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

Posts in "Overheards"

August 7, 2014

Overheard: Ed Perlmutter Lathers a Snowboard

“We aren’t afraid to try new things, and that has given us great traction.”

— Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., at a recent visit to Oz Snowboards in Wheat Ridge, Colo., where “the congressman lathered a board in Oz’s environmentally friendly tree-sap resin and an epoxy, layered it with carbon fiber and affixed the custom top sheet,” according to the Denver Post. Perlmutter was visiting as part of Tuesday’s Startup Day Across America.

August 6, 2014

Overheard: Jared Polis Steps In It Back Home

“I stepped into a void and tried to move the issue forward. Next time we do this, it’ll be a people-powered initiative.”

— Rep. Jared Polis after facing an angry group of constituents in Boulder, Colo. The constituents were furious he cut a deal to hold off on anti-fracking ballot initiatives he had helped bankroll and which had more than 200,000 signatures to put on the November ballot, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

July 18, 2014

Grassley’s Sky Diving Advice

Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa has some advice for anyone pondering following the lead of former President George H.W. Bush and jumping out of an airplane.

The Republican senator is known for having one of the most fascinating Twitter feeds in Congress, whether he posts about his complaints of a lack of historical programming on the History Channel or hitting a deer while traveling in Iowa. Grassley even highlighted his use of Twitter in a 2010 campaign ad:

May 21, 2014

Overheard: Gohmert and Holder, Buddies Forever

“He called me his buddy. It’s a term of endearment.”

— Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, discussing his relationship with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., this morning on C-SPAN.

May 9, 2014

Louie Gohmert Goes There With Nazi Comparison (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, likened the cancellation of HGTV’s “Flip It Forward” to Nazism during a speech on the House floor Friday.

According to Gohmert, backlash from anti-gay remarks that the show’s hosts made demonstrates a totalitarian atmosphere. Paraphrasing the hosts, Gohmert relayed on their behalf that, “Look we love homosexuals, we love all people. But it doesn’t mean that you have to support, embrace, encourage particular lifestyles that you believe are harmful to the individuals and harmful to the society in general. So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen,” he said.

Gohmert likened the situation to “going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. First they would call people haters and evil and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage.”

Gohmert also lamented the “rise of fascism in American universities” and said, “Those who are the most hate filled who do not follow the teachings of Jesus seek to impose or project … their own hate, their own intolerance.”

 

May 6, 2014

Officer Debonair, at Your Service | Overheard

“If anyone gives you any problems about being late for your meeting, just tell ‘em THE good-looking officer held you up. They’ll know who you’re talking about.”

– Capitol Police Officer offers female journalist delayed by the motorcade of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. an easy out.

April 29, 2014

Overheard: Kissing Congressman ‘Respectfully Disagrees’

“I do not feel it’s in my constituents’ best interest to leave them without representation for the second time in less than a year.”

— Rep. Vance McAllister, explaining why he has rebuffed Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s request that he resign.

April 25, 2014

Overheard: Only in D.C. or, Tax Extenders Bring Up the Rear

“I think my butt was on TV during the tax extenders markup, though.”

— One staffer to another on Wednesday in the Russell Senate Office Building basement

April 11, 2014

Grover Norquist’s Global Suckdom Index

Welcome to the suck. It’s not as bad as it seems. That was sounds-negative-actually-positive sentiment from Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, at a panel following Thursday night’s screening of Jose Antonio Vargas’ “Documented,” at the Newseum.

Grover Norquists Global Suckdom Index

Norquist, perhaps thinking about the GNGSI, at a Thursday tax event on Capitol Hill with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.)

The documentary, which chronicles Vargas’ path as an undocumented immigrant and successful journalist and his involvement in the movement for ab immigration overhaul, played to a full house. After, Norquist joined Vargas, The Atlantic’s Megan Garber, producer Janet Yang and Joe Green, a founder of Fwd.us, to discuss the movie and the politics and culture that surround it.

Cue Norquist, one of Washington’s most lively: “The reason why the United States is the future and Japan is not and China is not and Europe is not, is because we do immigration and because we do it better than everyone else. As poorly as we do it, we do it better than everybody else, kind of like our government, it just sucks less than all the other governments. And that’s a big advantage: sucking less.”

So there you have it. The Grover Norquist Global Suckdom Index, over which the United States sits atop. USA! USA!

April 9, 2014

Overheard: Eric Holder Goes Veggie on Louie Gohmert

“Good luck with your asparagus.”

— Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., directing his ire on Tuesday at Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. Last year, in another testy exchange between the two, Gohmert said, “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.”

April 3, 2014

Harry Reid Treated to Impromptu Saxophone Serenade

It sounded like Kenny G was visiting the Senate chamber around noon on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got a brief saxophone serenade from the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who bumped into the Nevada Democrat during the “GRAMMYs on the Hill” lobbying day.

Harry Reid Treated to Impromptu Saxophone Serenade

(Photo courtesy of David Helfant.)

“I whipped out my saxophone and just said, ‘I’ll play you a song,” saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair told CQ Roll Call. She picked a song called “Summertime,” which she said Reid appeared to enjoy.

Abair, who has toured and recorded with artists ranging from the Backstreet Boys and Duran Duran to Adam Sandler and Aerosmith, was visiting Capitol Hill with about 200 other recording industry advocates to push for legislation that would ensure songwriters and composers are fairly paid for their work.

Abair and other advocates had a full day of meetings with the California delegation. They were saying goodbye to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., when they bumped into Reid outside the chamber.

They will be pushing for the Songwriter Equity Act of 2014, and perhaps playing a few impromptu serenades.

April 2, 2014

Robert Brady Really Wanted to Be a Zookeeper

House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., adjourned Wednesday’s panel on the future of the National Zoo with a joke about ranking member Robert A. Brady “wearing his khaki shorts … with his whip ready.”

The safari outfit fits perfectly with Brady’s childhood ambition of being a zookeeper. The Pennsylvania Democrat shared his dream of riding around with the wild creatures that populated Philadelphia’s zoo, the oldest in the nation, during his opening statement.

The panel of management officials from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park were also treated to some footage of Bao Bao the panda during their visit to Congress.

Miller, who claims to be “addicted” to the zoo’s “Panda Cam,” requested that committee staff play a brief clip of the panda cub. Afterward, she released a statement saying, “The National Zoo has a unique role as a federal zoo supported by the taxpayers. It is truly a zoo provided by and for the people.”

Especially for Brady, the hopeful zookeeper.

March 10, 2014

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

This dinosaur, seen wandering the Capitol in a 2007, is not the one from the Gridiron Dinner, where no photos are allowed. But you get the idea. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ted Cruz apparently doesn’t have a problem with being openly mocked. Even when he’s being called a ”Flintstone Cowboy” by reporters dressed up like the cartoon characters — with a full-sized pink Dino the Dinosaur — presenting the Texas Republican as straight out of the Stone Age.

Cruz, the Republican keynote speaker for the exclusive, white-tie Gridiron Dinner on March 8, laughed heartily from the head table as the grizzled journalists danced around on stage to an original tune parodying the Glen Campbell ballad “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Full story

March 5, 2014

Overheard: Joe Wilson’s West Africa Ties

“And, well, if [AFRICOM] ever relocates to the continental United States, Charleston, South Carolina comes to mind. With military facilities and — we also have a shared culture with West Africa, so there’s a relationship which is very positive.”

— Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., at a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing, speaking to Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command.

March 4, 2014

Overheard: GPO Is Really Old

“I am especially glad to be here on this day of all days because it is the 153rd anniversary of the day that GPO first opened its doors for business in 1861. In other words, today is GPO’s birthday”

— Davita Vance-Cooks, public printer of the United States, shares an agency milestone with House appropriators to kick off Budget Day.

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