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

November 17, 2014

John Dingell, Carl Levin to Be Honored With LBJ Award

John Dingell, Carl Levin to Be Honored With LBJ Award

John D. Dingell speaks with reporters (File Photo by Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/dingell_110_111214-1-445x283.jpg" width="445" height="283" /> 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

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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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

Scott Peters listens in during a reception on Capitol Hill for the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/SP-wswf-445x333.jpg" width="445" height="333" /> 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

November 12, 2014

Capitol Quip Presents: You Make the Call

Capitol Quip Presents: You Make the Call

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. Eastern Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • As always, prevent defense never works.
  • They make the Redskins look good!
  • A victory for the players but where are the cheering fans?
  • I gave up sports to cover politics, but I can’t seem to shake that Crimson Tide.
  • Looks like the Blue Team’s getting “Double Spiked!”

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Nov. 16 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.

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

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:54 p.m.
Capitol Quip

STEM Researchers to Dazzle Teens, Lawmakers With Science

A handful of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fellows are making the most of a whirlwind trip to D.C., huddling this week with administration officials and education-minded solons all in the service of stoking the analytical minds of tomorrow.

The quintet of Ph.D holders — Katie Brenner, biochemistry; Livia S. Eberlin, chemistry; Jennifer Laaser, polymer physics; Lauren O’Connell, chemical ecology; Sabrina Stierwalt, astronomy and astrophysics — have been brought to town by L’Oreal USA as part of its “For Women in Science” program.

In addition to pocketing $60,000 in research grants, the multi-talented fellows are getting VIP treatment up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The group was expected to touch base Wednesday with representatives from the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Office of Science and Technology Policy before bouncing over to the National Museum of Natural History for a behind-the-scenes tour of the gems and minerals collection.

They plan to make the rounds on Capitol Hill early Thursday (tentatively set to visit with Congressional STEM Education Caucus members Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y.) before broadening the horizons of two dozen local teens during a visit to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The last stop of the public relation roller coaster is the For Women in Science Awards Ceremony set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Women in the Arts museum.

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Jim McDermott Marshals Support Around ‘Korengal’

Ex-Navy psychiatrist-turned-Rep. Jim McDermott will attempt to kick-start a conversation about veterans’ mental health issues by hosting a screening Thursday of the Afghanistan war-tracking documentary, “Korengal.”

Event organizers have scheduled an opening reception for 6:30 p.m. in the Congressional Auditorium of the Capitol Visitor Center, with a 7:30 p.m. screening to follow. They will also host a panel discussion with McDermott, filmmaker Sebastian Junger and representatives of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors afterwards. Interested parties may RSVP via email (jack.dannibale@mail.house.gov) or by phone (202-430-0311).

The unflinching film, which follows directly in the footsteps of Junger’s earlier, award-winning effort, “Restrepo,” explores the horrible toll modern combat exacts from those stuck on the front lines of the decade-plus long war on terror.

“You do terrible things. Then you have to live with them afterwards,” one soldier explains on camera.

A McDermott aide said the Washington Democrat has been working with Junger and Vietnam War veteran turned author Karl Marlantes for the past few years on establishing a national commission on veterans intended to help unburden battle-scarred warriors.

“Today, we are seeing too many casualties among American soldiers in their transition home.  In light of this crisis, Congress must act,” McDermott counseled in a release.

Related:

In ‘Korengal,’ Junger Closes the Book on Afghanistan

Film Captures Afghanistan’s Toll

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:57 p.m.
Flicks, HillSide, Reps

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