Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 2, 2015

June 18, 2015

Congress’ Captive Commencement Audiences

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress’ most popular commencement speaker this year is Rep. John Lewis. By the end of graduation season, the Georgia Democrat will have spoken at six ceremonies, including one Saturday at Antioch College in Ohio.

At Virginia’s Hampton University on May 10, he told the graduates, “You must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get into trouble — in good trouble, in necessary trouble,” — a familiar message from the civil-rights icon. Full story

Union Kitchen Grocery Stocks Up | Food Court

Having successfully carved out a space for culinary artists to tinker with our collective taste buds, the mad scientists at Union Kitchen have moved onto the next phase of epicurean domination: market-ing.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Union Kitchen Grocery, a combination retailer and eatery, took up residence at 538 Third St. NE in early May. The corner store dabbles in a little bit of everything, operating from morning (8 a.m.) to night (9 p.m.) and filling the hours in between with curious food and drink from around the region.

A cursory exploration of the neighborhood establishment revealed goodies galore. Full story

June 17, 2015

Bill Nelson Cranks Out 46 Pushups (Video)

Bill Nelson Pushups

Nelson does 46 pushups after losing a bet with Durbin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bill Nelson, who has a history of issuing friendly wagers on Florida sports, found himself on the losing end Wednesday.

Nelson, 72, and Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois wagered food and beer on the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning — but in addition to betting food, the losing senator was required to do pushups equaling the number of goals scored throughout the series.

Full story

Jeb Bush: 21st Century Digital Boy

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has finally committed to the 2016 race.

Which means he could have up to a year and half of standing around in front of random audiences and flapping his lips to do.

On Tuesday, Bush embraced the self-deprecating side of campaigning during a swing by “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” joining in on a sexually suggestive segment of “Slow Jamming the News.”

Full story

Shelley Smith to Throw First Pitch at Congressional Women’s Softball Game

shelley smith

Members of the media team take photos of Giffords throwing out the honorary first pitch in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ESPN reporter Shelley Smith will throw out the honorary first pitch at this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

Smith, who has worked at the sports network since 1997, returned to work two months ago after battling breast cancer. She had been undergoing treatment for the past year. Full story

Bill Pascrell Coaches Baseball (Video)

Rep. Bill “Silky” Pascrell Jr. goes all out along the first base line during the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on June 11. CQ Roll Call captures the action as the New Jersey Democrat coaches his team to its seventh-straight victory over the GOP.

Full story

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Qualify for Comics Treatment

Bluewater Productions is inking White House hopefuls Sen. Bernard Sanders and Hillary Rodham Clinton into its scheduled coverage of the 2016 presidential race, readying graphic adaptions of their respective careers.

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

This will mark the third time the independent publisher has placed Clinton under the microscope.

Previous installments of the politically inclined “Female Force” series explored the New York Democrat’s rise to first ladyhood, as well her tenure as secretary of State.

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

“It is more of a modern biography of her life,” Bluewater President Darren G. Davis said of the ongoing examination of Clinton’s role in the politisphere. “It is focused around the last election as well as this upcoming election. What her choices are and were.” The Sanders book will fall under the banner of the “Political Power” series.

An alternative cover — touting the independent senator from Vermont as the “worst nightmare of the 1 percent!” — appears to play up his populist ideals.

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

Davis intends to continue breaking down pols for the casual observer, mapping out plans to tackle Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio next.

“Those are in the script phase,” he said of the swirling story lines.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the just-declared contender, is also on Davis’ short list, as are others.

“We still have a long list that changes of who we still want to cover. Some will be out of left field because I like to keep it fresh!” he suggested.

In the meantime, Davis will keep cranking out earlier titles the public keeps clamoring for — a roster that includes the recent probe of Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and the flagship peek at former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 9:41 a.m.
Artsy, Books, FLOTUS, Sens

June 16, 2015

Will on the Hill’s Midsummer Madness Brings Down the House

All of Washington’s problems were solved at Will on the Hill.

The annual dramatic mashup of Shakespeare, #ThisTown, members of Congress, professional actors and journalists opened Monday evening with West Springfield High School’s Text Alive participants performing Act 1, Scene 2 of “As You Like It,” with a little help from disco balls, slow-motion acting and ’80s music.

Then it was time for “Midsummer Madness.” Edward Gero played the head of lobbying firm Stratford, Avon and Bard. Fresh off the stage as Justice Antonin Scalia in “The Originalist” he opened with the promise, “I’m not here to judge.” Full story

Jesus Lady Ready to Do Some Arm Twisting of Her Own

Capitol Hill fixture Rita Warren has had it with being blown off by Speaker John A. Boehner regarding her plan to help save lawmakers from total ruin.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Speaker Boehner doesn’t answer me. He doesn’t want to speak to me about Jesus of Nazareth,” the octogenarian activist told HOH about the cold shoulder she’s been getting from the Ohio Republican.

The source of friction appears to be the repeated requests Warren has lodged to bring in actor Robert Powell and have him address both chambers of Congress — a lobbying effort she expects to renew Thursday during her weekly trek to the Hill. Full story

Roll Call Has Always Made Room for Fun Stuff

HOH25-Icon.jpg

The original HOH logo. (CQ Roll Call Archives)

The history books show that the Heard on the Hill column we all know (and love?) officially came into existence on Jan. 17, 1988.

But thumbing through 60-some years of Roll Call’s brand of reporting illustrates that founder Sid Yudain always appreciated the quirky side of Hill life. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Birthday Edition (Video)

As Roll Call celebrates its 60th anniversary Tuesday, Heard on the Hill looks back at the times lawmakers couldn’t resist singing “Happy Birthday” to their colleagues.

Full story

June 15, 2015

Highlights From the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game (Video)

Democrats held off a late threat from Republicans to capture their seventh-straight coveted Roll Call trophy at the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on June 11.

Roll Call wraps up highlights in three minutes from the Democrats’ 5-2 victory.

Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 8, 2015 (Video)

A busy week on Capitol Hill quickly turned into a debate over Braille Playboys, Asian geography and tasteless cheese.
Full story

June 12, 2015

Obama’s Beer Was Cold, Yet Not Influential

Obama made a surprise appearance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Obama made a surprise appearance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Like any thoughtful guest dropping by unannounced, President Barack Obama brought some homebrews with him when he dropped by the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

“I’m told he brought some special beverage just to your side,” Rep. Joe L. Barton, the GOP squad’s manager, said at the baseball players’ after party, addressing the victorious Democrats in Nationals Park’s Club Level MVP lounge. “You got to vote for TPA now,” the Texas Republican added. Full story

Bill Shuster, Not Gonna Play Ball

His vital statistics were listed in the program for the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. That’s his smiling mug featured in the deck of 2015 trading cards.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The announcers on June 11 even called his name during the player introductions.

Yet Rep. Bill Shuster was nowhere to be found.

Unless one happened to peek into the far corner of the PNC Diamond Club at the frustrated-looking gentleman bizarrely mumbling to himself. Full story

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