Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 5, 2015

February 27, 2015

Hell Bent for (Patriotic) Leather

Entrepreneur Sylvia Noster has made it her mission to make celebrating the Constitution more fashionable.

Hell Bent for (Patriotic) Leather

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

A career fashion designer, the now 57-year-old patriot decided to pursue a self-styled brand of luxury goods after experiencing a revelation about what living in the land of the free truly means to her. Full story

Activist Toques Scour Capitol Hill for Food Aid

Just under a dozen renowned hospitality professionals looked to carve up both chambers of Congress, pressing their respective lawmakers to support the realignment of outdated global assistance provisions.

The food service vets, who walked the halls of Congress on behalf of Oxfam America, flew in from across the country on Feb. 24 to voice their support for the Food for Peace Reform Act co-authored by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Coons, D-Del.

“This is an antiquated system that needs a total overhaul. And this legislation is the gold standard of what aid would look like if it were designed from the ground up today,” Oxfam America Senior Policy Adviser Eric Muñoz said of the proposed policy changes. Full story

February 26, 2015

Jim Inhofe Throws a Snowball (Video)

Sometimes you just can’t resist the urge to start a snowball fight.

In discussing recent reports of 2014 being the warmest year on record, Oklahoma Sen. James M. Inhofe pulled out a snowball on the floor and tossed it at the presiding officer, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. Full story

Overheard: Kirk Says Give House GOP a Straw

Overheard: Kirk Says Give House GOP a Straw

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I think the feeling of most people is it’s a fight that we should have not fought. As a governing party, we’ve got to fund DHS and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up.'”

— Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., said regarding the Department of Homeland Security funding standoff. Full story

Posers Abound at #CPAC2015

It’s a good thing Buzzkill Boehner is considered too much of a squish to get his Conservative Political Action Conference on. Because there’s no way the selfie-averse Ohio Republican could tolerate the vanity fair happening across the river at National Harbor.

  Full story

11 Months Later, Boehner Reminds Members Again to Dress Appropriately (Video)

Eleven months to the day after Speaker John A. Boehner reminded members to wear “appropriate business attire” on the House floor, the Ohio Republican was singing a familiar tune Wednesday.

“Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearance on the floor may be. You know who you are,” Boehner said, a reminder he has issued each of the past three years. Full story

February 25, 2015

Lawmaker’s Quest for Cookie Crumbles

In a truly devastating blow, Rep. Scott Rigell came up empty-handed Wednesday in his search for a cookie from the House Carry-Out, a setback that’s likely to drag down the rest of his day, maybe even the rest of his week.

Rigell, who was on his way to votes Wednesday afternoon, made a detour to the Capitol basement’s eatery for the expressed purpose of a confectionery pick-me-up. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:57 p.m.
Food, Reps, Restos

Critics Stick It to Tom Wheeler

An original Banksy it ain’t.

But activists displeased with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler have plastered unflattering images of the administration aide in plain sight.

Critics Stick It to Tom Wheeler

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The prominently displayed posters — which, according to the Daily Caller, have popped up at multiple locations all over town — portray the aspiring internet regulator as being a “boot licker” and accuse him of being “Obama’s Bitch.”

Reminds us of the days unflinching critiques of President Ronald Reagan’s pal Edwin Meese adorned nearly every street corner.

Critics Stick It to Tom Wheeler

(Screenshot)

(Oink-oink, my good man.)

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

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Vote with Your Liver at #CocktailCaucus 2015

As anyone who’s covered previous iterations of the Conservative Political Action Conference — the right-wing rally returning to town Feb. 25-28 — can attest, the best part of sitting through the cacophony of stump speeches is getting good and loaded afterwards.

A trio of media outlets is hoping to capitalize on that propensity to get plowed by convincing CPACers to weigh on the field of White House hopefuls via an unofficial “Cocktail Caucus.”

Vote with Your Liver at #CocktailCaucus 2015

(Screenshot)

The straw swizzle stick poll — a collaboration between Independent Journal Review, the National Review and Facebook — is scheduled to take place at Harrington’s Pub & Kitchen (177 Fleet St., Oxon Hill, Md.) Friday from 6-9 p.m. Full story

February 24, 2015

Could Reid Sport Shades on Senate Floor?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid can sport his sunglasses inside, but can he wear such wayfarers on the Senate floor?

The question, provoked by the dark shades the Nevada Democrat donned during a Tuesday news conference, is dictated by precedent, based on a variety of established rules, customary practices and ad hoc arrangements made to suit specific circumstances. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 5:58 p.m.
Baller, Sens, Stylin'

Reid Wears His Sunglasses Inside

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid may be truly concerned with the fate of funding the Department of Homeland Security, but he looked cool as a cucumber during his news conference Tuesday in the Ohio Clock Corridor.

Nearly two weeks after a second eye surgery was required as he recovers from a New Year’s Day exercise accident, a pair of dark shades have replaced the bandage once covering the Nevada Democrat’s right eye. Full story

Wyden Accidentally Crashes Republican Lunch

Wyden Accidentally Crashes Republican Lunch

Wyden, left, accidentally dropped in on the GOP’s lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Tuesday, like most Tuesdays, Sen. Ron Wyden headed to the Senate Caucus lunch. But on this day, he accidentally walked in on the wrong party’s gathering.

According to a source in the room at the Republican Caucus lunch, the Oregon Democrat walked into the room and looked around for “seven to 10 seconds,” before staff informed him that he was in the wrong room.

He “laughed and shook his head,” then exited the room.

The mistake is perhaps understandable. Republicans, as the majority party, were lunching in the room that Democrats ate in until January, when they became the minority in the new Congress.

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

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Duckworth Back at Work Following Maternity Leave

Duckworth Back at Work Following Maternity Leave

The new mom back at work: Duckworth with baby Abigail (Courtesy Twitter).

Congress has yet another working mom to add to its ranks.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is back at work after giving birth to daughter Abigail O’kalani Bowlsbey in November.  According to her office, Duckworth took 12 weeks paid maternity leave and returned to work at the district office at the end of last month. While on leave, she was able to take brief trips to D.C. for her swearing-in and the signing of the Clay Hunt veterans suicide prevention bill earlier this month, but this is her first full week back on Capitol Hill. It was also Abigail’s first plane ride, which, according to Duckworth’s office, went quite well.

Duckworth’s maternity leave corresponds to the amount she offers her own staff.  Women receive 12 weeks paid maternity leave; men receive six weeks paid paternity leave. Duckworth described her leave as “an amazing time in my life to be able to spend so much time with Abigail” in a statement to HOH.

What’s next on the busy working mom’s to-do list? Mulling a Senate run perhaps?

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

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By Rebecca Gale Posted at 2:21 p.m.
It's a Girl!

Let Uncle Sam Handle Breakfast

If, as campaigning politicians love to posit, it is, in fact, perpetual morning in America, what better way to greet the day than with unabashedly patriotic cooking utensils?

The meal-minded manufacturers at Germany-based Brainstream have cooked up just such a device: the Patriotic BeepEgg.

Let Uncle Sam Handle Breakfast

(Screenshot)

The musically enabled egg timer — shrouded, of course, in a red, white and blue design scheme — plays a trio of heartstring-tugging tunes depending on the desired doneness of the corresponding poultry embryos. The handheld tool appears to be embedded with a tiny speaker that chirps out basic melodies. Full story

Norton: Don’t Tread on the Right to Sled

Norton: Dont Tread on the Right to Sled

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After reports that Capitol Police had stopped children from sledding on the Capitol grounds, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is taking a stand.

“Although I understand that sledding has been banned for years, what I do not understand is why the U.S. Capitol Police have recently decided to enforce this Scrooge-like ban,” Norton wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin. “Americans should be able to sled on ‘America’s front lawn.’ I am asking that the Capitol Police Board remove the ban on sledding from Capitol Police regulations.” Full story

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