Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 27, 2015

January 21, 2015

Texans Rally to Give Charlie Wilson His Due

Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Wednesday were expected to kick-start the process to nominate fellow Lone Star Stater Rep. Charlie Wilson for a Congressional Gold Medal.

Texans Rally to Give Charlie Wilson His Due

Wilson, left, was given a retirement roast by “Charlie Wilson’s War” author George Crile at a ceremony in the Rayburn House Office Building. It was attended by a variety of intelligence and diplomatic figures from around the world. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The late 12-term pol, whose surreptitious activities were dramatized both in print and on the big screen as “Charlie Wilson’s War,” is perhaps best remembered for secretly aiding Afghan rebels in their war against the then-Soviet Union. Wilson orchestrated the clandestine arms program in conjunction with late CIA agent Gustav Avrakatos and coalition builder Joanne Herring. Full story

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

Have you ever wanted to play speechwriter for the State of the Union?

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

Or have you ever wondered just what Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is thinking as he sits through the speech?

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Obama: The pen is mightier than the sword; Boehner: I had an inkling he’d say that.
  • Obama: This veto pen has an almost hypnotic power!; Boehner: Maybe that’s why I’m falling asleep.
  • Obama: I present to you, my tactical writing pen; Boehner: Watch the master make it all disappear.
  • Obama: I wish bartender Mike was here; Boehner: I wish bartender Mike was here.
  • Obama: Whenever I veto a bill, I like to use two pens; Boehner: The old double ‘cross!’

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Jan. 25 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.

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Senate Aide Scores Picture-Perfect SOTU Keepsake

Alejandro Renteria didn’t have any paper handy when President Barack Obama inched closer on his way out of the House chamber post-State of the Union. So the quick-thinking Democratic aide stuck his neck out and asked to have something a little unusual autographed: his tie.

Full story

Members React With #SOTUin3Words

CQ Roll Call reporters tracked down more than 20 members of the House and Senate to get their reactions to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday. The middle class seemed to be a running theme for Democrats, while Republicans said they heard “more of the same.” Full story

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

HOH’s name game returns with an edition dedicated to helping you navigate the noms de Congress. Today’s subject is the Simple Yet Deceptive Caucus, members whose last names take up one mere syllable, but offer multiple ways to mispronounce.

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

like “PLUM.” Not orange, like his shirt. (Screenshot from Rod Blum for Congress website)

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa — Blum, like “PLUM.” A four-letter name from a four-letter state that sounds like a four-letter fruit. We hope The New York Times crossword puzzle folks take notice.

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

BOST. You have to drink every time you screw up his name. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill. — BOST, like “cost.” Try this as a mnemonic memory device: Mike Bost does not boast. Full story

January 20, 2015

No Labels Makes Sure Members Are Labeled

No Labels, the group dedicated to solving the nation’s problems and avoiding labels at all costs, has gotten about 70 members of Congress to agree to be a “problem solver.” You can even see these folks at Tuesday’s State of the Union address because they’ll be wearing, um, labels.

No Labels Makes Sure Members Are Labeled

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The official No Labels “problem solver” lapel pin is a green-on-black ampersand-looking symbol that fits neatly alongside a member’s member lapel pin. The ampersandy thingie is made of a “p” and and “s.” It’s nothing like the swirly symbol from “True Detective.”

“We wanted to do something different and eye-catching,” No Labels’ Matt Groch told HOH. Previous iterations of No Labels’ lapel pins have been a bit wordy (“Committed to Fix Not Fight — No Labels — Problem Solver” goes one the blasts from the past.)

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:08 p.m.
Artsy

State of the Union Drink-o

State of the Union Drink o

Why should politicos be the only ones to get all punchy while President Barack Obama yammers on about something or other Tuesday night? Tap into the excitement surrounding #ThisTown’s version of the Academy Awards/Super Bowl by punctuating each prescribed buzzword with a wee nip of something special.

Just make sure to pace yourself — 44 is no Bill Clinton, but he still tends to wax philosophic longer than Dubya ever did.

Related:

Roll Call Presents: State of the Union Watch Party

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

Joke, Flatter, Dig In: Handling Post-Shellacking SOTUs

A Guide to State of the Union Watch Parties

The Updated Staffer Guide to the State of the Union 2015

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:06 p.m.
Uncategorized

OK Go Aims to Help Drone Lobby Take Off

Is your office abuzz about unmanned aircraft systems? Allow OK Go to set your mind at ease about making the most of miniature flying contraptions during a pro-drone tutorial at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW).

Those interested in the eye-in-the-sky movement are welcome Wednesday to participate in the “Know Before You Fly” campaign’s star-studded rollout. The program is scheduled to feature a 90-minute presentation, followed by a mini-concert by OK Go — which utilized drones to capture the action channeled into the music video for its song, “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Full story

John Lewis’ Publicity Tour Marches Onward

Rep. John Lewis has once again donned his graphic novelist cowl, officially swinging back into campaign mode on Wednesday to help promote the second installment of his illustrated memoir, “March: Book Two.”

A few years back, the Georgia Democrat began penning the serialized treatment of his civil-rights era experiences with House aide and co-author Andrew Aydin. The duo has since inked two chapters of Lewis’ pre-congressional exploits — the latest of which is expected on retail shelves this week.

John Lewis’ Publicity Tour Marches Onward

(Courtesy Top Shelf Productions)

Fans of the genre can pick the pair’s brains about the whole creative process during a book signing/fundraiser hosted by the National Press Club. The Book Rap event is scheduled to take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Lounge. Full story

The Bill Young Saga: Harry Glenn’s Timeline

The death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young produced a melee among his family, staffers and others entrusted with the Florida Republican’s legacy. Longtime Young Chief of Staff Harry Glenn has found himself in the middle of some of these fights, and he provided CQ Roll Call with his own timeline surrounding the events in question. Full story

The Bill Young Saga: Items the Family Has Yet to Recoup

The death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young set off a fight for custody of some of the Florida Republican’s personal effects. While many items have been returned to the Young family, some memorabilia is still not accounted for and in the family’s possession. Full story

Late Congressman’s Wife on Quest for Missing Cash, Memorabilia

Late Congressmans Wife on Quest for Missing Cash, Memorabilia

A giant thank-you card to Young collects dust on a shelf in a storage facility at St. Petersburg College. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SEMINOLE, Fla. — What happens when a member of Congress dies in office? There is no standard set procedure and the internecine melee that followed the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, perhaps best illustrated by the exhaustive search for a handful of pictures and one Pentagon-approved memento, has ruined decades-old friendships and frayed family bonds seemingly beyond repair.

A corrosive mix of myopic estate planning, lax oversight and a moving truck-sized hole uncovered in guidelines governing continuing congressional operations has decimated those closest to the late congressman.

The 22-term Florida Republican died on Oct. 18, 2013; he was laid to rest on Oct. 24 not far from here, at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg. There’s been no such solace for those left behind, a group — including his widow, former House aide Beverly Young; the couple’s adult sons; newly minted Appropriations Committee member Rep. David Jolly and Young’s former chief of staff, Harry Glenn — currently at one another’s throats regarding the location of myriad keepsakes and the preservation of Young’s political legacy.

Full story

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The thing about the State of the Union address is, even though the American people are supposed to hang on to every word that drops from President Barack Obama’s lips, there’ll be 534 other highly opinionated people around that night who would also like to have their say.

Most of the time these easy breezy bicameral get-togethers go off without a hitch. Full story

January 19, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 12, 2015 (Video)

Even with party retreats this week, members still found time to recognize children born outside of marriage, debate NFL rules and bake cookies in the House chamber.

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

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

“Let me be clear”: A frequent expression of exasperation from a politician who believes he or she isn’t making a fully understood argument. It’s the rhetorical heir to Richard Nixon’s famous “Let me make one thing perfectly clear.”

— From “Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs & Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech,” by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark.

Related:

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...