH he carved out the haven for free expression to enable no-holds-barred dialogue among rank-and-file feds.

“The listservs are all based on your staffer email address, so everything you say is attributed to both you and your boss,” Henderson said of internal channels used for everything from talking up potential new hires to extorting favors. Full story

March 10, 2015

Senate Restaurant Staff Rebel Against Benefits Freeze

The 30 or so remaining dining services personnel who got swept up in the transfer of power from the Architect of the Capitol to Restaurant Associates in 2008 may now need pols to rectify unforeseen circumstances that have soured the entire experience for them.

The fight for parity has been brewing ever since Norma Rogers — who told HOH she’ll have logged 33 years working on Capitol Hill come April — began investigating how her retirement package might shake out. Much to her dismay, Rogers discovered that as far as federal actuaries are concerned, she stopped being a government employee as soon as the catering services swap got inked into law.

“They froze it in 2008,” a Senate Restaurants supervisor said of the nest egg-defining “High-3” calculus, a metric used to plot out pension payments based on the past 36 months of employment. Full story

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.

Full story

Medicare Lobby Is Sweet on Capitol Hill

Politically active seniors are circling D.C. this week, dispensing gourmet cookies and pro-Medicare Advantage anecdotes via the advocacy tool du jour: a custom food truck.

Full story

March 6, 2015

Congressional Softball Rivalry Resumes on June 24

It may be a frozen tundra out there right now. But things are sure to being heating up as pols and press begin training in earnest for the seventh annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

Congressional Softball Rivalry Resumes on June 24

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This year’s showdown — scheduled to take place at Watkins Recreation Center on June 24 promptly at 6 p.m. — is set to feature a whole host of new faces on the members’ squad, thanks to a significant uptick in the number of lady lawmakers who triumphed at the ballot box last fall.

Full story

March 5, 2015

Stuck Inside? Start Wining

According to the National Weather Service, D.C. denizens can look forward to digging out from beneath 4-8 inches of fresh powder before this latest white out fades to black late Thursday.

Stuck Inside? Start Wining

(Screenshot)

So, why not take chef Jacques Haeringer’s advice and mull what’s really important? Full story

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