Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

March 20, 2014

CFPB a Secret to One Secret Service Agent

“What the hell is the CFPB?” one Secret Service agent asked Steve Antonakes, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Antonakes described this moment of confusion in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wednesday. Full story

John Lewis Breaks it Down

Pharrell’s hit song “Happy” has remained at the top of the charts for a month now, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., recently showed why the tune is such a hit.

Rachelle O’Neil, a staff assistant in Lewis’ office, posted two Facebook videos Wednesday of the congressman cutting the rug. O’Neil said the dance was part of a “long-awaited” birthday celebration.  (Lewis’ birthday was Feb. 21.)

“Be happy everybody, happy,” said Lewis.  “That’s what the government is supposed to do.”

Keep dancing, congressman.

 

The New ‘It’ List: Russia Sanctions 9 U.S. Officials (Updated)

Updated 1:55 p.m. | Russia sanctioned nine top U.S. officials on Thursday, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John A. Boehner, a retaliation after President Barack Obama announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian officials over the annexation of Crimea.

Those sanctioned took their appearance on the list as a badge of honor.

 

 

Full story

Puppets Weigh In on Supreme Court Contraception Case

One women’s group is pulling the strings in a new ad campaign aimed at raising awareness and support for a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception.

The new ad follows a puppet voiced by Daily Show co-creater Lizz Winstead as her boss and a judge follow her from the office to her bedroom, taking away her birth control.

Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, is funding the “five-figure” ad campaign, which is targeting women in swing states.  The campaign was launched ahead of the final arguments in Supreme Court case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which questions whether or not the ACA provision violates an employer’s religious freedom. Full story

Marcel’s Hosts Preview of Intercontinental Pop-Up

Restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier is heading across the pond at the end of the month to partake in a culinary exchange set to include a private reception for newly minted U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun, as well as a week-long “pop-up” dining experience orchestrated alongside award-winning British toque, Simon Hulstone.

Marcel’s Hosts Preview of Intercontinental Pop Up

(Courtesy Marcel’s)

DC denizens have the opportunity to sample the distinctive flavors Wiedmaier plans to share with curious Londoners at the “A Tale of Two Cities” preview dinner scheduled to take place March 21 at Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).

The seven-course meal ($165 per person) will showcase locally inspired dishes — including pan-seared scallops with black fermented garlic and squid ink, roasted pigeon with potato risotto and black truffle, and plum-tarragon tart with honey and cinnamon ice cream — paired with Virginia wines and spirits. Author and bon vivant Jason Tesauro has mixed together a slew of regional producers, promising pours from award-winning wineries such as Barboursville Vineyards, Thibaut-Janisson Winery (French President Francois Hollande was introduced to their bubbly at the latest state dinner) and Boxwood Estate Winery, as well as some fizzy refreshments from Foggy Ridge Cider and a little hard stuff from Catoctin Creek Distillery. Full story

CBO Sets Wheels in Motion for Annual D.C. Soap Box Derby

The Congressional Budget Office says hosting the 73rd annual Greater Washington Soap Box Derby on the Capitol grounds won’t cost the federal government any significant money, clearing the way for the June 14 competition.

Enterprising young builders will careen down Constitution Avenue in home-assembled vehicles this summer, pending a green light from the House and Senate.

Unlike other derbies around the nation, the D.C. event requires an act of Congress to authorize the Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Police Board and the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby Association to negotiate the necessary requirements to hold the race at the Capitol. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 11:09 a.m.
HillSide

March 19, 2014

These Captions Will Self Destruct | Capitol Quip

These Captions Will Self Destruct | 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:

  • Looks like the truth might catch up with Brennan!
  • We hired Edward Snowden to improve the graphics.
  • Hey look, it isn’t us this time.
  • This even surpasses the game Bush vs. Gore.
  • Thanks goodness for the CIA … they always make us look good by comparison.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on March 23 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.

 

Warner Picks Hoos Over Alma Mater

Sen. Mark Warner may be a George Washington University alumnus, but he’s all aboard the University of Virginia Cavaliers’ bandwagon this March Madness.

The Virginia Republican has the Wahoos winning the whole thing, downing Florida, Villanova, Michigan State, Coastal Carolina, and, you guessed it, the Colonials en route.


HOH is sure some GW fans are a little sore over the pick, but they can at least give Warner credit for picking them to upset the 8th-seeded Memphis Tigers in their first game.

If you can’t get enough March Madness, check out the Roll Call bracket, which matches members of Congress with schools in their district that have made it to the tournament.

 

Moran Celebrates Central Asian Culture in Rayburn

Not done partying, even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed? Worry not: It isn’t the only holiday taking place this week.

Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., celebrated Persian new year with a group of Tajik-Americans in Rayburn House Office Building Friday night, but noted that the less well-known holiday might be overshadowed. “Unfortunately you’re coming here kind of at the same time as another tradition: The Irish-American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day,” he told the crowd.

Moran Celebrates Central Asian Culture in Rayburn

(Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

“There are a few more Irish-Americans than there are Tajik-Americans,” he quipped. “I’m still Irish, but frankly I try to avoid it: too much drinking and too much, uh, celebrating.” Full story

By Julie Ershadi Posted at 11 a.m.
Artsy, Parties

March 18, 2014

Police Identify Teen Killed in Shootout With Authorities

Police Identify Teen Killed in Shootout With Authorities

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Police have identified the teen who died following a gun fight with authorities that took place a few blocks northwest of Union Station Tuesday morning as a 19-year-old from Hyattsville, Md.

Daquan Hendrix was wanted in the Feb. 27 homicide of Tykia Dickerson in Northeast D.C., according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The shootout ensued shortly after 6:17 a.m., when officers from a fugitive task force showed up on K Street Northwest with an arrest warrant. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 4:23 p.m.
Uncategorized

John McCain’s Favorite Flick: Fargo

Sen. John McCain has rather dark taste in movies.

The Republican told a town hall meeting in his home state of Arizona on Tuesday that the 1996 Coen Brothers classic “Fargo,” which won multiple Academy Awards, is his favorite. McCain’s quip came in response to a question about the slow-moving approval process for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“It’s still stalled in the Obama administration,” McCain said of the pipeline, before praising the economic boom in North Dakota as a result of energy production.

“Things that are happening in places like like North Dakota — do you know the unemployment rate in North Dakota today is less than 2 percent? They can’t get anybody to come up there and work, and I won’t go anywhere further with that,” McCain said. ”I happen to love North Dakota. My favorite movie is ‘Fargo’ … which was shot in Minnesota I understand, but anyway.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 3:57 p.m.
Flicks

Suspect Killed in Gunfight With Police Near Union Station

A homicide suspect was killed in a gunfight with D.C. Police a few blocks north of Union Station early Tuesday morning.

Officers reported to the suspect’s home on K Street NW shortly after 6:15 a.m. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 9:02 a.m.
Uncategorized

Apocalypse Now? Twyman Says Boehner’s Invite to Pope Proves End Is Near

Is it the end of the world if the Pope addresses Congress?

Rocky Twyman, founder of the Pray at the Pump Movement, sure thinks so.

In a press release Monday, Twyman detailed how Speaker John A. Boehner’s recent invitation to Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress is a sign that the apocalypse is coming.

But, according to Twyman, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  “This new Pope symbolizes a new era of peace and prosperity for the United States that will culminate in heaven,” he said. Full story

March 17, 2014

March Madness With John McCain and Obamacare

Sen. John McCain’s campaign committee is joining March Madness once again.

In an email blast sent Monday, the Friends of John McCain invited supporters to join their private ESPN bracket group.  More than 150 people and counting have signed up for the “McCain Bracket Challenge.”  McCain’s campaign has been hosting its own bracket competition since 2007.

The McCain supporter with the most successful bracket will win a basketball signed by the Arizona Republican.

But McCain isn’t the only one getting into the March Madness action.  The White House put together its own bracket competition, but this one is not related to “the Big Dance.”

The White House launched “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” Monday, prompting participants to vote for their favorite reason to sign up for health care coverage. The competition is part of an effort to boost signups on Healthcare.gov by the March 31 deadline. Full story

A Hip Factory in Every Basement | Madisonville

A Hip Factory in Every Basement | Madisonville  The House Small Business Committee meets in a room in the Rayburn building that feels like the warehouse office of one of the business start-ups Congress loves to celebrate.  The translucent plastic panels that screen the fluorescent lights and the drop ceiling tell you that this committee doesn’t waste money on luxuries. You half expect to hear an electric insect killer snap a few bugs to death with a mighty zap that momentarily dims the lights.

The man on the long side of the room chewing his nails turns out to be Missouri Republican Sam Graves, the chairman who bit his way through a hearing on “The Rise of 3D Printing: Opportunities for Entrepreneurs” on March 12.  Washington visitors who wandered over to see their representatives in action may have hoped for a congressional version of “Shark Tank.” Full story

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