Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

February 10, 2016

‘Homeland’ Producer Brings Animal Training Message to Hill

grijalva

Grijalva will join PETA and Raff at the briefing. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Emmy award-winning executive producer of Showtime’s spy drama “Homeland,” Gideon Raff, wants to ban animals from taking part in military training, and he’s bringing his message to Capitol Hill, along with congressional allies and the animal rights group PETA.

On Wednesday, Raff will moderate PETA’s congressional briefing, “Saving Soldiers by Sparing Animals,” along with hosts Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Full story

February 9, 2016

Scalise Brings Navy SEAL O’Neill to Whip Meeting

 

Scalise invited O'Neill to his meeting Tuesday. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ryan Zinke, a former Navy officer, connected Scalise, above, with O’Neill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, who claims to have fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s special guest to his Whip Team meeting Tuesday.

The Whip Team meeting is a regular weekly meeting attended on fly-in nights by members to discuss the week’s legislative business and hear from those with legislation on the floor.

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., also a former Navy officer, connected O’Neill with Scalise, R-La., according to the Whip’s office. Zinke served in the Navy from 1985 to 2008.

O’Neill, a Montana native, was a sniper before leaving the Navy in 2012. In 2014, he claimed he fired the head shots that killed bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, during a raid in 2011.

In October, a British Islamic State supporter published O’Neill’s name and address and called on members in the U.S. to target him, the Mirror reported.

Past special guests to Whip Team meetings have been Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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Shkreli’s Lawyer: Congress Tried to Humiliate Him

Shkreli (left) stands with Brafman (right) at the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shkreli (left) stands with Brafman (right) at last week’s House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Benjamin Brafman, the criminal defense attorney for former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, is claiming the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s reason for compelling his client to testify last week was to humiliate him.

Brafman gave the committee advance knowledge that if Shkreli appeared before them, he would invoke the Fifth Amendment, he wrote in the New York Law Journal on Wednesday.

Full story

A Post-Boehner Era Ash Wednesday

boehner pope

Boehner spoke about Ash Wednesday in his first speech after taking the speaker’s gavel in 2011. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In former Speaker John A. Boehner’s first speech after taking the gavel in January 2011, he referred to Ash Wednesday in an attempt to humble Congress.

“In the Catholic faith, we enter into a season of service by having ashes marked on our foreheads,” the Ohio Republican said. “The ashes remind us that life in all its forms is fragile — our time on this Earth, fleeting. As the ashes are delivered, we hear those humbling words: ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’” Full story

Bernie Sanders Supporters Go for ‘Revolutionary’ Food

Sanders speaks at a Get Out the Vote rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanders speaks at a Get Out the Vote rally in Manchester, N.H. (Meredith Dake-O’Connor/CQ Roll Call)

D.C. residents supporting Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., in the New Hampshire Caucus will meet Tuesday night at Marx Café Revolutionary Cuisine, appropriate enough for a campaign that bills itself as a political revolution. Full story

Food Network Star Keeps Bumping Into Politics in Eat Tour of D.C.

Ducote (middle) McCoy (right) on Food Network Star, Season 11. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

Ducote (middle) and McCoy (right) on Food Network Star. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

With Mardi Gras quickly approaching, celebrity chef Jay Ducote, the self-proclaimed “food ambassador for South Louisiana,” spent a week eating his way through Washington and shared his thoughts on how hard it is to get away from politics in D.C., even when you try.

His main event was dinner at Acadiana on Feb. 2, which he hosted with the National Beer Wholesalers Association. He led the 20-person event through a Louisiana-themed beer-pairing dinner. “For the record, I feel like Acadiana did a remarkable job with the food,” he said. “Several of those dishes could have served at any restaurant in Louisiana without anyone blinking and eye.” Full story

The First Congress, and the First Earmark?

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 1: Capitol visitors walk across the East Plaza of the Capitol on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Could the Capitol have gone to Trenton, N.J.? (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Was Washington, D.C., the first great earmark?

The Capitol building might not be sitting as the center of a city built along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers if a senator didn’t stand to make a nice profit.

Full story

Mardi Gras on the Hill

Stop by the offices of Vitter and Cassidy for King Cake. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stop by the offices of Vitter and Cassidy for king cake. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the Louisiana delegation will celebrate Fat Tuesday with traditional Mardi Gras king cake in their offices.

King cake is eaten to celebrate the beginning of Lent (and the end of Mardi Gras). A small plastic baby, representing Jesus, is hidden inside the cake and whoever gets the piece with the figure in it receives good luck for the year. Full story

Senators to Watch ‘The Big Short’

Brown is going to watch the Big Short on Wednesday (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown is going to watch the ‘Big Short’ on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan group of senators is heading to the movies, hoping an Academy Award-nominated film may help shed light on the Great Recession and what lessons can be learned.

“The Big Short,” directed by Adam McKay and based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, examines the lead-up to the 2008 financial collapse. It has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. On Wednesday, McKay comes to Capitol Hill to participate in a panel discussion with Senate Banking ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., and Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and will screen the movie at the Capitol Visitor Center. Full story

February 8, 2016

McCain Compares Presidential Debates to Vietnam

 

McCain and Graham are in synch with their presidential debate jokes. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCain and Graham are in synch with their presidential debate jokes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During the Feb. 6 Republican presidential debate, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., reacted and joked for an Independent Journal Review video, notably relating McCain’s Vietnam War experience with debates.

Graham asked McCain about his 2008 presidential debate experiences: “Do you think they treated you fairly when you were up there debating?”

“I’ve been treated better,” McCain said.

“By who?” Graham said. Full story

‘City of Conversation’ Illuminates Political Stage

Margaret Colin

Colin, left, and Hewitt, right. (C. Stanley Photography/ Arena Stage)

Arena Stage’s production of “The City of Conversation” tells the story of national politics through the confines of Georgetown’s elite salon culture, traversing three distinct recent eras.

“I’m interested in D.C. politics in that this is where the rules are made that shape our lives,” Margaret Colin, who plays the main character, Hester Ferris, told HOH. “So I’ve been down here for protest marches since Roe v. Wade, I’ve been down here for my son, who went to Catholic University, so I’m familiar with D.C. But I’m here because it’s a really great part and I was invited to do it by a really great director.” Full story

February 5, 2016

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Feb. 1, 2016

Martin Shkreli is featured in this week's edition of Congressional Hits and Misses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Martin Shkreli is featured in this week’s edition of Congressional Hits and Misses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers spent the week ashamed of their ties, reflecting on Blockbuster and repeating Groundhog Day.

Full story

Lawmakers Bet on the Super Bowl

Either Gardner or Tillis will have to play off the bet. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Either Gardner, left, or Tillis, right, will have to pay off the bet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr have challenged Colorado Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet to a friendly Super Bowl wager ahead of Sunday’s game. On Sunday, the Denver Broncos, lead by quarterback Payton Manning, play the Carolina Panthers, lead by quarterback Cam Newton, in Super Bowl 50.

What’s on the line? A Senate floor speech, similar to what Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gave on Monday after the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Panthers in the NFC Championship. Full story

Rep. Castro Welcomes Baby Boy

Photo courtesy of Castro's twitter.

(Photo courtesy of Castro’s Twitter account.)

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and his wife, Anna Flores, welcomed a new son, Roman Victor Castro, this week.

The baby was born on Tuesday Castro’s district in San Antonio, weighing in at 7.5 pounds and 20.25 inches long. Full story

Overheard: Joe Manchin Explains How the Senate Works

“It’s the majority that sets the agenda, but the minority who drives the agenda.”

— Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., offering his take on how the Senate works at the Atlantic After Hours event on Feb. 4 at Peet’s Coffee & Tea next to the White House.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 2:07 p.m.
Overheards

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