Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

Posts in "TakeFive"

May 12, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Don Beyer

Take Five: Rep. Don Beyer

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Don Beyer Jr., D-Va., opens up about his multilingual upbringing, his automobile history and hiking the Appalachian Trail. Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 5 a.m.
Reps, TakeFive

April 28, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Diana DeGette

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., tells us about her dream of being a symphony conductor, “Doctor Zhivago” and her talented border collie. Full story

April 21, 2015

Take Five: Rep. E. L. ‘Buddy’ Carter

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. E. L. “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., talks about being a pharmacist, working out and how his firstborn got his name. Full story

April 14, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Dina Titus

Take Five: Rep. Dina Titus

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, the multitalented (and potential Senate contender) Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., talks about teaching, traveling and tap dancing. Yes, tap dancing. Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 5 a.m.
TakeFive

March 24, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Derek Kilmer

Take Five: Rep. Derek Kilmer

Kilmer. Big “Star Wars” fan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., discusses his “Star Wars” obsession, the pros and cons of winning a jalapeño eating contest, and teleportation.

Full story

March 16, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Take Five: Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Perlmutter coaches congresswomen in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., boasts about the weather in his home state, talks about working out to country rock and the upcoming Congressional Women’s Softball Game. Full story

March 3, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Mark Takai

Take Five: Rep. Mark Takai

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, freshman Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, sat down with HOH over a plate of traditional luau dishes to tell us about his family, orthopedic surgery and mistaken identities. Full story

February 9, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Tom MacArthur

Take Five: Rep. Tom MacArthur

MacArthur rubbed his head for good luck during the House office lottery. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, freshman Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., tells us about his favorite beaches outside of Jersey, and his preferred music not including Springsteen (Spoiler: He couldn’t keep himself from mentioning his love of the Jersey Shore and Bruce Springsteen). And since we wanted to clarify something, we threw in an extra (bonus!) question.

Q. What’s your favorite thing to do on the Jersey shore — and where do you get the best boardwalk food and experience? Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 3:59 p.m.
TakeFive

February 3, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Mike Bost

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., speaks about giving a dog mouth-to-mouth, his love of cruises and how he came to be the owner of a beauty salon.

Q. As a firefighter, did you ever save kittens from a tree?  Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 5 a.m.
TakeFive

January 13, 2015

Take Five: Rep. Mimi Walters

Take Five: Rep. Mimi Walters

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., talks about boogie boarding, heading to Mammoth and a few of her favorite things. Full story

January 6, 2015

Take Five: Ted Lieu

Take Five: Ted Lieu

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep.-elect Ted Lieu, D-Calif., House Democrats’ freshman class president, talks about his turbo technology, hotel points and celebrities in prison. Full story

July 21, 2014

Take Five: Rep. Cheri Bustos

Take Five: Rep. Cheri Bustos

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., speaks about her career as a journalist at the Quad-City Times and growing up in the Land of Lincoln among politicians right at her kitchen table. A lightly edited transcript follows.

Q: You earned a master’s degree in journalism and worked as an investigative reporter in Illinois. What was it like?

A: I believe that every day, you could walk into the newsroom and you were in the position to make a difference. I’m a pretty competitive person. My goal every day was to make sure I was making a difference in the community but also to have the above-the-fold, banner story as many days as I possibly could.

Q: You grew up around politics. Your dad was a chief of staff to Sens. Paul Simon and Alan Dixon. What lessons did you pick up from being around politics at such an early age?

A: Sitting around our kitchen table from a very early age on, we talked politics and we talked policy. Never once can I ever remember my dad saying, “Go away, this is an adult conversation.” I could sit around and listen to these guys as long as I wanted to listen to them.

Q: You recently spent Mother’s Day in Afghanistan. What was your biggest takeaway from it?

The most moving part of it was to sit down with our American troops on Mother’s Day when they were away from their children. … If there’s something that has meant a lot to me during my short time here in Washington, it is getting to know a lot of veterans and those who serve to a level that I have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices they’ve given for the country and what their families have given.

Q: You were MVP of the 2013 Congressional Softball Game. How do you keep in shape?

A: I get up at 4:30 a.m. pretty much every morning during the week. I work out for an hour and a half. I do weights and I ride the bike, I run or I play tennis. It’s my release.

Q: You’re finishing your first term in Congress. What advice could you give to incoming freshmen?

A: Have great people around you because this is very much a team effort. If there’s any success that I’ve had, it is a direct reflection of the people I work with. We have a very smart team and an extremely hardworking team, both here in Washington and back in Illinois. We all understand why we’re here.

By Cady Zuvich Posted at 4:06 p.m.
TakeFive

April 14, 2014

Take Five: Pedro R. Pierluisi

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week, Puerto Rico’s Democratic representative in Congress, Res. Cmmsr. Pedro R. Pierluisi, discusses his trip on Air Force One and working as a staffer.

Q. While you were attending law school at GWU, you worked as an aide to then-Res. Cmmsr. Baltasar Corrada del Río. How did working as a congressional staffer prepare you for returning to Capitol Hill as a member of Congress?

A. I remember walking with him at a fast pace, in between the office and committee hearing room and trying to talk to him about this or that. And seeing the way that he handled himself — always welcoming people from Puerto Rico. What I do when people come in — the way I run this office — is similar to the way he ran it.

Q. After serving as Puerto Rico’s attorney general for four years, you practiced law in the private sector for a decade. Why did you decide to run for public office again?

A. I was approached by then-Res. Cmmsr. Luis Fortuño — he was going to be running for governor. He approached me and proposed that we run as a ticket from day one. Two out of [my] four [children] had already graduated from college. So I had two out of four and I said, “Well, if I’m going to ever do it, let me do it now.”

Q. You were one of five children, so can you describe what it was like growing up in a large family?

A. I was the middle child so I was a bit spoiled by my mother. … When I was in her belly she had an oven — estufa — a stove that blew up. And she was like six months pregnant or something like that when it happened. And she burned herself badly so she was so worried about me. And so when I was born it was like a gift of God that I was alive and well.

Q. In 2011, President Barack Obama visited Puerto Rico, the first sitting president to do so since John F. Kennedy. What is your fondest memory from his trip?

A. My Air Force ride back with him. I came back with him, pretty much on our own with a couple of people and the Secret Service. And you know he was in his office and so on and I was at the VIP area having dinner, watching a movie. Right after the movie ended, the president comes in.  So he says, “So did you have a good time?” “Yeah the dinner was great, I watched a movie.”  He said, “So what did you see?” And I said, “Unknown.”

And then he says, “Is it any good?” And I said, “You know what, yeah, it’s pretty good. But you know this plane is too noisy. I think I’m going to have to rent it at home because I missed half of the dialogue.” So he laughed because I think I’m the first one who’s on Air Force One and I’m complaining about it!  He’s cracking [up] — like saying, “This guy’s a character, look what he tells me!”

Q. What is one thing you would like your fellow members of Congress to know about Puerto Rico?

A.  People from all over the world live in America and you can be an American and yet also be very proud of your ethnic, racial, cultural, roots. That’s Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s what America’s becoming.

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:06 p.m.
Reps, TakeFive

April 7, 2014

Take Five: Rep. Alan Lowenthal

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

This week, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., talks about participating in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements as well as how playing racquetball helped him get things done in the California Legislature.

Q. Before you became a legislator, you taught community psychology at California State University, Long Beach. Why did you decide to study and ultimately teach this subject?

A. I went to graduate school during the civil rights movement and also the war in Vietnam. I was at Ohio State University working on my Ph.D., and I was in the clinical psychology program. I became more and more convinced, as did a lot of other psychologists, young folks who were in graduate school like myself, that psychology was not relevant. Why didn’t we understand what was happening among the reaction against the Vietnam War? Why didn’t we understand more about what was going on in our communities with the rise of issues, women’s issues, African-American issues, and others?

So there was a new group of psychologists in graduate programs and students who really did not want to study how you treat people for problems, but how do you prevent them? And so it broadened psychology. But it really enabled me to incorporate my academic beliefs in the study of behavior as well as my desire to be relevant in my community, to promote well-being in my community, and to understand the various diversities and different groups in my community.

Q. What was it like participating in the anti-Vietnam War movement and civil rights protests while you were at Ohio State?

A. It was a time when we believed everything was possible. I think we’ve kind of lost that in this country. And maybe we shouldn’t have had it — maybe it was a fantasy. But we really believed and there really was a sense that we were making great changes in the nation. We were finally beginning to acknowledge a great oppression that had taken place to people of color, to women, to people of different sexual orientation.

Q: You’re a baseball fan — who is your favorite player?

A. Well, I love the Los Angeles Dodgers. I love them all. If I had to pick one person — I grew up worshipping Sandy Koufax. So I have a particular fondness for pitchers.  I love Clayton Kershaw. He reminds me of Koufax, he’s dominating.

But I grew up — I lived and died as a kid with Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson had probably more influence on who I was, who I became, than any other person.

Q. Why did you start playing racquetball?

A. When I was at Cal State Long Beach, I was in a regular Friday morning and weekend tennis game. And after a while I realized I didn’t have that much time. So I learned that I could play racquetball, which used some of the same skills, at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, be finished by 8 or 8:30, and I’d still have the whole day.

I got a lot of legislation out of the state Legislature out of playing racquetball. We got a courthouse in Long Beach, much of it. And we also got the independent redistricting commission out of the California state Senate because I played with the leader of the Republican Party, Dick Ackerman, and Ackerman became my buddy. I played with Ackerman for years and years.

Q. What’s a misconception about life in California?

A. You know, the misconception that I think many people have is that somehow California is dysfunctional. It doesn’t work, it’s kind of tilted, and all the nuts in the world are in California. And I find it just the opposite. I find California is very progressive, very thoughtful, future-oriented, has real concern about not only its children but its children’s children, what the future’s going to be like. California is an attitude, and it’s an attitude that really is all-encompassing, appreciates diversity, looks at everybody as a strength.

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 2:54 p.m.
Reps, TakeFive

March 17, 2014

Take Five: Rep. Scott Perry

Take Five: Rep. Scott Perry

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

This week, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., discusses his military service and reciting the Gettysburg Address. Perry, not afraid to show his softer side, also explains why “Out of Africa” is one of his favorite movies.

Q. You were born in San Diego, so how did you end up in Pennsylvania?

A. It’s an unflattering story of broken family and a time in the country where women in the working world with children were discouraged.  So my mom went to work for an airline — she couldn’t have children — so she hid my brother and me by putting an ad in the paper and sending us to a family while she was on a trip.  And then she would come and retrieve us.  And flying took her to Florida and that’s where we stayed for a while.  And then from Florida, flying took her to Pennsylvania, which is where I ended up, so that’s kind of how that whole thing happened.

Q. As an Iraq War veteran and a National Guardsman for more than 30 years, how has your military service contributed to your role in Congress?

A. First of all, it teaches you to get along with a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds with different perspectives. It forces you, unfortunately, to have patience for the things that you can’t get done because in the military when you’re the commander, so it shall be written, so it shall be done. That’s how it works.

But when you start working in a different civilian arena, it’s not that way.  And so you either learn that there’s a different way or you fail.  And working in the community, and so on and so forth, outside the military arena, the only way you can get things accomplished is to shed that. For me, what it really does is it highlights the two very different paradigms in the two different organizations of civil society and the military. They do not mix up very well.

Q. What was your favorite moment of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg last year?

A.  My favorite moment, quite honestly, when I think back, was my opportunity to recite the Gettysburg Address. … When you start looking at it and the words and where the inflection and the emphasis might be, I found out that it took me maybe 150 times of practicing it until I got it right — to my standard of where I thought it should be to do it justice.  And so when you get it to that point and realize the gravity of each word and how they fit the times of the nation and with each other, it’s really, really something special, which is why it is a great thing.

Q. I read that during your congressional race you would relax by working on your home, which you mostly built yourself.  How do you relax when you’re in D.C.?

A. What makes you think I relax when I’m in D.C.?  I guess what I really like to do and it’s not really — it is some relaxation, it’s a little bit of a break from the action — is to go out and run on the mall.  I iPod up, but you know my schedule here usually starts around 6 and ends around 1 or 1:30.  So I’m trying to maximize my time here and there’s not a lot of relaxation.

Q.  What is your favorite movie and why?

A. Can I have two? For one single movie in and of itself, it’s “Out of Africa.” For me, that movie shows the differences, just the very visceral difference, between men and women in relationships, and how hard life can be, and also the triumphs of life.  But I also love “Band of Brothers.” But that’s a series of movies, which shows the element of the human struggle and sacrifice and puts a value to everything that we enjoy every moment of every day in this country.

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10 a.m.
Reps, TakeFive

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