Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2015

July 27, 2015

Satirist Sticks It to Prickly Presidents

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — Cartoon Network “Regular Show” writer Patrick Baker once dreamed of running for higher office. He realizes, though, that his reframing of history in “The Presidential Dickerbook” — a satirical examination of the most egregious actions of our all-too-flawed commanders in chief — makes that unlikely.

The fully illustrated guide, which popped onto the scene on July 3 and was on full display here at Comic-Con 2015, takes the measure of each POTUS at his lowest points and ranks them on Baker’s proprietary dickometer. “My mind was [on] how many people died as a result of you being rough,” Baker told HOH about his personal yardstick.

Full story

HOH Word of the Week: Salt

Salt. To mark a memo or document in such a way that if it is leaked to press, the leaker will be identified. Commonly, a document is salted when one word is placed in one person’s copy, a different in the next person’s, and so forth. When it appears in print, the salter will know whose copy is leaked.”

— From “The Congress Dictionary” by Paul Dickson and Paul Clancy.

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July 24, 2015

Ted Cruz Promises to Bring Pork to White House

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has achieved Hollywood status.

A man with a handheld video camera, who identified himself as working for celebrity gossip outlet TMZ, approached the presidential candidate Thursday at an anti-Iran deal event just outside the White House. Full story

By Nicole Puglise Posted at 2:15 p.m.
Celebs, TV Land

Team ‘Good Wife’ Readies Hill-Centered ‘BrainDead’

How’s this for a conspiracy theory: Congress ain’t just broke. It’s been overrun by mindless pols.

OK, OK, so that’s the perma-banner affixed to most news sites these days.

Still, TV execs Robert and Michelle King, co-creators of “The Good Wife,” are planning to flesh out the nightmare that is modern politics via their forthcoming project, “BrainDead.” Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 20, 2015 (Video)

Members spent the week recalling their college days, drafting grocery lists and touting their love for San Francisco.

Full story

Coveting a New Roll Call Cup

Crenshaw, left, and Yarmuth, middle, go head to head again on July 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Crenshaw, left, and Yarmuth, middle, go head-to-head again on July 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic lawmakers hope to put an end to their losing streak and retake the coveted Roll Call Cup from their Republican counterparts at this year’s 14th annual First Tee Congressional Challenge.

Lawmakers will hit the Columbia Country Club links in Chevy Chase, Md., on Monday for 36 holes of golf, culminating in a reception and trophy ceremony that evening at Cornerstone Government Affairs. Full story

July 23, 2015

Support Democracy: Devour Drumsticks!

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Uber, Nestlé and Capital One are teaming up Friday to see which side of the aisle also happens to be the biggest fans of brain freeze.

DC denizens that can make chauffeured rides appear via smartphone will from 11 to 5 p.m. be able to summon partisan cones — red for the GOP, blue for Democrats and white for independents — by electing for the “ice cream” option.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:58 a.m.
DC, Food

#tbt: Roll Call Praises John Kasich on Congressional Pay Stance

Kasich and Domenici, seen here as chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kasich and Domenici, seen here as chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Back when this publication wrote editorials, newly declared presidential candidate and current Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich won plaudits for pushing back on the politics of congressional pay raises.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, the Ohio Republican worked to block a Senate provision from being included in a budget resolution conference report that would have called for a seven-year congressional pay freeze. Roll Call reported that even senators were unaware of the language, which was attributed to Senate Budget Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M.

Ultimately, a pay freeze amendment was adopted for fiscal 1996 as part of the old Treasury, Postal Service and general government appropriations bill, but that applied only to that year, as opposed to Domenici’s sweeping plan to freeze the salaries for seven years.

Here’s how Roll Call editorialized about the efforts of Kasich and Domenici, 20 years ago this month: Full story

#tbt: Donald Trump Spreads Political Donations

This photo of Trump ran with the K Street Files column on July 12, 2004. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This photo of Trump ran with the K Street Files column in the July 12, 2004, issue of Roll Call. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What are archives for? In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, Roll Call took a closer look at The Donald’s political donations in a K Street Files column, published just a few months after the launch of Donald Trump’s NBC reality series, “The Apprentice.”

As the real estate magnate and former United States Football League franchise owner runs for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, here is a glance back at all the money he had spread around to both parties by mid-2004, including cash to some current rivals for the GOP nod and with a little more than half of the money going to Democrats. Full story

July 22, 2015

Senate Invites British Invasion

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Have you switched sides?” Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada asked Pat Roberts on the Senate floor Tuesday night.

“I don’t know what the other side is going to offer,” the Kansas Republican replied. “I’m keeping my options open.”

“Cheerio,” both men said jokingly to each other as they parted ways, with Roberts sporting a conspicuous Union Jack tie. The flashy accessory drew comments from colleagues all day long, but in fact, Roberts had not swapped his Senate pin for a seat in the House of Lords. Full story

Congress, Between a Sausage and a Veggie Burger

Rep. Doug LaMalfa goes all in on a corn dog. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Doug LaMalfa goes all in on a corn dog. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Dietary allegiances were tested on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as the meat lobby and vegetarian-friendly toque Todd Gray squared off in a culinary tug of war for control of the hearts and minds — and mouths — of the legislative branch.

Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association founder Adam Sarvana sinks his teeth into some plant-based nosh at inaugural Veggie Burger Smackdown event in Rayburn. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Sarvana sinks his teeth into some plant-based nosh at the inaugural Veggie Burger Smackdown event in Rayburn. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The North American Meat Institute and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine arranged for the widely attended free lunches, with each group courting its specific constituency with custom touches. Full story

Yarmuth: Donald Trump Is ‘America’s No. 1 Dumpster Fire’

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, chats with Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., during the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise reception at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers Association joined forces to send a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon to Washington D. C. to be received by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Yarmuth, left chatting with Speaker John A. Boehner, who on Wednesday suggested he associated himself with Graham’s assessment of Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Confidential to Donald Trump: Do you have Rep. John Yarmuth’s cellphone number?

The presidential candidate gave out Sen. Lindsey Graham’s digits Tuesday, in retaliation for being called a “jackass” on CNN by the South Carolina Republican and fellow 2016 presidential competitor.

Trump might have to get creative with his punishment once he hears Yarmuth’s choice words.

“I think he’s the No. 1 dumpster fire in the country right now,” the Kentucky Democrat told HOH Wednesday, rattling off the zinger with a polish that suggested he’d been waiting days for the opportunity.

“You’re always thinking about the way he might respond,” Yarmuth said of Trump, “so I’m curious with how he’ll respond to that.”

Trump, your move.

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Trumping the 2016 Contenders

Dear presidential backbenchers: Why wait to have your own feud with rhetorical bomb-thrower Donald Trump when Time has a fully automated name caller primed and ready to propel you into the discussions of the day?

The magic of the “Donald Trump Insult Generator” is that it’s almost as good as a browbeating from the real thing, a feat accomplished by plumbing the reality TV vet’s Twitter feed for inflammatory statements.

In the spirit of inclusion, HOH went ahead and plugged every presidential hopeful’s moniker into the DTIG, so the indignant fundraising letters can begin flooding virtual mailboxes ASAP. Full story

Congressional Bookworms Open Up to C-SPAN

Prefer your C-SPAN coverage a little less combative than vitriolic one-minutes or partisan committee hearings? Then tune that dial over to Book TV’s “Summer Reading” series, a literary love-fest that’s got lawmakers gushing about their favorite page-turners.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Senior Executive Producer Peter Slen told HOH the quick-hit segments — all prompted by the interrogatory softball, “What are you reading this summer?” — used to focus on Washingtonians from all walks of life. But the team decided to bear down on elected officials this year, and has, to his delight, received an enthusiastic response.

“It’s been difficult, time-consuming and effective,” Slen said of the dozens of interviews conducted with pols on both sides of the aisle. Full story

July 21, 2015

‘Cheerio’ on the Senate Floor

“Cheerio!”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., both joking about Roberts’ Union Jack necktie, which he wore Tuesday to mark a meeting between senators and members of the British Parliament earlier in the day.

 

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

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