Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

February 8, 2015

No Hand-Wringing in This Capitol Quip

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Ready for a hands-on experience with this week’s Capitol Quip?

Send us a caption by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick finalists Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

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

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February 7, 2015

It’s in the Capitol Quip Pipeline

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Thanks to the readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest.

The winner will receive signed color prints suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

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.

February 6, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Feb. 2, 2015 (Video)

Members spent the week bragging about their state’s venison, not trading Chinese tea for Texas residency and discussing their favorite moves: “My Cousin Vinny” and “Groundhog Day.”

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.

Cory Gardner, Charlie Rangel School #ThisTown in Skewering Solons

The hundreds of lawmakers, media professionals, staffers and armchair pundits who piled into the Mandarin Oriental ballroom for the Washington Press Club Foundation’s yearly gala Wednesday were treated to a double dose of comedy from a pair of quick-witted pols.

Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and New York Democrat Charles B. Rangel took turns letting each other, their colleagues and everyone else in the room for the 71st Annual Congressional Dinner have it, peppering their tongue-in-cheek remarks with topical barbs.

MSNBC personality Alex Wagner (check out her routine from 27:45-35:01) led the assault by comparing Capitol Hill decorating schemes to hit TV shows. Full story

Patrick Meehan’s Cool-As-Ice Hockey Career

His best skating days may be behind him, but Rep. Patrick Meehan’s conduct during his hockey officiating career made a lasting impression on National Hockey League player and newly minted author Val James.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

James, who details his life experiences in the forthcoming “Black Ice: The Val James Story,” recalls one particular incident when the Pennsylvania Republican’s character brilliantly shone right through.

“When two Richmond Rifles fans cast a fishing line with a toy monkey tied to it into the penalty box where James was sitting, referee Patrick Meehan stopped the [Eastern Hockey League] game and demanded the ejection of the offending fans,” political reporter and hockey aficionado William Douglas chronicled on his blog.

“He did something that could have possibly at that point got him killed or lynched after the game,” James wrote. “But, nonetheless, he stood up for something, and that means a lot to me.” Full story

Hanging With Steny Hoyer Is a Slam Dunk

Bourbon summit, schmourbon summit. If you wanna get in good with Maryland Democrat Steny H. Hoyer, you’ve gotta take it to the hole.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to staff, the House minority whip is a “huge Terps fan” who semi-regularly rounds up colleagues to go to college basketball games with him at the University of Maryland. On Wednesday he rallied fellow alums Cheri Bustos of Illinois, William Lacy Clay of Missouri and delegation mate C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to head over to College Park to watch the Terrapins take on the Nittany Lions. (Maryland topped Penn State 64-58.) Full story

February 5, 2015

Al Franken: Still a Jokester

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken reminded his fellow senators of his comedic roots on Thursday, taking a pointed jab at the Judiciary Committee’s new GOP majority.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum, who joined the Senate in 2009, called Republicans chronically lazy for skipping the panel’s routine markup sessions, now and in the last Congress. Full story

Benjamin Cole Desperately in Need of a Do-Over

Friday can’t possibly come soon enough for embattled House staffer Benjamin Cole.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The spokesman for Illinois Republican Aaron Schock is having what’s got to be his worst week in Washington, a parade of public humiliations that began with the discovery of his boss’ unusual taste in office décor.

“You’ve got a member [of Congress] willing to talk to you about other things … why sour it by rushing to write some gossipy piece?” Cole, in a painfully JV attempt to trade something (anything!) for squashing the revelation Schock likes artsy stuff, pleaded with political profiler Ben Terris in Monday’s Washington Post. Full story

Flipping Burger Beats Into a Battle of the Congressional Bands

Shake Shack — still coming off its price-doubling IPO high, no doubt — is looking to spread some love by giving local bands a shot at nationwide exposure via its “Burger Beats” contest.

The aspiring musicians who make the final cut stand to have their signature sound spotlighted on Shake Shack’s constantly evolving Spotify playlist.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

According to the fast-food giant’s Facebook page, the only real restriction is that any would-be performers must be located within the burger baron’s gradually expanding orbit, a community that currently includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Florida, Las Vegas, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and, you guessed it, Washington, D.C.

Which means congressional crooners are in play. Full story

#ThrowbackThursday: When the Cameras Turned On

This photo from the Roll Call archives shows a call-in show at the National Press Club on Oct. 7, 1980, the year after C-Span first began broadcasting. Lamb, on the far right, is joined by, from left to right, Michael Kelly, Pat Gushman, Don West and Tack Nail.

This photo is from the Roll Call archives of a call-in show hosted at the National Press Club on Oct. 7, 1980, the year after C-SPAN first began broadcasting. Lamb, on the far right, is joined by, from left to right, Michael Kelly, Pat Gushman, Don West and Tack Nail.

The next time you need an “older than” joke, here’s some new material: members whose congressional careers are older than C-SPAN.

There are just 11 members of Congress serving today who were in office the day the network began broadcasting the House proceedings on March 19, 1979 — it took more than seven years for the Senate to vote to allow cameras to televise that chamber.

Full story

February 4, 2015

Novelty Bourbon Delivery an Uncompromising Success

Lawmakers from across the Capitol poured into the Willard Hotel Tuesday to honor the unique flavor bourbon has contributed to Congress.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, chats with Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., during the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise reception at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers Association joined forces to send a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon to Washington D. C. to be received by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker John A. Boehner shares a laugh with Rep. John Yarmuth. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The feel-good presser was the brainchild of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association; the former provided historical context while the latter kept the predominantly Southern crowd in good spirits.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: One of the bartenders pours some Town Branch bourbon for a guest at the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise Reception at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers Association joined forces to send a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon to Washington D. C. to be received by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

Vote for Your Favorite Today Is Tomorrow Capitol Quip!

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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. Eastern Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

Crude but effective.
Our forecast is in the pipeline!
Is that Harry Reid down there? He must have slipped on those tar sands!
Well, do you predict an oily spring?
Silent spring?

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Feb. 8  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.

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 Rebecca Gale Posted at 2:39 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Congress Before the World Wide Web

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, works on his computer during a break in arranging his office.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, takes a break from arranging his office to work on his computer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With computers in every congressional office and smartphones attached to lawmakers’ and staffers’ hands, it might be hard to remember what Congress was like before the Internet.

But for former Rep. Jim Coyne, it feels like yesterday. Full story

Florida Footwear Foofaraw

One of Grayson's "30 plus" pairs of boots (Alexis Levinson/CQ Roll Call)

One of Grayson’s “30 plus” pairs of boots. (Alexis Levinson/CQ Roll Call)

There is tension in the Florida Democratic delegation: Sen. Bill Nelson is not a fan of Rep. Alan Grayson’s boots.

The Florida congressman has a penchant for ostentatious footwear. On Tuesday, he sported a pair of pink leather boots with crosses embroidered along the foot. They had pointed toes covered in metal caps. They were not, Grayson clarified, cowboy boots, as they had a zipper down the side. “They’re Italian boots,” he told CQ Roll Call in the Speaker’s Lobby. Full story

February 3, 2015

Susan Collins Savors Tuber Win (Updated)

Updated: 6:30 p.m. | Chalk up another victory for the fresh, white potato.

A report released Tuesday recommends that the Department of Agriculture allow fresh, white potatoes to be eligible for purchase under the Women, Infants and Children food assistance program. The white potato had been the only vegetable or fruit excluded from the WIC roster.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, hailed the news as a “major victory.” She has pressed for years to have the potato included on the menu and argued that USDA has been using antiquated rules based on 20-year-old consumption data.

“As I have said all along, USDA’s decision ought to be driven by nutritional facts and the latest, accurate food science. In that kind of review, the fresh, white potato wins, hands down,” Collins said. “The potato has more potassium than bananas, a food commonly associated with this nutrient, which is important for pregnant women and new mothers.” Full story

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