Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

May 14, 2013

The Wolf at the Rayburn Door

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Or at least the Defenders of Wildlife ambassador arctic wolf Atka? Apparently the House sergeant-at-arms.

DOW is hosting a Wednesday reception in Rayburn B-354 called “Conservation Crossroads” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. They wanted to bring along Atka because, well, animals are cool, especially wolves.

But the House sergeant-at-arms “put the kibosh on having a wolf in the building,” according to a DOW spokesman, so they’ll be hanging out with Atka on the “NE corner of Longworth Park” for those interested in seeing some wolf action. They’ll be there from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We called the House sergeant-at-arms to see if banning Atka from Rayburn was motivated by safety or hygiene, but we didn’t get a response. Guess we were barking up the wrong tree.

Craft Brewers Bring Beer Week to Congress

American Craft Beer Week is once again upon us.

Craft Brewers Bring Beer Week to Congress

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

And a slew of artisan suds slingers will be pouring out their hearts and souls — and signature product lines (‘natch) — to lawmakers Wednesday night at a special Brewers Association-led reception on Capitol Hill.

The invitation-only happy hour is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria (B-357).

According to an event promoter, members from both the House and Senate Small Brewers caucuses are expected to attend, although the invites appear to have been distributed to a much wider audience. (“Show 113th Congress staff ID and proof of age at the door,” the email reads.)

Full story

President Pro Tem Patrick Leahy, Architecture Critic

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy had a little time to kill before formally kicking off Tuesday morning’s Judiciary Committee markup on an immigration overhaul. So the Vermont Democrat vamped a bit about how much he loathes spending time in the bowels of the Dirksen Senate Office Building:

“I think when the Dirksen building was designed it was somebody who must have worked for Mussolini or Stalin,” the president pro tem spouted off as C-SPAN provided swooping aerial shots — incorrectly labeled as the Hart Office Building— of the cold, cavernous hearing room.

Full story

Counter-Protests Are the New Pink

Counter Protests Are the New Pink

Protesters at the Minnesota Capitol Building in St. Paul. (Courtesy Facebook/Wipe Out Homophobia)

In Minnesota today, the First Amendment is a beautiful thing.

We Are Marshall, Sanford That Is

HOH continues its roll out of the welcome wagon for former-but-soon-to-be-officially-back-again Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

Or is that Rep. Marshall Sanford?

We Are Marshall, Sanford That Is

The nameplate for the newest member of the House. (Photo courtesy of HOH Tipster)

For the record, the Biographical Record of the United States Congress does indeed list the former governor as Marshall Clement Sanford Jr. (Mark). But in all our years, we’ve never heard anyone refer to him as anything but Mark.

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:18 p.m.

Check Out the Bipartisan Bryce Bros

HOH is feeling the bipartisan love, at least when it comes to Senate leaders’ affections for Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper.

As our colleagues at #WGDB reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have found something they agree on: Wishing that Washington Nationals star player Harper gets better after his run-in with Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

Check Out the Bipartisan Bryce Bros

Harper, left and Reid hang out at Nationals Park last year shortly after Harper’s call up to the majors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)


In a game late Monday night, Harper slammed into an outfield wall at Dodger Stadium and required 11 stitches in his chin. The Nationals won 6-2. Harper was examined by physicians, and X-rays came back negative for a concussion, according to The Washington Post. According to, Harper’s playing status is day-to-day.

Horton’s Kids to Take Over Nationals Park

Thirteen members of Congress and more than 60 staffers will join CNN’s Jake Tapper and celebuchef Spike Mendelsohn to hit up the 5th annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids.

Hortons Kids to Take Over Nationals Park

Mendelsohn will help fete Horton’s Kids at Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The invite-only Nationals Park event, scheduled for Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will raise money for the Ward 8 charity, which provides direct services on the Capitol campus for about 500 children and families in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood. Full story

By Neda Semnani Posted at 11:44 a.m.

Hungary Ayes

If your understanding of what exactly the Hungarian American Caucus has been up to in recent years is as clear as a bowl of paprika-spiked goulash, allow HOH to bring you up to speed.

The group, which was most recently led by former-Rep.-turned-Fox-News-commentator Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio, is getting back into action in the 113th Congress with three new co-chairmen: Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, Andy Harris, R-Md., and David Joyce, R-Ohio.

A spokesman at the Hungarian Embassy welcomed the infusion of new blood and expressed hope that the tightly knit band would help strengthen the cross-cultural connections (global security issues, economic cooperation, cultural expression) the two nations have fostered for decades.

And just to show they’re not wasting any more time, Hungarians will commemorate the 20th anniversary of ongoing relations between the Hungarian Defense Forces and the Ohio National Guard — “Cleveland has the second largest Hungarian population, after Budapest,” Joyce told HOH about the rock-solid Buckeye-Magyar bond — with a celebratory luncheon Wednesday in Rayburn 2358-C. Kaptur, Harris and Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, and Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, are scheduled to speak at the event, alongside Hungarian Ambassador to the United States György Szapáry and James J. Townsend Jr., deputy assistant secretary of Defense for European and NATO policy.

If all that sounds a little too dry for you, Hungary will also be strutting its stuff as the guest nation during the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 26-30, July 3-7).

May 13, 2013

Taste of America: Where’s a Voter to Sample?

The second round of CQ Roll Call’s 2013 Taste of America throwdown is under way, with culinary partisans voting for their favorite vittles from sea to shining sea.

Arizonans teed up their chimichangas. West Virginians are flogging their pepperoni rolls. D.C.’ers (we have no idea how to differentiate Washington-state people from Washington-nation’s-capital people, so there you go) are behind their half smokes.

In the spirit of fairness, we here at HOH encourage all voters in this competition to keep an open mind and palate, and sample as much fare as your waistlines will allow. For D.C. voters, we have taken the top five vote-getters from last week who moved on to the second round and compiled a list of Capitol Hill or nearby establishments to nosh. And, of course, we welcome all, ahem, feedback, because we know there’s more out there. And yes, we know it’s all better back home. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:10 p.m.

Sen. Johnny Isakson | Take Five

It’s Tuesday and time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress with five lighthearted questions relatively unrelated to legislative work. This week, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., dishes on Peach State cuisine, T-ball versus ballet and life in multiple legislatures.

Q. What is your favorite food and why?

A. Fried chicken. It’s really very simple: My mother cooked the best fried chicken anybody ever cooked, and I grew up eating fried chicken every Sunday after church for lunch. Full story

Overheard: The Lamentations of the Expos

“It’s still painful.”

— A baseball fan from Montreal attending Sunday’s Washington Nationals-Chicago Cubs game at Nationals Park. The Montreal Expos left Canada in 2004 to become the Nationals.

Overheard: The Lamentations of the Expos

Charlie Brotman, former announcer for the Washington Senators, holds up a license plate celebrating the move of the Montreal Expos to Washington at a November 2004 event announcing the team’s renaming to Nationals. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SNL Benghazi Skit Mismatches Members, Nameplates

“Saturday Night Live” had some fun with last week’s marathon Benghazi hearing, marrying House Republicans’ fervor for media attention with the basic tenet of sweeps week programming, like stunt casting:

We can’t quibble with the logic of exploiting newsmakers to make people notice what’s happening on Capitol Hill — frustrated conservatives bemoaned the same. But shame on NBC for mixing and matching the major players and nameplates in the SNL cold open.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., (played by Kenan Thompson) is indeed the ranking member for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but in the skit his character is sitting with a nameplate that identifies him as Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

Another silly snafu: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., (played by Taran Killam) is sitting behind a nameplate that identifies him as Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.

To the folks at SNL: The new “Congress at Your Fingertips” by CQ Roll Call is out. Give us a holler and we’ll send you a copy.

May 12, 2013

Glory Days | Capitol Quip

Glory Days | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

Welcome Back, Mark Sanford! | Capitol Quip

Welcome Back, Mark Sanford! | Capitol Quip

Illustrator R.J. Matson’s latest cartoon needs a caption.

Rep.-elect Mark Sanford, R-S.C., completed the latest leg of his comeback hike last week by winning a special election to replace now-Sen. Tim Scott. It’s a homecoming for Sanford, who served in the House from 1995 to 2001. His colleagues must be thrilled to have someone with such experience in their ranks! What do you think Sanford will say as he heads back to Capitol Hill?

Leave us your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday, and then everyone can vote for the winner until Thursday afternoon. The winner gets a signed print from Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:30 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...