Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

Posts in "Sens"

July 25, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 21 (Video)

As members discuss ski resorts, bears and rivers, the Vice President reminds us why America should be “number one.”

Angus King Gussies Up Dirksen

Unlike Florida Republican John L. Mica’s grandiose plan to clean house on the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Angus King had a much more modest desire: brighten up a little corner of Dirksen.

Mission accomplished.

Angus King Gussies Up Dirksen

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“I walk that corridor two or three times a day … and often wondered to myself, ‘Why is this blank?’” the Maine Independent said of the once-barren hallway leading up from the internal subway to the Senate office building.

Now inspired, King set out to seek a resolution to the featureless landscape members, staff and visitors were faced with each time they trekked over for a visit. Full story

Silver Line Launch Has Been the Ride of Gerry Connolly’s Life

Silver Line Launch Has Been the Ride of Gerry Connolly’s Life

Connolly is all in on the Silver Line opening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perhaps no one was more excited to have the first Metro car roll out of Northern Virginia’s brand-spanking-new Wiehle-Reston East Station than Rep. Gerald E. Connolly.

“From the first day I announced running for public life in 1995, I committed myself to making that my No. 1 priority,” he said of the monolithic commuter rail expansion Kennedy-era officials dared not even dream about. “And I am very proud of the fact that almost 20 years later … it happened.”

The Virginia Democrat has spent decades fighting — originally as a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and now as a congressman — to carry the iconic “doors closing” warning into some of the region’s fast growing suburban enclaves. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:39 p.m.
Reps, Sens

July 24, 2014

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

“The party was such a big hit the cops were called because we had too many people,” an aide to Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, told HOH about the overwhelming response to the Aloha State’s July 23 taste-around.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The inaugural event was packed during our visit, with waves of people — all wearing complimentary purple-flowered leis (700 were distributed throughout the evening) — flowing in and out of the Kennedy Caucus Room to see/hear/taste/learn all about the island state.

“Aloha!” Hirono greeted each guest as they poured through the front door. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, extended his welcome to the rapidly swelling crowd from up on stage later in the program.

As for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, well, it turns out she’s a hugger.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

We thought (for a second) that we’d spotted Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, mingling with native Hawaiians and curious staffers alike, but when we turned to look again the smiling face had disappeared into the crowd, leaving us feeling dejected about having failed to connect with her about the best part of the visually stimulating set-up. Our eyes must’ve been playing tricks, because the congresswoman was actually in Hawaii.

Party planners said Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., was quite taken with the samples of fresh papaya, while Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was purportedly buzzing about Big Island Bees’ Ohia Lehua Blossom honey.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy opted for a meatier experience, waiting in line, like everyone else, for a taste of kalua pork. Full story

July 23, 2014

John Walsh, Your Canned Response Is Ready

John Walsh, Your Canned Response Is Ready

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After intently studying the last project Sen. John Walsh turned in to the United States War College, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin has uncovered what appears to be a heavily plagiarized final product.

This startling revelation, compounded by Team Walsh’s head-scratching misrepresentation of the Montana Democrat’s academic credentials earlier this year, means Walsh suddenly has a lot more ‘splaining to do.

His best bet? Committing the following to memory:

Confidence is high George Costanza won’t mind you cribbing from the best.

Making the Most of a Swing Through Charm City

What’s a D.C.-based reporter to do when faced with ferreting out a worthwhile repast while on assignment in neighboring Baltimore? Solicit recommendations from Maryland’s congressional delegation, of course.

At least, that’s how Bloomberg BNA scribe Anthony Adragna played it Wednesday morning before hitting the road for an out-of-town conference.

 

 

According to Adragna, the dining S.O.S. was very much a spur of the moment thing.

“First time ever reaching out and didn’t put much thought into it,” Adragna told HOH. He said he meant to pose the question to Maryland Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin in person a day earlier — the two, evidently, chatted here on Capitol Hill Tuesday — but just never got around to it.

No matter.

Cardin came through on Twitter anyway. Full story

July 18, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 14 (Video)

As members discuss bathroom breaks, candy and The People’s Court, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., refuses to yield the Senate floor.

Mock Candidate Aims to Muck Up Kentucky Senate Race (Video)

Kentucky voters needn’t worry about hunting for Gil Fulbright’s name (at least that’s what it is this week) in voting booths come November. But they should get used to seeing his shit-eating grin over the next few months.

Mock Candidate Aims to Muck Up Kentucky Senate Race (Video)

(Screenshot)

Running the totally fake pol Fulbright (or Phillip MaMouf-Wifarts) is the latest stunt by anti-corruption advocates Represent.Us, the provocateurs behind last summer’s “stripping senator” show and the least appetizing power lunch in recorded history.

The advocacy group has, so far, raked in $30,000-plus to help crowbar Fulbright into the high-stakes standoff between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Full story

‘Al The Pal’ Could Get Air Force Facility Named After Him

Al The Pal Could Get Air Force Facility Named After Him

“Durbin the Pal” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Alan J. Dixon, the Illinois Democrat who died earlier this month, might have an Air Force facility at Scott AFB, a site near “Al the Pal’s” home of Belleville, Ill.

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois’ senior senator and chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, made sure the appropriations bill funding the Pentagon contained language providing the designation. Dixon, the chairman of the 1995 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, made transparency in the military’s decision-making process on the fate of its facilities one of his causes in his Senate career.

“His work to make sure Scott Air Force Base was given a critical mission in our nation’s defense has resulted in Scott becoming one of our nation’s premier Air Force assets,” Durbin said in a statement.

Pet Project Morphs Into Solon-Shaming ‘PolitiCat’

An anonymous online scold has begun a virtual game of cat and mouse with elected officials, awarding leaders willing to reach across party lines for the greater good with quirky honors while ripping those who just plain cross lines a new one.

Although a relative newcomer to the social mediasphere, “PolitiCat,” the nom de plume of the political science grad hoping to groom fellow would-be pundits, has set its sights on getting pols and voters to more carefully consider their actions.

“I aim to break into the consciousness of the general public, particularly younger people with regard to voter responsibility. I want to highlight the behavior of lawmakers and public figures, especially to ‘catch them being good’ vis a vis advancing bipartisanship,” PC asserted via email.

That outreach has, so far, not always resonated with intended allies (a la the Wichita, Kan., radio host who just didn’t “get” one muddled missive).

 

 

We, too, were a bit stumped by what seemed to be a nonsensical exchange with Rep. Patrick Murphy — until PC explained the open letter was actually a response to an earlier fundraising pitch from the Florida Democrat. Full story

July 17, 2014

Joe Manchin’s Penchant for Power Lunching

Joe Manchin’s Penchant for Power Lunching

What’s for lunch? Bipartisanship! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If it’s hump day, budding coalition builder Sen. Joe Manchin III is probably breaking bread with members of his slowly widening circle of fellow comity seekers.

Aides to the West Virginia Democrat confirmed the self-styled troubleshooter has taken to gathering together colleagues for friendly visits, as often as the hectic congressional schedule permits.

“He likes to have bipartisan lunches,” Team Manchin told HOH, stressing that the semi-regular get-togethers — which appear to flow from a fairly fluid guest list — lean more toward informal discussions than issue-specific strategy sessions. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:23 p.m.
Freshman, HillSide, Sens

July 16, 2014

Senate Softball Rivalry Once Again in Full Swing

Party lines, schmarty lines.

The key thing that keeps Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., going while here in D.C. is the burning desire to topple the other in their annual softball showdown.

Team Scrantonicity has faced off against the Hit It Toomey squad each summer for the past three years with mixed results. Scrantonicity throttled its foes 20-10 last year, but Team Toomey has wracked up more “W”s than losses over time.

“Sadly team Toomey leads the all-time series 2-1. But I’m quite confident the series will be all even after tonight’s festivities,” a Casey aide assured HOH in a trash-talking email.

Those looking to get swept up in softball mania should make their way over to the National Mall (Seventh and Madison streets NW) around 6:45 p.m. to catch all the action.

Look for Casey to be snagging flies in the outfield (our tipster says the boss typically patrols right field), while Toomey tends to plant himself at third.

Joe Manchin Brings the ‘Hollow’ to D.C.

Wild and wonderful though it may be, West Virginia continues to wrestle with its fair share of challenges. Sen. Joe Manchin III wants to help shine a light on what life is like in the Mountain State by hosting a screening of “Hollow” (that’s “holler” to you and me, Russ), a cinematic labor of love released last year.

The “interactive documentary,” which continues to foster community building across the social media sphere, will be shown on July 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center. Those interested in attending should RSVP to hollowevent@manchin.senate.gov.

Filmmaker and West Virginia native Elaine Sheldon McMillion is expected to participate in a discussion about her attempt at getting up close and personal with the community in economically depressed McDowell County.

Topical snippets — including a dizzying spin through a county fair — are available for viewing via Vimeo.

1 MINUTE IN APPALACHIA: County Fair from Hollow Interactive on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, McMillion has been urging social media users to collectively reminisce by flooding Instagram with pics tagged #hollerhome. Full story

July 11, 2014

Congress-edits Is Just the Latest to Keep Tabs on Pols’ Cyber Stumbles

Another day, another resource to expose the often clueless political operatives who foolishly tool around the Internet believing their subversive activities — be they illicit, shady or just plain dumb — will never come back to bite them in the arse.

It’s getting so that overzealous Hill staffers and campaign spin doctors can’t rewrite history without someone calling them out for flooding the online ether with lies, damned lies and, well, you know the rest.

Senate hopeful Mike McFadden, the Republican pick to challenge Minnesota Democrat Al Franken this fall, received a crash course in transparency after aides got caught tinkering with unflattering responses to a divisive TV spot. Full story

Sherrod Brown Touts LeBron’s Reunion with Cavs as Slam-Dunk — OVERHEARD

“Welcome home LeBron … We look forward to your contributions and leadership, on the court and off. And celebrating a championship wouldn’t hurt.”  — Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, celebrates LeBron James’ re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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