Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 20, 2014

March 17, 2014

Take Five: Rep. Scott Perry

Take Five: Rep. Scott Perry

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

This week, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., discusses his military service and reciting the Gettysburg Address. Perry, not afraid to show his softer side, also explains why “Out of Africa” is one of his favorite movies.

Q. You were born in San Diego, so how did you end up in Pennsylvania?

A. It’s an unflattering story of broken family and a time in the country where women in the working world with children were discouraged.  So my mom went to work for an airline — she couldn’t have children — so she hid my brother and me by putting an ad in the paper and sending us to a family while she was on a trip.  And then she would come and retrieve us.  And flying took her to Florida and that’s where we stayed for a while.  And then from Florida, flying took her to Pennsylvania, which is where I ended up, so that’s kind of how that whole thing happened.

Q. As an Iraq War veteran and a National Guardsman for more than 30 years, how has your military service contributed to your role in Congress?

A. First of all, it teaches you to get along with a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds with different perspectives. It forces you, unfortunately, to have patience for the things that you can’t get done because in the military when you’re the commander, so it shall be written, so it shall be done. That’s how it works.

But when you start working in a different civilian arena, it’s not that way.  And so you either learn that there’s a different way or you fail.  And working in the community, and so on and so forth, outside the military arena, the only way you can get things accomplished is to shed that. For me, what it really does is it highlights the two very different paradigms in the two different organizations of civil society and the military. They do not mix up very well.

Q. What was your favorite moment of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg last year?

A.  My favorite moment, quite honestly, when I think back, was my opportunity to recite the Gettysburg Address. … When you start looking at it and the words and where the inflection and the emphasis might be, I found out that it took me maybe 150 times of practicing it until I got it right — to my standard of where I thought it should be to do it justice.  And so when you get it to that point and realize the gravity of each word and how they fit the times of the nation and with each other, it’s really, really something special, which is why it is a great thing.

Q. I read that during your congressional race you would relax by working on your home, which you mostly built yourself.  How do you relax when you’re in D.C.?

A. What makes you think I relax when I’m in D.C.?  I guess what I really like to do and it’s not really — it is some relaxation, it’s a little bit of a break from the action — is to go out and run on the mall.  I iPod up, but you know my schedule here usually starts around 6 and ends around 1 or 1:30.  So I’m trying to maximize my time here and there’s not a lot of relaxation.

Q.  What is your favorite movie and why?

A. Can I have two? For one single movie in and of itself, it’s “Out of Africa.” For me, that movie shows the differences, just the very visceral difference, between men and women in relationships, and how hard life can be, and also the triumphs of life.  But I also love “Band of Brothers.” But that’s a series of movies, which shows the element of the human struggle and sacrifice and puts a value to everything that we enjoy every moment of every day in this country.

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10 a.m.
Reps, TakeFive

March 16, 2014

File Under ‘No Longer Top Secret Hard Feelings’ | Capitol Quip

 File Under No Longer Top Secret Hard Feelings | Capitol Quip

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and CIA Director John O. Brennan are engaged in an epic combat strategy game over congressional oversight of the intelligence community, and the whole world is watching. That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest 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.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Freedom of Amplification? | Capitol Quip

 Freedom of Amplification? | Capitol Quip

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.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7 p.m.
Capitol Quip

March 14, 2014

Robert Menendez Shrugs Off Injury to Champion Ukraine Plan

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez didn’t let something as trivial as being struck by a taxi late Thursday derail his defense of a Ukrainian aid package that faced its own obstacles.

Menendez spokeswoman Tricia Enright told HOH the New Jersey Democrat got hit just outside Union Station while racing to catch a 6 p.m. train home.

“Legs buckled and he fell,” she said of the jarring incident. “He got up and ‘ran’ to the train but it had left.”

Rather than lick his wounds, Enright said Menendez called staff to swing back by to get him so he could rejoin the fray on the Senate floor.

Having said his piece for the second time, Menendez once again departed the Capitol, finally making it — safely — onto the northbound Amtrak train scheduled to roll out at 7 p.m.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:47 p.m.
Drama, HillSide, Sens

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 10 (Video)

While members explain how to drive to Hawaii, put lipstick on a pig and which state has better ski resorts, Majority Leader Harry Reid still is not finished telling us about the Koch brothers.

Foster, Holt Fete Pi Day With Pastries

Resident Capitol Hill physicists Reps. Bill Foster, D-Ill., and Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., are doing their small part Friday (3/14) to commemorate the infinitesimal mathematical construct known as pi — by dishing out homemade baked goods.

Foster, Holt Fete Pi Day With Pastries

(CQ Roll Call archives)

Pi Day,” the annual celebration of the non-repeating, never-ending figure revered by “mathletes” the world over, has become a cultural happening involving food, fashion and pop culture references.

Holt and Foster are feeding into the phenomenon by offering guests the chance to fill their belles while expanding their minds.

“We’ll have a variety of homemade pies … [and] a competition to see who can recite the most digits of pi,” a Foster aide said of the scientific shindig scheduled to take place at noon in Longworth 1224.

All are welcome. (But you may wanna download a scientific calculator app on your phone on your way over.)

March 13, 2014

Cruz, Booker Already Fussing Over Future Dinner Dates

Well, that didn’t take long.

 

 

Mere hours after they were photographed grabbing a bite together at Bistro Bis, New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker and Texas Republican Ted Cruz have reached an impasse as to where to book their next table.

Cruz , it seems, would prefer to stay away from prying eyes

 

 

Booker is done with chewing up the scenery. He’d rather focus on what’s on his plate

 

 

A congressional aide told HOH the political odd couple touches base on the Senate floor from time to time; staff reportedly arranged the March 12 sit-down.

No word on when — or where — any future rendezvous might take place.

Members of Congress Sum Up SXSWi — in 3 Words

South By Southwest Interactive wrapped up Tuesday, just as the madding crowds for the music festival were arriving in Austin, Texas. Roll Call correspondent Grace Dobush was in town along with a surprising number of congressmen — 12 by our count. In addition to attending the panels they spoke on, covering topics from patent trolls to tech innovation, she caught up with a handful of members to get their sense of the experience — in three words.

Read more about Washington’s takeover of SXSWi (and see a photo of Darrell Issa testing out a new Microsoft dance game) here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Charity Work Crushes the Competition — With His Tank

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Charity Work Crushes the Competition — With His Tank

(CQ Roll Call archives)

Forget breaking mere bread.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is upping the charity auction stakes by offering fans the opportunity to pump iron, co-pilot a tank and possibly chomp some stogies, all in the name of putting more money in the hands of After-School All-Stars.

Schwarzenegger has apparently owned the ground-pounding M47 Patton tank for 20-odd years now, but only trots it out on extra special occasions.

Keeping his youth-oriented athletic program going — the non-profit organization boasts chapters across the country, including an outpost in Washington, D.C. — clearly qualifies, as Schwarzenegger is contributing his time (“you’ll live like Arnold for a day!” the contest page trumpets) and the tank adventure for only $10 (single entry).

Whoever does win the all-inclusive trip out to LA should take comfort in knowing that their time will not be wasted: Ah-nuld has been on the vanguard of crushing stuff for decades. Full story

David Jolly Fits ‘Right’ In

Newly minted Rep. David Jolly is already making waves here on Capitol Hill, bucking House GOP leadership the first chance he got.

David Jolly Fits ‘Right’ In

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

During his mock swearing-in Thursday for photographers and the press, the special-election-winning Florida Republican raised the wrong appendage, attempting to look like he was taking the oath of office southpaw rather than with the obligatory right hand.

Welcome aboard, sir! (HOH LOVES rule breakers.)

Wrap-up: The D.C. Experience at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas — The doors to South By Southwest Interactive closed Tuesday after five days of nonstop events, just as the madding crowds for the music festival started arriving.

Austin has a counterculture reputation, and SXSW’s origins are in the Wild West of the tech space. But recently, the festival has turned into what critics have called a brand orgy, and some SXSW attendees didn’t seem all that surprised that Washington was getting in on the action. (Early SXSW attendees have been saying the festival has jumped the shark for years.)

By one count, the number of members of Congress who stopped by South By this year was 17. Roll Call was able to confirm the presence of 12 (not counting at least a dozen Hill staffers), from both sides of the aisle.

Here’s what some of them had to say about South By: Full story

By Grace Dobush Posted at 10:58 a.m.
Uncategorized

March 12, 2014

D.C. Pranksters Play on Darkened Capitol Dome

A brief outage of some of the exterior lights on the Capitol Dome, likely caused by tornado-like winds, jump-charged some local pranksters.

The parody “Uncle Earl” account — established in the wake of a political corruption scandal involving many of the District’s top elected officials, including Mayor Vincent Gray — jumped into the midst of the 30-minute spell of darkness claiming he’d cut the lights as part of yet another pay-to-play scheme.

D.C. Pranksters Play on Darkened Capitol Dome

D.C. statehood activist Josh Burch, who blogs for the51st.org, also made a joke out of the blackened Dome. Burch invited D.C. residents to “seize equal representation under the cover of darkness!”

D.C. Pranksters Play on Darkened Capitol Dome

In reality, no one is quite sure what caused the lights to go down from about 8:15 p.m to 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Matt Guilfoyle, a spokesman for the Architect of the Capitol, told CQ Roll Call that the AOC was aware of the power outage and working to address the problem.

The Capitol Police continued patrolling inside and outside the Dome, checking for power outages and damage to report to the AOC, according to Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department.

HOH tipsters working inside and burning the midnight (or late evening) oil reported that lights were flickering in the press galleries but never actually went out.

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

For four years, one title has eluded Michele Bachmann, and it’s not “president.”

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

(Meredith Shiner/CQ Roll Call)

The Minnesota congresswoman and one-time Republican presidential hopeful just wanted to win Sen. Al Franken’s annual hotdish off Wednesday before leaving Congress.

Grandma Phoebe’s Sunday Supper:

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Unfortunately, just as Mitt Romney kept her from the top of the national ticket, two-time hotdish champion Tim Walz, D-Minn., vanquished Bachmann from the win she so desperately coveted.

Turkey Trot Tater Tot Hotdish:

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

To the victor, goes the Pyrex with a special plaque. Full story

Five Ways to Cut Off the Mic | Capitol Quip

Five Ways to Cut Off the Mic | Capitol Quip

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. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Your captions will be duly noted.
  • Freedom of speech does not ensure the right to amplification.
  • I’m the chairman. I can outblurb you.
  • I think this only means one thing … I’m now the story! AGAIN!
  • Ain’t I a stinker?

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

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:37 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Special Olympics Rates Tom Harkin Pure Gold

The Special Olympics is expected to wrap its annual lobbying push Wednesday with a Hillside reception honoring Americans with Disabilities Act author Sen. Tom Harkin.

During the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place in Dirksen 106 from 6 to 6:30 p.m., the Iowa Democrat will become the first lawmaker to receive the “Spirit of Special Olympics Award.”

According to a Special Olympics aide, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, Special Olympics Chairman Dr. Timothy Shriver and Special Olympics athlete Corey Leonhard (from Iowa, ‘natch) are all slated to pay tribute to Harkin’s dogged leadership on disability issues.

Previous honorees include:

  • Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • The late Nelson Mandela
  • Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci
  • Four-time Super Bowl champion Rocky Bleier
  • Two-time World Series champion Ron Guidry
  • Award-winning musician Herb Alpert
  • Music mogul Jimmy Iovine
  • Author and ex-Playboy Playmate Vicki Iovine
  • Philanthropist Paul Marshall

Special Olympics personnel will also be visiting member offices to drum up support for funding initiatives designed to assist current and future participants.

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