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March 26, 2015

Posts in "Sens"

March 26, 2015

Media Helps Keep Judiciary Committee Honest

With the budget vote-a-rama anticipated to consume the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body for the foreseeable future, Senate Judiciary Committee members Thursday had resigned themselves to doing the people’s business behind closed doors — until the Fourth Estate weighed in.

Media Helps Keep Judiciary Committee Honest

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Senate GOP aide alerted press that because of the ongoing floor action, a planned open executive session was being downgraded to an off-the-record huddle within the chamber.

“Because of the location and limited space for this meeting, the proceedings will only be accessible to people with floor privileges,” staff warned via email.

Per a committee spokesman, the procedural audible caused some reporters, including CQ Roll Call scribe Niels Lesniewski, to raise a red flag. 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 24, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 16, 2015 (Video)

Between St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness, last week was a little longer than usual for everyone on the Hill. Members occupied their time arguing over the “little guy,” monogamous relationships and the correct pronunciation of “Xavier.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 23, 2015

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

March 17, 2015

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

“Being a member of Congress does not exonerate you from having to endure the same headaches the rest of us airplane travelers have to deal with,” an HOH tipster said Monday after witnessing a pair of time-crunched lawmakers hustle to make it back to D.C. in a somewhat orderly fashion.

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Per our spy, the trouble all started when United Airlines declared that the plane intended to whisk Illinois Republicans Rodney Davis, Robert Dold, Randy Hultgren and Mark S. Kirk back to work was experiencing mechanical difficulties and would not be taking its leave of Chicago O’Hare International Airport at the regularly scheduled time. 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 16, 2015

Maine Pols Think Tom Moser Might Just Make It in D.C.

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are slated to help christen Thursday the latest showplace carved out by artisan furniture maker Tom Moser.

A one-time college professor turned full-time craftsman — “He was a professor of rhetoric, of all things, at Bates [College],” King told HOH — Moser has built a second career for himself by creating highly coveted conversation pieces for the home and office.

Collins and King are tentatively scheduled to attend the ribbon cutting at his new shop (1028 33rd St. NW) Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. The invitation-only affair is expected to feature  “Made in America” tasting stations, specialty drinks and the opportunity to win a limited edition, hand-signed American flag cobbled together from different woods (Maine maple for the white stripes, Pennsylvania cherry for the red stripes and Missouri black walnut for the background to the stars). Full story

Members Succumb to March Madness

Ahhh, the middle of March. That time of year when the eyes of the nation turn away from anything and everything business-related and become locked on whatever electronic device is handy — TV, computer, smartphone — in order to keep track of that all-important commodity: one’s meticulously crafted NCAA bracket.

Members Succumb to March Madness

(Screenshot)

Politicos are not exempt from the collective obsession with the men’s basketball championship tournament. President Barack Obama has, for several years now, gone on record with his prognostications.

And plenty of sports fans on Capitol Hill — be they alumni of those on the hunt for a national title or proud supporters of the athletes they represent — love to trade barbs (and bet regional delicacies) in pursuit of ultimate bragging rights. Full story

March 13, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 9, 2015 (Video)

Sen. David Vitter quotes his “stupid amendment,” Sen. John Cornyn tells his colleagues to “imagine his surprise” and Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s staffer cannot stop nodding. Full story

Patrick Leahy Focuses on Instagram

The Senate’s pre-eminent photography enthusiast, Patrick J. Leahy, has dipped his toe into the well of frozen moments splayed across Instagram, sharing snippets of what it’s like to do the people’s business for a living.

A taxi row of cars in Havana — the colorful antiques that have become an iconic image of Cuba. Photo by Sen. Patrick Leahy.

A photo posted by Senator Patrick Leahy (@senatorleahy) on

A lifelong shutterbug, the Vermont Democrat officially joined the picture-sharing service a few weeks back. According to staff, the prolific photographer — a collection of his work just completed a three-month run at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Vermont; other historic shots were featured last fall at Georgetown Law Center (he’s an alumnus) here in D.C. — is always at the ready to frame the perfect keepsake.

“He’s never without his Nikon digital,” Team Leahy said of the lawmaker’s constant state of alertness. Full story

March 12, 2015

Ted Kennedy Inducted Into Labor Hall of Honor

Ted Kennedy Inducted Into Labor Hall of Honor

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Family, friends and former staff came together Wednesday to honor the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as he was inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor.

Former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman recalled the senator being late to an event and being reprimanded by his older sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. After the incident, one of his staff gave him a look which prompted the senator to say, “Oh, so you’ve got a big sister too?” Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 6:04 p.m.
Sens

March 11, 2015

Why Are Members of Congress Following a Salacious Twitter Feed?

Why would several members of Congress line up behind what looks to be a porn-intensive Twitter feed? It might have something to do with a concerned Scotsman, a former Cabinet secretary and a sick little girl from Pennsylvania.
Full story

March 10, 2015

Someone Is Very Lucky Chuck Grassley Keeps Busy

The public relations team over at the History Channel ought to thank Jebus that a certain social media-savvy Iowa Republican wasn’t Web surfing Monday night.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley has just about made it his personal mission to browbeat the cable network for deviating from its raison d’être by embracing ratings-baiting reality shows. Full story

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

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