Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2014

November 18, 2014

Alicia Menendez to Talk Change With Cory Booker at Union Market

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, are two of the highest ranking officials scheduled to share their thoughts Wednesday during Fusion’s inaugural “RiseUp” summit.

Alicia Menendez to Talk Change With Cory Booker at Union Market

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The invitation-only event, which should also be simulcast on Fusion.net, is scheduled to take place at emerging dining hub Union Market.

Fusion host Alicia Menendez has been tasked with chatting Booker up about the “Change Initiative” from 9 to 9:45 a.m., while anchor Jorge Ramos takes a crack at digesting the state of current affairs with Power from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

“The overall event will feature conversations and deep insight into youth protests and the role that technology plays in global movements for change,” a conference aide said of the planned discussion threads.

Per the aide, it was decided that waiting until after the midterms would prove more productive than attempting to shoehorn in an ambitious policy discussion into the already overly crowded calendar.

“Fusion decided to take a more global and less politicized approach, and host the ‘RiseUp’ summit after the election to ensure the focus of the event stayed on the importance of bringing a diverse group of leaders and activists into one space to explore how to transform the rising tides of protest into a positive wave of social progress,” the organizer told HOH.

Can’t skip work to hang at the all-day gabfest?

The activist powwow is expected to roll right through the evening courtesy of a VIP after-party (9 p.m. to midnight) featuring world DJs, drinks and dancing.

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November 17, 2014

Congressional Ribbing Devolves Into Game of Moans

Mischief makers in the employ of Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn went medieval on one of their own in an ongoing prank war commemorating everyone’s unrelenting march toward grim death.

Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Reynard, who formally entered middle age (Happy 40th!) on Sunday, discovered a certain cherished memory plastered across the entryway to his workplace upon strolling into Cannon Monday.

Congressional Ribbing Devolves Into Game of Moans

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Given the history of good family fun in our office, it came as no surprise to me. I figured winter was coming,” Reynard said of the snapshot of him perched atop the ultimate seat of power from HBO’s bloody, incest-driven family drama, “Game of Thrones.” Full story

Capitol Hill Cops Ham It Up in Prospective Doritos Ad

Apart from walking the same beat, Capitol Police Officers Terry Heffernan and Brian Stevers also share a passion for acting — a creative outlet currently being fed by starring rolls in a would-be Doritos commercial.

The aspiring ad, originally conceived and shot by short film vet Antonio Souto, is just one of the current crop of fan-made entries in the chip maker’s annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.

Heffernan plays the smug, snack-hoarding mark terrorized by a creepy, tutu-clad Chihuahua for not sharing the famously cheesy grub with a nefarious little girl. By the end of the 30-second spot, the defeated schlub seeks to visit the same ruin on another unsuspecting stooge (Stevers) unwilling to part with a single, orange dust-covered morsel. Full story

John Dingell, Carl Levin to Be Honored With LBJ Award

John Dingell, Carl Levin to Be Honored With LBJ Award

Dingell, left, will be honored along with longtime colleague Levin. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call)

Fifty years ago, Rep. John D. Dingell stood next to President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed the Civil Rights Act. He had already clocked in nearly a decade in the House at that point.

On Tuesday, Dingell and his longtime Michigan colleague, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, will be honored with the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award from the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation for years of public service in the name of the Texas POTUS’ legacy of civil rights.

Put together, the two Democratic lawmakers have more than nine decades of experience representing the Wolverine State in Washington.

Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was elected in 1955 and is retiring at the end of this year. His wife, Rep.-elect Debbie Dingell, will take his seat in the new Congress.

Levin was elected in 1978 and will retire at the end of the 113th Congress as well.

“I consider my votes to advance the Civil Rights movement throughout the ’50s and ’60s among the most important votes I’ve cast in my 58 years in the House of Representatives,” Dingell said in a statement.

Levin, who said driving a taxi during law school helped introduce him to people from diverse backgrounds, served as general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in the ’60s. The foundation cited his support of reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and his stance on “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policies as modern-day civil rights achievements.

The award ceremony will be held Tuesday at the Newseum. Bob Schieffer of CBS will be the master of ceremonies. Proceeds will go toward the LBJ School of Public Affairs Washington Center.

Nineteen members of Congress and one representative-elect are expected to attend, including the two honorees. The list includes Debbie Dingell; Levin’s brother, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich.; Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y.; Corrine Brown, D-Fla.; Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas; Steven Horsford, D-Nev.; Gene Green, D-Texas; Dan Kildee, D-Mich.; and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

Related:

John Dingell to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Dean John Dingell’s Office on Display

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Boehner’s Birthday Stirs Up the Sentimental (Updated)

Boehner’s Birthday Stirs Up the Sentimental (Updated)

(Courtesy Michael Steel)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner cracked the old 6-5 on Monday, a milestone event that did not go unnoticed by colleagues real and imagined.

In a Facebook post, he touted celebrating with staff and a gavel-shaped cake.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leaped at the opportunity to give the Ohio Republican the business, tweeting out a pithy greeting to the latest lawmaker to tumble into the social safety net.

“Welcome to Medicare and Social Security!” the California Democrat ribbed her cross-aisle rival.

“House of Cards” antihero Francis J. Underwood showed Boehner some social media love as well, pouring every bit of his famously sunny disposition into the online missive.

“Hope you’re enjoying the beautiful DC weather,” the faux pol relayed on a wet, overcast beginning to another lame-duck workweek.

The gray skies were not, however, expected to dampen the spirits of the Boehnerland faithful. A House leadership aide confirmed that staff would be celebrating as per usual: with a Thanksgiving-style luncheon.

And even though he didn’t make the bird this year (he’s cooked in the past), staff is expected to serenade him with his signature birthday song.

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Going to the Chapel, Gonna Get Married: Roll Call Wedding Announcements

Love is in the air! Along with the holidays comes a season of true love, wedding bells, engagement rings and champagne toasts.

For Hill staffers getting engaged or married, Roll Call wants to know.

Roll Call features Capitol Hill staffers and their nuptials in our Roll Call Weddings feature. Have a story to share? Send it to us! We love posed pictures, white satin, four-tier cakes and clever first dance songs.

Any creative details, please include. And if you met on Capitol Hill, we want to hear all about it. Softball love affairs, intern-staffer matchmaking, late nights at the Tune Inn — romance blooms anywhere and everywhere around the Capitol Dome.

Submit wedding and engagement details through our easy form here.

See more from the Roll Call Wedding archive:

Tiffany McGuffee, Jordan Haverly Tie the Knot
Roll Call Engagements: Assad Akhter, Saira Hussain
Wedding Bells for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Randy Florke
Love Sparked From Beehive State: Clay White, Tanya Robertson Engaged
Wedding Bells for John Rizzo, Tiffany Wynn
Wedding Bells for Staffers Janelle Hervig and Mitch Relfe

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November 16, 2014

The GOP’s Midterm Elephant Walk | Capitol Quip

The GOPs Midterm Elephant Walk | Capitol Quip

The ending to “The Candidate,” a movie about a fictional senatorial campaign in California, offers a small lesson to the 2014 midterm victors. In it, Sen.-elect Bill McKay (Robert Redford) says this after his victory is sealed: “Now what do we do?” That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

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

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

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By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Capitol Quip Dances in the End Zone

Capitol Quip Dances in the End Zone

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

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

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By Jason Dick Posted at 7 p.m.
Capitol Quip

November 14, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Nov. 10 (Video)

Despite the short work week, members still managed to discuss airbags, baseball and Mitch McConnell’s age while dressed in madras.

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Tim Ryan Concentrates on Keeping Mindfulness Around

Rep. Tim Ryan is expected to share his thought-provoking life hacks with the Zen seekers assembling in Arlington, Va., for the Mindful Leadership Summit.

Tim Ryan Concentrates on Keeping Mindfulness Around

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan, who has urged colleagues to take better care of themselves, is scheduled to be interviewed about his own contemplative practices Nov. 14 at 4:45 p.m.

According to the Ohio Democrat, everyone — moms, dads, corporate CEOs, fellow pols — can make a difference by becoming more attuned to the modern world.

“I think everybody’s a leader today. We’re all dealing with the same challenges of information overload and constant connection to our work,” he told HOH.

Full story

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

Pols from different sides of the aisle are lockstep when it comes to the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans break into the financial services field.

During its six-year run, the program — which revolves around a six-month residency focused on advanced education, fieldwork and mentoring — has helped nearly 80 retired military personnel pursue alternative careers.

“This makes all the sense in the world. The skill sets that our military have … lead to success in the financial services world,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said as he rallied attendees at a Capitol Hill reception he co-chaired with Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, and Republican colleagues Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey. “[And] we’re still not doing enough.”

Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., circulated amongst the WSWF alumni and Franklin Square Capital Partners execs (their company co-sponsors the WSWF project) on hand to network.

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

Rep. Scott Peters listens in during a reception on Capitol Hill for the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

Female Senators Meet for ‘Power Workshop’

Female Senators Meet for Power Workshop

Mikulski holds court at the “Power Workshop.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Right at the border between the House and the Senate sits a hideaway office, adorned with two chandeliers and pictures of past female senators.

Future and current women of the Senate ascended the Capitol steps to the glittering room after the final votes Thursday evening for the “Senate Women Power Workshop” hosted by the dean of the Senate women, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md.

“Hellooo, sorry I’m late!” Mikulski was overheard saying as she entered the room. From outside the tall wooden doors, one could hear Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., respond, “I’m Shelley.” Full story

November 13, 2014

Jerry Moran Brings ‘Under New Management’ Cake to GOP Lunch

Jerry Moran Brings Under New Management Cake to GOP Lunch

Moran with an “Under New Management” cake outside a Senate Republican lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jerry Moran borrowed a page from a fellow Kansan Thursday to celebrate the Republican takeover of the Senate.

The outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman brought a decorated cake for the enjoyment of his fellow senators to the Republican Conference lunch in the Lyndon B. Johnson room. ”Under New Management” the cake blared in frosting, along with an exterior photo of the Capitol Dome.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:09 p.m.
Food, HillSide, Sens

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Congress had been gone for weeks before trickling back into town Wednesday for the latest lame-duck session. A few hundred congressional aides celebrated the triumphant return of the resurgent Republican Party by getting their fill (and then some) of food, drink and plush collectibles at the National Bison Day reception.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Attendees mingling in Dirksen during the National Bison Day reception. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The annual soiree, which took place in Dirksen, attracted scores of staffers and interns but few lawmakers. Projected guest speaker Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., turned out to be a no-show, but event organizers noted that Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., managed to swing by for a bit.

By the time this roving reporter penetrated the herd, the promised bison sliders and gourmet meatballs had been devoured. The food basically gone (save for a lone bowl of broken, pathetic-looking potato chips), partygoers turned their attention to sucking dry every last bottle of Budweiser and Bud Light bartenders could fish from icy bins.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s way too wobbly. It would probably only take one person to knock it over,” a visibly buzzed guest estimated while eyeballing the evening’s oversized star attraction. Full story

From the Drive-Thru to Congress: The Fast-Food Caucus Dishes

Apart from her immediate family — and, perhaps, the hog castrators of the world — no one appears to be prouder of Iowa Republican Joni Ernst than those she used to break bake bread with.

Hence the reason Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, rushed to congratulate the one-time breakfast-rush worker and senator-elect in a splashy ad in the Des Moines Register.

From the Drive Thru to Congress: The Fast Food Caucus Dishes

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Thanks, Joni, for reminding us that, in this great country of ours, your job and your life are what you make of them,” the head of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains praised in the ad, after Ernst touted her biscuit-making past in her election night victory speech.

Her ascension to Capitol Hill follows a career trajectory familiar to the growing number of lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth to slinging burgers and fries at various grab-and-go establishments.

Other members of what we’ve dubbed the Fast-Food Caucus include:

Rep. Paul D. Ryan

An aide to the 2012 GOP vice presidential pick confirmed that the Wisconsin Republican briefly worked at McDonald’s during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school.

According to his office, the former grill cook — “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” Ryan told the New Yorker — gleaned plenty from the experience.

“Congressman Ryan learned the value of hard work — a lesson that continues to help him in Congress today,” Team Ryan said. And before being elected to the House, Ryan further honed his hospitality skills working at Tortilla Coast.  Full story

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