Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2015

January 28, 2015

Overheard: Boehner ‘Not Sure’ if He’s Golfing This Weekend

Overheard: Boehner Not Sure if Hes Golfing This Weekend

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’m not sure what I might be doing tomorrow.”

— Speaker John A. Boehner, boarding a US Airways flight to Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, when asked if he was looking forward to a round of golf

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Run! To Cherry Blossom Registration in Rayburn Foyer

Run! To Cherry Blossom Registration in Rayburn Foyer

On your pre-registration mark. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cherry Blossom Run organizers are making it easy for congressional staffers and interns to register for the Capitol Hill Competition of April’s fabled foot race.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Rayburn House Office Building foyer, those who help make the Capitol run can pre-register for April 12’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run race within the race at a kickoff event sponsored by Congressional Federal Credit Union. This will be the 14th year of the Capitol Hill Competition, where congressional racers compete for top honors. Last year, “Minnesota Nice and Fast,” from the office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., won. The overall race  supports children’s hospitals. Staffers are guaranteed a spot. Regular registration is open Feb. 1 through 28.

Staffers can RSVP for Thursday’s event at www.congressionalFCU.org/CapitolHillCompetition. As there is wont to be, there will be some food and drink at this event, as will folks from Potomac River Running Store, likely eager to answer questions about equipment.

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Govs Rib Each Other Over Snowstorm

The governor of Vermont tweaked the governor of another New England state Wednesday morning for his state’s handling of the snowstorm that hit earlier this week.

“I send the regrets of Gov. Malloy of Connecticut. We got whacked pretty hard in the Northeast with a little bit of a snowstorm in our transportation infrastructure and you know, he would be here if he were not digging out. In Vermont, we got hit too, but our southern states aren’t as accustomed to snow as we are up in Vermont, so he’s still digging,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said at a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on the need for a new highway bill.

While the blizzard did not meet expectations in New York City, parts of Connecticut were walloped by the storm, including the eastern shoreline. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was scheduled to testify, but a committee aide said Wednesday morning that Malloy had canceled because of the weather. Shumlin appeared with Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama and South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist.

“I should say that that’s the Deep South too, Gov. Bentley,” Shumlin quipped.

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GOP Snowmobile Trek Mirrors Meat Week

Reps. Dan Benishek and Bill Huizenga are hitting the back roads of the Wolverine State Thursday for their 2nd Annual Congressional Snowmobile Ride — a wintry romp punctuated by plenty of meaty pit stops.

The Michigan Republicans ventured out into the snow-covered landscape in 2014.

Full story

HOH Name Game: First Names First

It’s time again for the HOH name game, when we provide a little public service with our handy pronunciation guide for members whose names have the potential to trip up those in and around the Capitol. Today’s group is the First Names First Caucus, those members whose first names have a much bigger potential to be mispronounced than their last.

HOH Name Game: First Names First

HA-keem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. — HA-keem. His first name is no laughing matter.

HOH Name Game: First Names First

BET-oh (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas — BET-oh. Uh-oh. You better not flub this El Paso-bred first name.

HOH Name Game: First Names First

Like “Shelley” far right, mint-green jacket. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine — Like “Shelley.” If you ever eat at one of the congresswoman’s restaurants in Maine, you’re going to shell out some cash.

Many thanks to Jay Hunter at the CQ Members desk, who supplied valuable intel on proper pronunciation.

Related:

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

HOH Name Game: The Tongue-Twister Caucus

HOH Name Game: Don’t Mispronounce These

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January 27, 2015

‘Compared to What’ Team Campaigns to Bring Flick to D.C.

Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler, the documentarians who filmed former Rep. Barney Frank throughout the Massachusetts Democrat’s final year in Congress, have launched an online fundraising effort to help spread their still-in-need-of-fine-tuning project nationwide.

“Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank,” a pull-no-punches peek into Frank’s personal and professional lives, began making the festival rounds last year, opening first at Tribeca before migrating West.

While pleased with the industry response, Chandler told HOH he’s ready to share the film with a broader audience.

“It was fun being at the festivals. But we want the world to see it,” Chandler said of the dream of wider distribution.

Full story

Chuck Grassley Talks Twitter Secrets

Chuck Grassley Talks Twitter Secrets

Grassley is a Republican from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Never one for false modesty, Sen. Charles E. Grassley thinks he’s pretty good at using Twitter.

Full story

Gardner, Rangel Co-Headlining 2015 Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner

Newly minted Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and veteran Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., will effectively be campaigning for the biggest laughs on Feb. 4, when they face off at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 71st Annual Congressional Dinner.

The dueling pols are sharing top billing at this year’s typically tongue-in-cheek shindig, a press-friendly gathering — MSNBC personality Alex Wagner is expected to serve as the master of ceremonies — that ushers in the cavalcade of seasonal awards dinners in #ThisTown. Full story

January 26, 2015

House Staffer Keeps ‘Em Guessing on ‘Jeopardy!’

House Staffer Keeps Em Guessing on Jeopardy!

(Courtesy Will Anderson)

Quiz show junkie and Capitol Hill staffer Will Anderson raked in more than $23,000 in winnings and garnered comparisons to defending Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson for engineering an astonishing, come-from-behind victory during his three-day run on “Jeopardy!” What else would you expect from a trivia buff who claims his mother still has home movies of him blurting answers out at the TV while growing up? Full story

Mother Nature Threatens Congressional Movie Night

Possible encroachment by the blizzard battering the Northeast has the organizers of a tentative “Selma” screening on Capitol Hill worried that inclement weather may bury their plans.

An aide to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told HOH that Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.; and Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., were expected to co-host a screening Tuesday of the historical drama for fellow House lawmakers. One of the staffers coordinating the showing said the South Congressional Auditorium in the Capitol Visitor Center has been reserved, but noted that the rapidly changing forecast — D.C. was supposed to be blanketed already, but may still see some treacherous precipitation before everything blows over — has given the group pause.

Lewis brought up the bipartisan movie plans during a National Press Club discussion of his latest autobiographical project, “March: Book Two.” Full story

John McCain’s Counterterrorism Contretemps

John McCains Counterterrorism Contretemps

McCain discussed Yemen on Patrick’s radio program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Yeah, you know, Yemen falls to the Houthis, and we’re talking about football.”

— Sen. John McCain, asked on Dan Patrick’s radio program if he had spoken to fellow senators about the controversy over whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. This year’s Super Bowl, featuring the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, will be played in the Arizona Republican’s home state.

Related:

Reid Opines on ‘#Deflategate’

Nevada Senators Blast League Over Deflategate

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Ultraconservatives Dig In via House Freedom Caucus

GOP lawmakers who find the far-right Republican Study Committee too squishy now have a new clique to call home: the House Freedom Caucus. Full story

HOH Word of the Week: Australian Ballot

Australian Ballot: System employed in the United States in which all ballots are marked in secret.”

— From “The Political Bible of Humorous Quotations from American Politics” by Rich Rubino.

HOH Editor’s Note: Happy Australia Day!

Related:

HOH Words of the Week: ‘Let Me Be Clear’

HOH Word of the Week: Satire

HOH Word of the Week: Obstructionism

HOH Word of the Week: Clinker

HOH Word of the Week: Vote

HOH Word of the Week: Congressionalist

HOH Word of the Week: Bold

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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January 25, 2015

How Much Hot Air Is in This Political Football?

How Much Hot Air Is in This Political Football?

President Barack Obama has signaled to the 114th Congress that he’s ready to play some smash-mouth political football, which — along with the New England Patriots-provided #deflategate — brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick finalists Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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January 24, 2015

Capitol Quip’s Double SOTU Special

Capitol Quips Double SOTU Special

Capitol Quips Double SOTU Special

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

The winner will receive signed color prints suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

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