Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

December 2, 2015

Office Space: Don Beyer’s Virginia Embassy

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Rep. Don Beyer Jr., D-Va., leads CQ Roll Call through his book and photo collection, while saving time for a tour of his bathroom and “the epic adventure of his adult life.”

Full story

Vote for a Refugees Capitol Quip!

CapitolQuip-11-23-15

The finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your vote:

— It might have been safer to take our chances with the sharks.
— Just our luck. We arrived during a presidential campaign.
— Couldn’t they at least abridge this path to nowhere?
— Where’s the TSA Pre-Check Line?

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog Saturday, and in the following print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

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By Rebecca Gale Posted at 2:21 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Claire McCaskill’s Book Party a Holiday Tradition for Group of Senators

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is seen on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Monday. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is seen on the West Front of the  Capitol. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

When the Christmas tree arrives on Capitol Hill and the large wreaths are hung at Union Station, the senators who remain from the 2006 elections know it is time for a book party at Sen. Claire McCaskill’s place.

Each December since 2007, the Missouri Democrat has hosted the entire group of members with whom she was elected in 2006 — a group that began with eight Democrats, Vermont independent Bernard Sanders and Tennessee Republican Bob Corker — for dinner and a secret book exchange.  Full story

By Eli Yokley Posted at 8:36 a.m.
Books, DC, Parties

Colleagues, Allies to Fete Boxer

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 30 - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a Women Senators Endorsement Event for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, November 30, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boxer will be honored by colleagues and allies Wednesday night. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Barbara Boxer is retiring at the end of 2016, and between now and then she’ll be collecting the customary number of thank yous as she prepares for post-Congress life.

The first woman to chair the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will add another award to her mantle on Wednesday evening, as she receives the inaugural Environmental Working Group Courage Award at its third annual gala. Full story

Where the Drinkers Are in Congress

Just how many drinks are staffers imbibing at work events? CQ Roll Call set to find out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just how many drinks are staffers imbibing at work events? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The congressional drinking culture is alive and well, helped along by the demands of the job.

According to a survey of congressional staff, nearly half, or 47 percent, of staffers attend social events for work either once or twice a week. Those events are predominantly serving alcoholic beverages. Perhaps that helped lead to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows the District of Columbia with a slightly higher percentage of adult binge drinkers (22 percent) as compared to the national average of 16 percent. Full story

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 5 a.m.
Staffers

December 1, 2015

Joni Ernst Retires From Military

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 8: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, heads to the Senate subway following a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ernst served in the military for 23 years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joni Ernst, the Iowa Republican who is the Senate’s only female veteran, has retired from the Iowa National Guard as a lieutenant colonel, ending a 23-year stint in uniform. Ernst’s decision leaves only one female reservist in Congress, Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who, like Ernst, is a combat veteran. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:41 p.m.
Sens

Senators’ Secret Santa Swap Set for Dec. 8

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 08: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., attends a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Dirksen Building on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, January 8, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What does Franken have in mind for this year’s Secret Santa? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators have a week to buy their gifts for their annual Secret Santa gift swap.

Sen. Al Franken’s annual effort to build holiday cheer is scheduled for Dec. 8.

“In the Senate, we have serious jobs and often face some very sobering issues,” the Minnesota Democrat said in a statement to Roll Call. “But every year, I host a bipartisan event to embrace the spirit of the holiday season, my annual Secret Santa. This is something we used to do at my elementary school back in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. It helped make sure that every kid got a gift, and it was a way to mix things up and give kids the chance to get to know one another.”

Full story

November 30, 2015

Feel the Bernia

Sanders had a hernia repaired on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanders had a hernia repaired on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., underwent outpatient surgery Monday at George Washington University hospital to repair a hernia. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:18 p.m.
Sens

A Much Earlier State of the Union for 2016

US President Barack Obama delivers the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Credit: Mandel Ngan / Pool

Once more with feeling. Obama will deliver likely his last State of the Union on Jan. 12. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 2016 State of the Union will be by far the earliest delivered by President Barack Obama.

When Obama accepted Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s invitation to address Congress on Jan. 12, it beat out his earliest time by more than a week. Indeed, it will be the earliest a president has delivered a State of the Union address this century. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:09 p.m.
POTUS

Dueling D.C. Christmas Trees

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 20 - Workers from the Architect of the Capitol prepare to unload the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Friday, November 20, 2015. The 74-foot Lutz Spruce tree is from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Workers from the Architect of the Capitol unload the Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front. Ryan will light the tree on Wednesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan won’t have to compete with Miss Piggy.

That’s because the Wisconsin Republican will have the eyes of the nation on him and only him as he lights the Capitol Christmas Tree Wednesday on the West Front, at around 5 p.m. The White House, perhaps wisely, chose not to set up any dueling Christmas tree lightings this week. It scheduled the National Christmas Tree lighting for Thursday, complete with celebrity Muppet helpers. Full story

Democrats Won’t Charge Press for 2016 Convention Seats

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic National Convention has opted not to charge print media for a seat in the convention hall in July, more than a month after the GOP decided to do so.

“As has been the practice in past conventions, we do not plan to charge media for the writing press stands in 2016,” April Mellody, a DNC spokeswoman, wrote Monday in an email to Roll Call. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:27 p.m.
2016, Drama, media

November 26, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: 2015 Thanksgiving Edition

In honor of Thanksgiving, Heard on the Hill looks back at the times this year when food was the only thing on lawmakers’ minds.

Full story

November 25, 2015

Office Space: Steve King’s Excavation Site

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, displays his collection of historical artifacts, hikes mountains with Rep. Louie Gohmert and brandishes a knife to CQ Roll Call.

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Bedlam Takes Over Inhofe’s Office

(Courtesy of Inhofe's office)

(Courtesy of Inhofe’s office)

There was bedlam in Sen. James M. Inhofe’s office last week.

On Nov. 19, with half the Oklahoma Republican’s staff dressed in University of Oklahoma crimson and the other half dressed in Oklahoma State University orange, the staffers celebrated the time-honored rivalry in the Sooner State known as the “Bedlam” series that pits OU against OSU.

A spokeswoman for Inhofe’s office said the staff posed for a picture after they celebrated Thanksgiving dinner. “We’ve been doing this for years,” she said, “and are thrilled the tradition has continued.”

But there was no word on why Inhofe, a University of Tulsa grad seated in the center of the group picture, was sporting OSU colors with an orange and black tie.

Perhaps he was anticipating the OSU Cowboys would be victorious against the OU Sooners in the game set for Saturday. OSU pulled out a win in the 2014 game, besting the Sooners, 38-35.

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:54 p.m.
Uncategorized

November 24, 2015

Mitch McConnell Drinks Water

With Thanksgiving only days away, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to its favorite Capitol Hill water drinker, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

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