Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 8, 2015

October 5, 2015

The Freedom Caucus Chronicles | Madisonville


Somewhere secret on Capitol Hill, the House Freedom Caucus meets to discuss the House Republican leadership elections.

Sen. Ted Cruz: This group of resolute men gathers to light a torch in the darkness. Standing sentry at the door are two American bald eagles, Freedom and Caucus, the tethered reminders of the liberty hobbled so casually, even callously, by the nearby Congress.

Rep. Jim Jordan: Thank you, Sen. Cruz.  We’d like to get started. As usual, you remind us of the dramatic time we live in. We’re here to plan strategy for the leadership elections.

Cruz: Much time has passed since these stalwarts brought down the tyrant John A. Boehner. The country languishes in the vacuum that followed. Small-minded men strive to fill it. Full story

Word of the Week: Leadership, The

Leadership, the. Collective term used by Congress to refer to its officers and ranking committee members. The term has a certain vagueness, however, that was addressed by Rep. Jerry Voorhis (D-Calif.) in his book Confessions of a Congressman:

‘The Leadership’ is a term constantly used in conversation among House members. It can mean Speaker alone or the Speaker and the majority leader, or those two gentlemen plus their unofficial advisers among the older members. No one ever knows, without asking, just what ‘the leadership’ does mean.

“Former Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield’s comment on the term was ‘The leadership has no special powers to lead’ — alluding to the fact that certain individuals like Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson created their own ‘powers to lead.'”

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


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October 2, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Sept. 28, 2015 (Video)

Lawmakers prepped for Hurricane Joaquin by breaking out selfie sticks, creating “slush funds” and laughing at drivers stuck in traffic.

Full story

Richard Hudson Brands Firstborn With Familiar Moniker

North Carolina Republican Richard Hudson officially welcomed son Richard Lane Hudson III into the fold Tuesday.

(Courtesy Richard Hudson)

(Courtesy Richard Hudson)

Per a birth announcement shared on social media, the latest addition to Team Hudson arrived on Sept. 29, just seconds shy of midnight. Full story

The NRCC Benghazi Fundraising Web Page That Wasn’t

The NRCC wanted donors to be "Benghazi watchdogs" over Hillary Rodham Clinton (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The NRCC wanted donors to be “Benghazi watchdogs” over Clinton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Don’t remember the National Republican Congressional Committee’s brief foray last year into raising money off the House Select Committee on Benghazi?

Neither did the NRCC apparently — until Thursday. Full story

Members of Congress, Staff Tee Off to Remember Chip Kennett

Kennett with his wife, Sheila, in Nov. 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kennett and wife Sheila in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress, current and former staffers are among the honorary host and tournament committees of The Chip Kennett Memorial Golf Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 26 at the Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Va.

Kennett was a former Capitol Hill staffer who received a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis in 2012 at the age of 31. He became an advocate for more cancer research funding and increased access to clinical trial medications, even testifying to Congress about his personal experience. He died on Jan. 17, at the age of 34.

Advocates within the cancer community credit his fight with helping spur congressional action. Full story

Slam Brews, Crack Claws to Your Heart’s Content on H Street

Queen Vic toque Ryan Gordon is migrating Saturday roughly a block-and-a-half east in order to oversee an all-you-can-eat crab feast hosted by Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar at 1104 H St. NE.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The fall fiesta is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., and is projected to feature steamed and spiced Maryland blue crabs (large), assorted sides — including pork belly potato salad, sausages, corn and house-made grits, among other offerings — and free-flowing kegs of Evolution Craft Brewing Co.’s  Lot #6 Double IPA, Primal Pale Ale and Alpha Six American Blonde Ale.

Tickets to the all-inclusive event are $58 per person.

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October 1, 2015

Good Stuff, Shake Shack Roll Out Rachael Ray Specials

D.C. diners can start chowing down on not one but two beefy tributes to 30-minute-meals maven Rachael Ray on the occasion of her 10-year anniversary in the publishing game.

Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn today is expected to begin serving the commemorative Double Peppers & Onions Burger exclusively at his Capitol Hill location, Good Stuff Eatery, at 303 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.


A Mendelsohn aide told HOH the limited-time offering — featuring sautéed onions, Serrano peppers, provolone cheese and sun-dried tomato aioli — was inspired by a skillet pie he prepared in 2014 during an appearance on Ray’s show. Full story

Noshtalgia: Relishing the Past One Arepa at a Time

A “Peluda” arepa, stuffed with shredded beef and shaved gouda, served at La Caraquena in Falls Church, Va. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

A “peluda” arepa, stuffed with shredded beef and shaved gouda, served at La Caraquena in Falls Church, Va. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The man who taught me how to eat was not a trained chef.

But the late Gustavo Rojas did enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

He strived to instill in his children an appreciation for home-cooked meals, family dinners and, perhaps most of all, the cultural traditions that bound us to our ancestors.

Full story

#tbt: When Tip O’Neill Dared Members to Vote Him Out

“But for the most part the president had his way, and some of my fellow Democrats started saying I was old and out of touch. Les Aspin from Wisconsin wrote in a newsletter to his constituents that I was reeling on the ropes. ‘Tip doesn’t understand the explosions that have been going off since November,’ he observed. ‘He’s in a fog.’

“Wrong, Les. I understood those explosions all too well. But I’d be damned if I was going to go along with them.

“A few of the younger fellows actually called on me to resign as Speaker, although nobody ever said so to my face. But I had no intention of giving up — not for a minute. Anybody who wanted Tip O’Neill out of office would have to vote me out.”

Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., who served as speaker from 1977 to 1987, detailing the conflicts in his caucus in 1981 and 1982 after Ronald Reagan was elected for his autobiography, “Man of the House.”

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September 30, 2015

Paul Gosar Seeks to Capitalize on Pope-a-Dope

Perhaps Rep. Paul Gosar is feeling a little left behind after his very public spat with Pope Francis? He appears willing to bear that cross for just a bit longer — assuming his continued suffering translates into a flood of donations from outraged right-wingers.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Arizona Republican, a self-described “proud Catholic” bailed on hearing the pontiff speak on Sept. 24 over a difference of opinion on climate change. Not much happened in the interim until Wednesday, when he appealed to fellow conservatives for an infusion of cash just ahead of the third quarter fundraising deadline.

“I believe when a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one,” Gosar railed in an email blast. Full story

Office Space: Charlie Rangel’s Lenox Avenue Lair (Video)

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., shows off African statues, fake fruit and a George W. Bush talking doll.

Full story

WednesDaze: Sake to Me

D.C. tastemakers Wednesday are turning Japanese, invading the Carnegie Library (801 K St. NW) for a grand sake tasting designed to whet one’s appetite for the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Event organizers are flying in more than a dozen Japanese brewers to educate the attendees about the myriad craft beer, sake and shōchū offerings that are projected to flow like water.

Noteworthy pours include Dassai “23” Junmai Daiginjo, the premium sake served to Prime Minister Shinzō Abe this past spring during his visit to the White House, and Nanbu Bijin “Southern Beauty” Nama Nama, Tokubetsu Junmai, a seasonal selection that’s only produced once a year. Full story

September 29, 2015

Trent Lott: ‘Ain’t No Such Thing as Purity’ in Leadership

Trent Lott

Lott, center, talks with Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., left, and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., after the Senate policy luncheons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., stood in a hallway just off the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by a throng of reporters. He was holding his left hand, pointing to one of his fingernails.

“I always thought I was having fun,” Lott said of his time in Congress. “But finally I noticed I kept getting these ridges on my fingernails. So I went downstairs to the doctor — in fact I got one right there — and I said what is this? He said that’s stress.” Full story

Overheard: A Lott of Moderates

“I am an establishment moderate. When the hell did that happen?”

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., on Tuesday at the Capitol.

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