Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

September 15, 2015

Steve King Crowns 24-Year-Old Queen of the Hill

Stevens has a brand new job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Stevens has a brand new job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

She’s still a few weeks shy of her 25th birthday and only three years into her congressional career. But Iowa Republican Steve King has given House staffer Sarah Stevens the ultimate vote of confidence: naming her chief of staff.

The newlywed aide — her husband, Christopher, signed on as executive director of the King-led Conservative Opportunity Society this summer — told HOH she’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support regarding her ascent.

“Co-workers were way too nice about this. And so was the congressman,” she said of all the fuss folks have been making about her likely becoming the youngest top aide on Capitol Hill. Full story

Licking Our Chops for Mystery Meat

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Racing to get up to speed on House dining services is obviously taking a toll on Sodexo’s menu writers.

The jury is still out on whether the food vendor tapped to replace Restaurant Associates will manage to win over congressional patrons (the promised Dunkin’ Donuts should help shore up support from displaced New Englanders). But it’s clear from a photo shared by one dumbfounded client that the pressure to be all things to all people is clearly getting to hospitality workers. Full story

Alan Simpson Goes From Economic Affairs to Affairs of the Heart

Simpson, up to something? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Simpson: Former senator, current matchmaker, eternal romantic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson couldn’t solve the nation’s financial woes as co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — but where he fell short in economic affairs he perhaps is making up for in affairs of the heart.

The 84-year-old Wyoming Republican, who held office from 1979 to 1997, is being partly credited for the recent marriage of a New York Public Radio podcaster, Anna Sale, and a wildlife research scientist, Arthur Middleton.

It’s all detailed in the featured item of the Sunday New York Times wedding section. Full story

Trump’s Terrific Capitol Dome Construction Advice (Video)

Trump says the Capitol Dome restoration project is behind schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trump says the Capitol Dome restoration project is behind schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Monday night he knows something the rest of us don’t about the Capitol Dome restoration project  that it’s behind schedule. But sources on the Hill, including the ranking member of the House Administration Committee, are rejecting those claims.

“Though it may look like it at times, we are not running some kind of a reality TV show here. We don’t pull down scaffolding from the Capitol Dome for a TV shot just to re-erect it when the cameras are gone,” Rep. Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on House Administration, said Tuesday.

Brady’s remarks came after Trump cited “a construction firm that’s involved in the job” during his speech at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Trump claimed workers don’t have enough time to finish the project before the 2017 presidential inauguration. Full story

Michigan Debbies to Tag Team Shinola D.C. Debut

Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell and Sen. Debbie Stabenow are expected to help roll out the welcome mat Wednesday in the District for Shinola’s official arrival.

(Courtesy Shinola)

(Courtesy Shinola)

The Detroit-born operation is attempting to revitalize U.S. manufacturing by cranking out collectibles ranging from dress watches and high-end leather goods to fixie bikes and dog beds.

Organizers aim to introduce D.C. denizens to the upstart brand via a private reception scheduled to take place at the area’s flagship shop at 1631 14th St. NW from 6 to 9 p.m. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is projected to join the congressional welcome wagon (along with a few other special guests), and local business Dog Tag Bakery has been tapped to supply party-goers with vanilla cream puffs, red velvet cake, their signature brownies and mini apple pies.


When Interior Decorating Questions Get Weird

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Garrison Is Rob Weland’s Call to Farms | Food Court

Chef Rob Weland is pictured in his restaurant Garrison, on Barrack's Row. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Weland in his restaurant Garrison, on Barrack’s Row. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill denizen Rob Weland is making himself right at home with Garrison (524 Eighth St. SE), a passion project that’s allowed the pioneering local toque to finally put down roots on his own terms. Full story

September 11, 2015

Hill Vet Amped About Private Kenny Loggins Show

Just more than a year after successfully soliciting strangers to bankroll a plan to have soft rock god Kenny Loggins perform in a certain superfan’s living room, former House aide Erick Sanchez stands poised to welcome his musical idol Sunday for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Upon discovering last summer that the fabled singer-songwriter was rounding up financial support for a potential album, Sanchez — a one-time aide to Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who has since become a senior advisor at Frontier Solutions — swung into action by issuing a cyber-SOS to fellow adult contemporary fans. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Sept. 7, 2015 (Video)

Lawmakers returned from a monthlong recess ready to ask Siri for advice, recite movie lines and pay tribute to their favorite Mexican restaurant.

Full story

Darin LaHood Inherits Plain Old House Office Space

As expected, the last traces of disgraced Rep. Aaron Schock’s ill-fated interior design scheme have been completely wiped away.

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“RIP blood red walls, pheasant feathers, and black candle sconces,” a tipster who snapped a pic Friday of the business-as-usual decor awaiting newly elected Rep. Darin LaHood shared with HOH.

LaHood, son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, won the special election Thursday to replace the social-media magnate whose house of cards came tumbling down after Ben Terris exposed what turned out to be a career-ending office makeover. Full story

The Unbearable Likeness of Pete Olson?

House staffers marveled at the unbearable likeness of beings that paraded across their TV screens as Rep. Pete Olson took to the floor Thursday to rail against the administration’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.



Amid the pre-gaming for the GOP’s bicameral effort to stymie President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, the Texas Republican unveiled a visual aide that caused some mischievous folks to do a double take. Full story

Toast the Pope With a Pint in Brookland

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The impending arrival of Pope Francis in the District of Columbia has security, transit and government officials tirelessly making preparations. And some local watering holes are getting in on the action.

Brookland Pint in Northeast D.C. is just a few blocks form the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University, where the pontiff is going to celebrate Mass on Sept. 23. At the Mass, Pope Francis will also canonize Fr. Junipero Serra, whose likeness is also enshrined in a statue in the Capitol, as the first canonization of a saint to take place on U.S. soil.

According to the bar’s website, starting on Sept. 20, Brookland Pint will begin serving “religious themed beers.” Some of the libations include “No Pope Til Brookland” by Franklins Brew Pub and DC Brau’s “On The Wings of Armageddon.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:49 a.m.
Booze, DC

September 10, 2015

Office Space: Hanging 10 With Dana Rohrabacher (Video)

Rohrabacher gives a tour of his Rayburn House Office in 2011. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rohrabacher gives a tour of his Rayburn House Office in 2011. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher gave a tour of his congressional office in 2011 for Roll Call’s “Office Space” series, which returns next week.

Surfboards covered the walls in his Rayburn House Office Building, along with photos from his political career. Full story

September 9, 2015

The Overlooked Opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin takes a selfie with a supporter before she speaks at a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin takes a selfie with a supporter before the rally (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The sea of humanity sweltering in front of the Capitol Wednesday appeared to HOH to be less interested in getting an earful from pols — who popped by to rile up the crowd and then quickly retreated to air conditioned offices — than in being heard, once and for all, themselves.

Ron Kirby, a Texas native who keeps a close eye on the federal government from just across the river in Alexandria, Va., told HOH he’d hiked up to the Hill on a 90-something degree day to ensure lawmakers understood his deep-seated reservations about the administration’s proposed deal with Iran. Full story

Chellie Pingree Insists Divorce Won’t Cramp Nebo Lodge’s Style

Her separation from billionaire spouse Donald Sussman will in no way mean lights out for Nebo Lodge, an aide to Rep. Chellie Pingree assured HOH Wednesday.

chellie pingree

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Maine Democrat established the gourmet retreat more than a decade ago and has since assembled a closely knit group — including renowned chef Amanda Hallowell and Pingree’s eldest daughter, Hannah, who serves as general manager — to oversee the homey establishment.

Per Team Pingree, all of that is expected to remain undisturbed, even after the four-term lawmaker disentangles herself from her husband’s myriad financial holdings.

“Rep. Pingree owns Nebo and nothing will change. They’ve got a great team on North Haven and it will continue to operate as it has,” Pingree spokesman Willy Ritch stated.

This hired mouth may have to race back up north next summer, just to make sure everything remains on the up and up.


Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman Parting Company

Getting Our Fill of Vacationland

The Maine Attraction: Getting a Taste of the Chellie Pingree Experience

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For Hungry Conservatives, a Chick-fil-A Rival Emerges

" We the Pizza" at 303 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast Washington, D.C. July 29, 2010. The owner is Spike Mendelsohn, former Top Chef contestant and owner of Good Stuff Eatery next door..(Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call via Getty Images)

On the menu at this week’s Conversations with Conservatives: We, the Pizza (Douglas Graham/Roll Call via Getty Images)

Conservatives may love their chicken sandwiches, but Conversations with Conservatives returned from the August recess with an important change: We, The Pizza for lunch.

It’s the second time Conversations with Conservatives has opted for We, The Pizza, after the Capitol Hill eatery became the first non-Chick-fil-A lunch that CWC offered about five months ago.

By Matt Fuller Posted at 2:20 p.m.

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