Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 29, 2015

May 18, 2015

Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Warner Stand Behind ‘SLUT’

Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Mark Warner of Virginia are scheduled to lend their voices Tuesday to “SLUT: The Play,” a teen-led look into modern rape coming to the Warner Theatre for one night only.

The experimental production is set to premiere in D.C. at 7 p.m. and is expected to feature opening remarks by Warner, with Gillibrand joining in a post-show discussion. Tickets to the much-talked-about show are $20.

SLUT THE PLAY GOES NATIONAL from Evenstar Films on Vimeo.

While she’s fairly certain neither Senate Democrat has attended a previous performance, Playwright and SLUT Co-Director Katie Cappiello told HOH the participating pols are familiar with the thought provoking narrative. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:31 p.m.
Artsy, DC, Grrl Power, Sens

Taste of America Showcases Agony of Regional Defeat

Taste of America Showcases Agony of Regional Defeat

The road to regional supremacy runs through the 2015 Roll Call Taste of America. The second round of voting is over, and to the vittle victor go the spoils. Just ask Maryland crab cakes, which pinched D.C. half smokes to move to the sweet, or savory, round of 16.

That Mid-Atlantic surf versus turf battle wasn’t the only regional roundhousing. Illinois’ Italian beef grilled Wisconsin bratwurst, for instance. And Florida stone crabs cracked down on Virgin Islands jerk chicken.

The current round of voting, open through May 29, features more close-in food fights. New Mexico frijoles, which gassed Alaskan king crab in round two, is in a desert shootout with neighboring Arizona’s pork chimichangas, which smothered Nevada’s chuckwagon buffet. Across the country, Delaware’s secret starch weapon, boardwalk fries, is looking to walk all over another East Coast maritime meal, Maine’s lobster rolls.

For full results of last week’s voting, including the ignominious demise of the sadly misunderstood Idaho finger steaks, are available at You can also vote, early and often, in the latest round, all in anticipation of the winner at the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on June 11.


Sea Change for Taste of America?

Defending Champs Go Down in Taste of America

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

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Redditor ­­Can’t Quite Figure Out Republicans

Redditor ­­Can’t Quite Figure Out Republicans


Never mind attempting to navigate the intellectual mind field that is political ideology. One social media sleuth would just like someone (anyone) to shed a little light on a burning question about the GOP.

“Are Republicans people?” web user 80provinces Monday queried a D.C-related discussion board.

Clearly 80p missed the feel-good campaign Romney campaign alumnus Vinny Minchillo rolled out last fall in an attempt to counteract the public’s perception of right wingers.

The public relations ploy proved to be a godsend for web-savvy satirists, who gleefully subverted the source material (#ImARepublican) and replaced it with merciless taunts. Full story

Friends of the Earth Out to Bury Earl Blumenauer

Environmental activists are throwing Rep. Earl Blumenauer under the zero-emission, biodiesel-fueled bus for openly embracing broader trade-promotion authority.

Friends of the Earth is going after the Oregon Democrat both here and back home in Portlandia for endorsing a polarizing “fast-track” plan the eco-warriors perceive to be a bum deal.

Friends of the Earth Out to Bury Earl Blumenauer

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“That’s what you get if you’re going to side with corporate polluters,” Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber told HOH of the dozens of antagonistic flyers. Schreiber personally affixed the signs — which read, “MISSING: Climate Champion Earl Blumenauer” — to every available surface surrounding the Capitol South Metro station. Full story

HOH Word of the Week: Personally Obnoxious

Personally Obnoxious (or Objectionable) A characterization a senator sometimes applies to a president’s nominee for a federal office in that senator’s state to justify his or her opposition to the nomination.”

— From “American Congressional Dictionary” by Walter Kravitz.

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

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

May 15, 2015

Tiny Horses Charge the Hill

OK, which member of Congress tried to bring two miniature horses into the Cannon House Office Building?

Tried?” Not ‘tried,’ ‘did!'” a gleeful HOH tipster squealed. “The member did bring two miniature horses into Cannon!” Full story

Using Rachmaninoff to Send a Message

Using Rachmaninoff to Send a Message

Royce advocated for a no-fly zone at a Thursday event to bring awareness to the Syrian refugees in Turkey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Like many teenage boys, Tambi Cimuk visited the Lincoln Memorial and the White House on his first visit to Washington. Unlike most teenagers, he also played Rachmaninoff in the Rayburn Foyer.

“Oh my God, yeah, he is very unbelievable,” Cimuk said when asked if Rachmaninoff is his favorite composer. “Russian music is special, it’s very powerful.”

The 16-year-old Cimuk was just one part of the “Safe Harbor Turkey: Restoring Hope for Syrian Refugees” event Thursday, but he certainly provided the highlight, performances of Mozart’s Sonata in C Major K. 330, Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor and the famously challenging Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Arranged by the Embassy of Turkey, the event featured photos, food and the famous piano prodigy to draw attention to the 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Full story

Schumer Family Ties Blanket the Airwaves

Turns out Sen. Charles E. Schumer can score airtime without even having to beeline for the next available live shot.

The New York Democrat has popped up on the boob tube twice over the past week — not because of his party’s break with the White House over trade promotion authority, but as a consequence of folks attempting to get deep with his cousin, comedian Amy Schumer. Full story

Make Way for Ducklings: Capitol Edition

Make Way for Ducklings: Capitol Edition

Ducklings try to leap out of the Lower Senate Park reflecting pool on the Capitol grounds to reach their mother. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Spring has officially come to the Capitol — in the form of a mother duck and her 10 ducklings.

The family was spotted swimming in the Lower Senate Park and Capitol reflecting pools Thursday, as the 2-day-old ducklings were learning how to careen through the water. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:37 a.m.

May 14, 2015

Roger Williams to Coach GOP in Congressional Baseball Game

Roger Williams to Coach GOP in Congressional Baseball Game

Williams is a former professional baseball player. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After years of losses at the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, Republicans have announced a team coach in hopes of righting the ship, but their embattled manager remains at the helm.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, announced Thursday he was named the coach for the GOP, which suffered its sixth-straight loss to Democrats in 2014, 15-6. According to Williams’ spokesperson, Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, will remain the team’s manager, and Barton will still decide who plays and where. Full story

Camilla Captivates Capitol Hill (Video)

Yes, watching a grown man scootch in next to a disinterested pig for a selfie is funny.

But there’s something absolutely Zen about watching a wired mammal barrel through a ball pit.

“It’s enrichment. It’s just for fun,” an animal wrangler explained to the army of children transfixed by the sight of an up-and-at-’em armadillo plowing through a multi-colored obstacle course.

Full story

Looking Good in That #Strengthie

Looking Good in That #Strengthie

The Markey #strengthie (Courtesy Twitter)

Just when you thought selfies couldn’t get any more prevalent, the ONE Campaign comes in strong with a new one.

It’s called a #strengthie: a selfie that pays homage to the “Rosie the Riveter” and “We Can Do It” images of female empowerment. Members of Congress, including Sen. Edward J. Markey and Reps. Katherine M. Clark, Joeseph P. Kennedy III, Jim McGovern, all D-Mass., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., are joining Beyoncé and others in ONE’s global day of action to fight poverty and sexism through social media. Full story

#tbt: That One Issue With The Telepods and Aliens

#tbt: That One Issue With The Telepods and Aliens

Q: What predictions did Roll Call make at the turn of the century?

#tbt: That One Issue With The Telepods and Aliens

The front page of the insert in the January 24th, 2000 issue.

A: On Jan. 24, 2000, Roll Call published a special section titled “Congress Next.” The 38-page section welcomed members and staff back to the Hill and focused on changes to come.

“Changes are Virtually Certain in Congress’ Future” we wrote in a story about the possibility of a virtual Congress. “At some point in the next century it’s conceivable that with super-encrypted computer connections and interactive TV, senators and members will debate with colleagues, attend hearings and pass bills without leaving their districts.” One senator is quoted saying a virtual Congress is “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 5 a.m.

Sea Change for Taste of America?

Call us crazy, but this could be the most delicious — and nautical — Roll Call Taste of America yet.

Nearly half of the regional showdowns happening in Round Two (voting wraps Friday) involve a seafood component.

Sea Change for Taste of America?

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

And, in many cases, said underwater spoils are leading their earth-bound opponents. Full story

GOP Aide Rises to the (Special) Occasion

GOP Aide Rises to the (Special) Occasion

(Christine Martin/Instagram)

For the most part, the experimental projects self-styled baker Christine Martin conjures up on any given weekend wind up in the bellies of her office mates.

Had the itch. #chocolate #caramel #seasalt #staytuned #sunday #cupcakes

A photo posted by Politics to Pastries (@politicstopastries) on

But there was that time one of her homespun treats made its way to the dinner table of the highest-ranking Republican in the House. Quite an accomplishment for a budding pastry artist. Full story

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