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

March 19, 2015

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hill’s Past

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hills Past


The only thing better than celebrating a birthday is celebrating it all year long. Roll Call is turning 60, and we’re doing a whole bunch of stuff to mark six decades of covering Congress.

That’s why we’re doing congressional trivia for #ThrowbackThursday via the @rollcall Twitter feed. Follow along there!

Miss the previous iterations? Find them here and here.

Now get started on the next round, crafted from Roll Call’s archives.

Q:Who set a new record for being the longest-serving member in the House on Jan. 6, 1992?

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hills Past

The front page from the day that Rep. Whitten broke the record for longest time in office.

A: Rep. Jamie Whitten, D-Mass., won the honor after serving 50 years, two months and 14 days. He still holds the title as the fifth longest-serving member of Congress. He retired three years after breaking the record. Retired Rep. John D. Dingell currently holds first place, with 59 years and 21 days of service. The top 10 longest office holders are all Democrats.

Q: What is a Lenny Skutnik?


#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hills Past

The front page of Roll Call after the incident, praising Skutnik.

A: A Skutnik is someone who performs an act of heroism and, as a result, is invited to be a guest at a State of the Union address or other meeting of Congress. Why a “Skutnik?” The term comes from 1982, when Air Florida Flight 90 crashed moments after takeoff from Washington National Airport. The plane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge before falling into the Potomac. Lenny Skutnik, who was an employee at the Congressional Budget office, jumped into the ice-riddled river to rescue one of the crash survivors. President Ronald Reagan mentioned Skutnik in his State of the Union address, and a tradition was born.


Q: What famous hotel ran ads in several issues of Roll Call from 1964 to 1968?

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hills Past

An advertisement for the “Water Gate Inn” in 1964. Their claim to fame? Popovers.

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Knowledge of Capitol Hills Past

Advertisement for the Watergate Hotel a few years later.
















A: The Watergate Hotel. Originally called the “Water Gate Inn,” the first examples of an ad list the address as “On-the-Potomac-At-F, NW.” The ad says the inn is famous for its popovers. Not anymore! In 1968, the hotel, which had changed its name, was marketed as, “A truly lovely place to stay, to meet and entertain.”

Do you have a suggestion for future questions? Other fun stuff found in your stack of newspapers? Let us know by emailing christinabellantoni – at –


#tbt: Roll Call Interviews Bill Clinton as Lewinsky Scandal Breaks

#tbt Trivia: How Well Do You Know Congress?

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Congressional Brain

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.

By Megan Evans Posted at 11:30 a.m.

Lawmakers Have Their Own NCAA Bracket Challenge

Lawmakers Have Their Own NCAA Bracket Challenge

Boehner posted his Roll Call bracket on Instagram. (Screenshot)

Occasionally, members of Congress are just like the rest of us.

Wander around the Capitol the next few weeks and you’re just as likely if not more  to see TVs tuned to the NCAA tournament as to C-SPAN or cable news. And this year, some top lawmakers are having their brackets put to the test in a Yahoo! group arranged by friend of HOH and Roll Call alumna Meredith Shiner.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:21 a.m.
Sports Desk

Special Olympics Athletes Get Face Time With Members

Special Olympics Athletes Get Face Time With Members

Special Olympian Jason Gieschen shows off his medals during a visit to Congress in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than three-dozen Special Olympics athletes from around the country visited members of Congress Wednesday for the organization’s 12th annual Capitol Hill Day.

The athletes were seeking funding to expand the Special Olympics’ school-based program, Project Unify, which pushes for more sports being made available to children with intellectual disabilities across the country. The additional money would also go toward improving the health screening and education for Special Olympics participants. Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 10:40 a.m.

#tbt: Roll Call Interviews Bill Clinton as Lewinsky Scandal Breaks

#tbt: Roll Call Interviews Bill Clinton as Lewinsky Scandal Breaks

In a photo printed on the front page of Roll Call on Jan. 29, 1998, Clinton delivers his State of the Union address. (Rebecca Roth/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Monica Lewinsky scandal unfolded on Jan. 21, 1998, President Bill Clinton went ahead that afternoon with three scheduled interviews with PBS, NPR and Roll Call, which were originally set up to boost interest in his upcoming State of the Union address.

Below is the article published above the fold in Roll Call the next day, Jan. 22.

Clinton: Relationship Was ‘Not Sexual’

Intern Allegations Won’t Lead to Impeachment, President Tells Roll Call

By Ed Henry and Morton Kondracke

President Clinton yesterday denied that he had a sexual relationship with a former White House intern in an exclusive print interview with Roll Call.

“The relationship was not sexual,” Clinton said in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon. “And I know what you mean, and the answer is no.”

Clinton said that he did not ask the intern, Monica Lewinsky, “not to tell the truth” about their relationship.

When asked whether the investigation will ultimately lead to his impeachment, Clinton replied, “Well, I don’t believe it will. I’m going to cooperate with this investigation. I’ve made it very clear that the allegations are not true.”

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr reportedly is investigating whether Clinton and his close friend, Vernon Jordan, urged Lewinsky to lie about whether or not she had a sexual affair with the President. Starr is investigating allegations of suborning perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice.

House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), whose committee would initiate the impeachment proceedings, said yesterday if Starr verifies the authenticity of these charges, “impeachment might very well be an option.”

But the President insisted to Roll Call that he did not try to cover up anything. “I did not ask anyone not to tell the truth and I’ll cooperate,” Clinton said. “So I think that there will be a lot of stirring and a lot of speculation about how all this was done and what it portends. You all will handle this as you will. I’m just going back to work.”

When asked whether the Lewinsky scandal would overshadow his State of the Union speech next Tuesday, Clinton said, “Well, I hope not. But you guys will have to make that decision. The press will make that decision.”

As for whether it will cloud the President’s ability to work with Congress, Clinton said, “That will be up to them. I don’t think so. It’s an election year — they’ll want to get some things done, too. We’ve got a lot to do.”

Last week, the White House agreed to give Roll Call an Oval Office interview on Wednesday afternoon in order to discuss the state of Clinton’s relationship with Congress as he prepares for his sixth State of the Union address. But on Tuesday evening, with the Lewinsky story set to break the next morning, a White House official called to say that the interview would have to be conducted over the telephone because of a scheduling conflict.

Despite the latest controversy, Clinton went forward with the phone interview, which began at 4:20 p.m. yesterday and lasted for 15 minutes. On Monday, Roll Call will publish the President’s exclusive comments on his Congressional agenda and his relationship with individual leaders, such as House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.).

Earlier yesterday, Clinton had released an official statement saying that he did not have an “improper relationship” with Lewinsky.

When pressed to characterize the nature of the relationship, Clinton told Roll Call, “Let me say, the relationship is not improper and I think that’s important enough to say. But because the investigation is going on, and because I don’t know what is out — what’s going to be asked of me, I think I need to cooperate [and] answer the questions. But I think it’s important for me to make it clear what is not. And then, at the appropriate time, I’ll try to answer what is.”

Throughout the day, the White House tried to portray an image of business as usual for the Administration. Clinton noted that he had been playing during the day with Buddy, his new chocolate Labrador, who could be heard barking periodically during the interview with Roll Call.

But Clinton already has some Congressional Republicans nipping at his heels over the latest revelations. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who has been calling for Clinton’s impeachment since November, fired off an explosive press release.

“For those in the House who have been waiting for a smoking gun, both barrels are smoking,” Barr said. “These latest allegations of witness tampering, obstructions of justice, perjury, and improper moral behavior should not be dismissed out of hand as the President would have us do. Rather, they should be investigated by the Judiciary Committee.”

Barr urged the House to immediately take up an inquiry of impeachment, which would lead to proceedings of the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the allegations.

Most Republican leaders, however, were reluctant to talk about the latest allegations against Clinton. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Majority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.) both refused to comment on the matter.

Even House Government Reform and Oversight Chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.), a constant critic of Clinton who reopened his campaign finance hearings yesterday, refused to comment on the sexual allegations.

On the Democratic side, Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.) also refused to comment.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) said in a brief interview, “It’s kind of sad that as we embark on this New Year that this is what we’ll be talking about.”

Hyde, meanwhile, said that if the allegations are proven true, Congress could begin the impeachment process.

“When we get a report from the independent counsel it would seem to me that if they verify the authenticity of the charges, impeachment might very well be an option,” Hyde said. “He is not immune from impeachment if … these charges are true.”

In November, Barr filed an inquiry of impeachment against Clinton, which is a parliamentary rarity. The inquiry must by approved by a majority of the House Rules Committee and the full House before it takes effect; Barr, however, only has about 20 co-sponsors.

Prior to introducing his inquiry, Barr had urged Hyde to start impeachment hearings, but the respected, cautious chairman said it was too early.

Since Watergate, three impeachment resolutions have been introduced and all of them died a quick death. The late Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.) filed one against Ronald Reagan on March 19, 1984, for ordering the 1983 invasion of Granada and preventing news coverage of the military strike.

In 1987, Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas) tried to impeach both Reagan and George Bush in protest of the Iran-Contra sandal [sic]. Then in 1991, he filed one against Bush over the Persian Gulf War.

Jim VandeHei and Francesca Contiguglia contributed to this report.


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.

By Megan Evans Posted at 5 a.m.

March 18, 2015

Aaron Schock Discussed Government Transparency in First Floor Speech (Video)

Perhaps it was fate. 

But Rep. Aaron Schock, who tendered his resignation following allegations of improperly using of taxpayer and campaign money, ironically gave his first floor speech in 2009 on transparency. Full story

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital has whipped up the ultimate can’t-say-no event of the century: a fundraiser (duh) honoring lady lawmakers with ties to the civic-minded organization (grrl power!) by plying attendees with custom treats forged from the group’s signature baked goods (synergy, FTW).

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The inaugural shindig — dubbed “2015 Sweet Success: Celebrating 104 in the 114th” — is expected to lure confection lovers to the UPS Townhouse on Capitol Hill from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition to commemorating sash-wearing wonders past and present, organizers have arranged for a dessert cook-off featuring local toques. Full story

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

Back when Mr. Henry’s put down roots on Capitol Hill, congressman turned commander in chief Lyndon B. Johnson was still calling the shots in the Oval Office, the only Washington Senators anyone cared about were the ballplayers who took the field at RFK Stadium and relations with Cuba were far less relaxed than they appear to be today.

Eight presidential administrations later, the family-run establishment (601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) endures — providing safe harbor to locals against changing tides that continue to wash away neighboring dive bars.

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not that that kind of staying power comes easy. Mr. Henry’s, which once upon a time showcased the talents of soul singer Roberta Flack and attracted its share of gay and lesbian fans, has since seemingly faded into obscurity.
Full story

March 17, 2015

Politically Savvy Student Owns Being a Congressional Albatross

Lauren Dickinson isn’t worried, per se, that she may be a harbinger of death (career-wise anyway) for self-styled, rockstar politicos.

If anything, she’s fascinated by the power she seems to exert over self-destructive Republicans.

“Just call me the kiss of death. I’m 2 for 2 with Schock & Radel,” the George Washington University student mused online while showcasing a composite shot of her posing alongside the scandal-plagued pretty boys.

It’s unclear, however, just how potent Dickinson’s grasp may be. Full story

Aaron Schock: Look at Me! (But Not Too Closely)

Rep. Aaron Schock’s penchant for seeking out the spotlight appears to finally have burned him.

The embattled four-term lawmaker Tuesday tendered his resignation after a stream of embarrassing coverage threatened to propel him from mere media fascination to potential object of investigation.

The Illinois Republican first showed his smiling mug around Capitol Hill in 2008. He officially made a splash a few years later when Men’s Health dubbed him “America’s Fittest Congressman.”

Aaron Schock: Look at Me! (But Not Too Closely)


Once the shirt came off for that profile, it seemed Schock would always find an excuse to shed a few extra layers, whether it be:

Playing soldier with up-and-coming armed forces personnel.

Full story

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

“Being a member of Congress does not exonerate you from having to endure the same headaches the rest of us airplane travelers have to deal with,” an HOH tipster said Monday after witnessing a pair of time-crunched lawmakers hustle to make it back to D.C. in a somewhat orderly fashion.

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Per our spy, the trouble all started when United Airlines declared that the plane intended to whisk Illinois Republicans Rodney Davis, Robert Dold, Randy Hultgren and Mark S. Kirk back to work was experiencing mechanical difficulties and would not be taking its leave of Chicago O’Hare International Airport at the regularly scheduled time. Full story

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | Lawmakers from the two last-to-the-party states share not only unique geographic ties (neither is directly connected to the Lower 48; both boast treacherous terrain), sometimes they also break bread together.

They did so Monday night, during a collegial get-together hosted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Full story

Members Shoot Hoops for a Cause

Members Shoot Hoops for a Cause

Reps. André Carson, D-Ind., and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., before the 26th annual charity basketball game in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mark your calendars for the 28th annual Home Court Charity Basketball Game, scheduled for next week.

Gonzaga College High School will host the Georgetown Law faculty and staff on March 25 as they take on members of Congress. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 11:30 a.m.

Late Night With … Ted Cruz!

Late Night With ... Ted Cruz!

Cruz takes his humor to late night TV (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

After a weekend in South Carolina and New Hampshire, Sen. Ted Cruz took his act to 30 Rock Monday.

The Texas Republican, who is contemplating a bid for the White House, appeared as a guest on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” The host happens to be from the first-in-the-nation primary state. Cruz was back in the building Tuesday morning for more serious programming.

“Historically, we have found when senators from Texas come to New Hampshire, it’s because they want to run for president,” Meyers said. “It’s that or you want to buy like cheap liquor at our liquor stores.”

“Well, you know tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day,” Cruz quipped in response.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 9:09 a.m.
TV Land

March 16, 2015

Maine Pols Think Tom Moser Might Just Make It in D.C.

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are slated to help christen Thursday the latest showplace carved out by artisan furniture maker Tom Moser.

A one-time college professor turned full-time craftsman — “He was a professor of rhetoric, of all things, at Bates [College],” King told HOH — Moser has built a second career for himself by creating highly coveted conversation pieces for the home and office.

Collins and King are tentatively scheduled to attend the ribbon cutting at his new shop (1028 33rd St. NW) Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. The invitation-only affair is expected to feature  “Made in America” tasting stations, specialty drinks and the opportunity to win a limited edition, hand-signed American flag cobbled together from different woods (Maine maple for the white stripes, Pennsylvania cherry for the red stripes and Missouri black walnut for the background to the stars). Full story

Members Succumb to March Madness

Ahhh, the middle of March. That time of year when the eyes of the nation turn away from anything and everything business-related and become locked on whatever electronic device is handy — TV, computer, smartphone — in order to keep track of that all-important commodity: one’s meticulously crafted NCAA bracket.

Members Succumb to March Madness


Politicos are not exempt from the collective obsession with the men’s basketball championship tournament. President Barack Obama has, for several years now, gone on record with his prognostications.

And plenty of sports fans on Capitol Hill — be they alumni of those on the hunt for a national title or proud supporters of the athletes they represent — love to trade barbs (and bet regional delicacies) in pursuit of ultimate bragging rights. Full story

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