Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

December 17, 2012

Take Five With Rep. Don Young

Take Five With Rep. Don Young

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s the final Take Five of the year for HOH, and we celebrate with one of our favorite members, GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who waxes about chewing on blubber and how he takes cues from the leadership style of “Old Guts and Glory,” Gen. George Patton.
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Capitol Police, Santa To Throw D.C. Kids a Holiday Party

December is proving to be an exciting month for the kids at Savoy Elementary School in Southeast Washington.

Earlier this month, the kids got to take a music class with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Damien Woetzel, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet. As cool as that was, 60 Savoy students might be a smidge more excited about what’s coming on Wednesday.
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We Act Radio Parties With Frank, Conyers

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., will be the stars of We Act Radio’s holiday fundraiser, a party designed to highlight their combined 80 years of progressive politicking on Capitol Hill.
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Affleck Who?

Get ready to swoon, Capitol Hill. Hollywood hunk and celebvocate Ben Affleck will testify before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday on the “evolving security situation” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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Westboro’s Newtown Plans Spark Grass-Roots Backlash

Westboro Baptist Church’s attempts to ride Sandy Hook’s tragic coattails back into the media spotlight has pushed the highly divisive group into new territory: most wanted by White House petitioners.

Best known for derailing private funerals with its anti-abortion and homophobic propaganda, the WBC announced during the weekend that it planned to picket the Sunday night vigil the community of Newtown, Conn., held to commemorate the victims of Friday’s school shootings.

Counter-protesters marched to the Internet instead, prodding the White House to shut down the group one way or another. Six petitions calling for retribution against Westboro have been submitted since Friday, with requests ranging from making it illegal to picket funerals (6,300-plus signatories and counting) to formally recognizing them as a hate group (114,000-plus signatories and counting).

“They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation,” warns the leading petition — which has more than four times the support required to prompt an official response from the administration.

Your move, Mr. President.

December 16, 2012

Spiritual Leader to Exorcise Congressional Demons

Pray at the Pump founder Rocky Twyman, a dogged advocate of bipartisan prayer summits and having elected officials consult with the Almighty on just about everything, feels the time is ripe for a little housecleaning.

His first order of business: a public exorcism on Capitol Hill, scheduled to take place Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the East Front of the campus.
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Overheard on the Hill

“It’s quite plain that Lord Grantham has made quite a catastrophic investment that is going to bring down — talk about jumping off a fiscal cliff — it’s going to bring down the entire structure of the world that he knows.”

Hugh Bonneville, the actor who plays Lord Grantham on “Downton Abbey,” using Washington’s political metaphor du jour to describe a major plot point in the upcoming season of the PBS hit.

Inaugural Tickets Going Fast

Inaugural Tickets Going Fast

Workers continue to put the finishing touches on the stands at the Capitol for Obama’s inauguration Jan. 21. Norton said District residents have been clamoring for tickets to the swearing-in ceremony. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Hey, members of Congress: Got any extra tickets to President Barack Obama’s inauguration laying around?

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office has been “besieged” by District residents calling in the hopes of scoring tickets to the official swearing-in ceremony on the National Mall on Jan. 21, and she’s hoping her colleagues can spare some of their extras.
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Nothing Says Christmas Like The Fridge

Hey, D.C.: Staying local looks so good on you.

This holiday season hit up Capitol Hill’s art gallery The Fridge for handmade gifts crafted by local artists. Even better, the gallery, located at 516 Eighth St. SE, rear alley on Barracks Row, will split all profits with the artists themselves.
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December 14, 2012

Congress Mourns Newtown’s Loss

The gut-wrenching news of Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., sent shock waves through the Capitol, prompting leaders in both parties to — ever so briefly — drop the partisan bickering and reaffirm their commitment to family and faith.

As details of the sickening rampage trickled out on the news, congressional Twitter feeds lit up with heartfelt condolences and comforting words for anyone and everyone affected by the horrific tragedy.

“My thoughts and prayers…” remains the most popular preamble for leaders left reeling by the thoughts of innocent lives cut short by senseless violence.

Other members, particularly those with children of their own, took the episode completely to heart.

“The horror in #newtown seems unbearable, but we will lock arms & unite as citizens, for that is how we rise above evil (,” Speaker John A. Boehner declared shortly after ordering the flags at the Capitol lowered to half-staff.

‏“Whether they witness a tragedy, see it on TV or hear adults talking, tips for talking to kids about tragedy (,” Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz counseled parents struggling to find the right words.

“Americans are sick & tired of these attacks and sick & tired of nothing being done in Washington to stop the bloodshed,” New Jersey Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg clamored.

The Connecticut delegation’s staff made plans to join a vigil at the Washington Monument at 7 p.m. that was organized by the Connecticut Society.

Even as the events unfolded, ex-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., felt compelled to take this totally random potshot.

“Didn’t this man have anything better to do?” he groused in a tweet depicting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt smoking and drinking.

‘Downton Abbey’ Takes Washington: Stars Talk, Pols Swoon

The night was cold, but inside the British ambassador’s residence, it was warm and filled to capacity with A-list Washingtonians fanning themselves over the stars of the British drama “Downton Abbey.”

Milling about and jockeying for pictures with the stars of the super-popular PBS Masterpiece Theater show was Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

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December 13, 2012

Food for Thought

Hey, Capitol Hill folks!

Are you new in town? Or have you been around the city forever, yet still pine for painfully elusive tastes of home?

Allow us to reunite you with those most craved comestibles.

Our resident dining guru, Warren Rojas, is on a mission to bridge the gap between displaced congressional members and workers and their fondest food memories. And he’ll stop at nothing to track down the regional specialty/state dish/hometown favorite that invariably creeps to the front of your mind during each fruitless scan of local menus.

Put him on the case of your most sorely missed meal(s) via

We can already taste the excitement.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 7:24 p.m.

Lewis Gets NAACP Image Award Nod

Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his autobiography, “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change.”

This marks the first time Lewis has been recognized by the organization for an artistic endeavor. He was honored with the Spingarn Medal — the NAACP’s annual outstanding achievement award — in 2002; Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., received the Spingarn Medal in 2007.
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Hill Diet Good for Fertility, Not So Great for Co-Workers

Feel like there are a lot of hormonal, hungry people running about Capitol Hill these days? You’re not crazy.

Over the past few months, the HCG diet has become more and more popular with members of Hill offices. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., even subscribed to the plan last summer and lost about 40 pounds in the process.
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By Neda Semnani Posted at 7:21 p.m.

Who Called Whom a What?

A lawmaker recently removed from his coveted committee assignment and his colleague who offered the most high-profile defense of that decision spoke about the matter on the House floor Thursday.

But the contents of the conversation are in dispute.
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