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

July 20, 2014

Sign of the Times For Capitol Quip

YUMA SECTOR

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

July 18, 2014

FLOTUS Tweaks Congress Over School Lunch at Kids’ State Dinner

First Lady Michelle Obama’s battle for school lunch reform continued to heat up Friday as she urged a room full of kids and parents to become advocates for healthy lunch programs, despite “grownups’ ” attempts to block reform.

“And while the vast majority of the schools are doing just fine with these new standards, those few complaining voices happen to be the loudest voices and they’re getting the most attention right now,” the first lady said at the third annual Kids’ State Dinner, slamming Congress for “undoing some of the progress” made.

With 54 kid representatives from each state and territory attending the dinner after submitting winning recipes, Obama took the opportunity to center her remarks on school lunch, suggesting the voices of parents and children are necessary in the fight for healthy, nutritious lunches. A panel of judges — which included White House chef Sam Kass — picked the tastiest and healthiest recipes among the 1,500 submissions. Full story

Rep. Ruiz Assists Passenger During Flight Home

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was called into action while flying home Thursday when a young woman a few rows in front of him began having a seizure.

A Ruiz spokesperson confirmed Friday that the former emergency room doctor did assist the woman on his flight. Ruiz checked to make sure her condition was not serious enough to warrant an emergency landing.

According to the Daily Caller, the woman Ruiz helped, Lisa De Pasquale, is a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News and Townhall websites. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw fit to send out an In Case You Missed It email with Betsy Rothstein’s DC story.

De Pasquale told HOH that she was “very grateful that Congressman Ruiz was there!” In an email, the scribe related that “I didn’t let on to how scared I was that I didn’t remember anything that happened before, during and immediately after the seizure. He sat and talked to me for the remainder of the flight. We talked about religion and books, and nothing about politics. It was great!”

This was not the first time Ruiz lent a hand during an in-flight medical emergency.

In October, Ruiz was headed to Texas when a passenger collapsed during the flight. Ruiz helped stabilize the passenger and, in that case, the passenger’s condition caused the plane to land in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday’s incident occurred during the California Democrat’s typical flight home, which stops in Phoenix. Ruiz’s fellow House member, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was on the flight and witnessed Ruiz assisting the passenger.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Rep. Sinema’s party.

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 14 (Video)

As members discuss bathroom breaks, candy and The People’s Court, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., refuses to yield the Senate floor.

Mock Candidate Aims to Muck Up Kentucky Senate Race (Video)

Kentucky voters needn’t worry about hunting for Gil Fulbright’s name (at least that’s what it is this week) in voting booths come November. But they should get used to seeing his shit-eating grin over the next few months.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Running the totally fake pol Fulbright (or Phillip MaMouf-Wifarts) is the latest stunt by anti-corruption advocates Represent.Us, the provocateurs behind last summer’s “stripping senator” show and the least appetizing power lunch in recorded history.

The advocacy group has, so far, raked in $30,000-plus to help crowbar Fulbright into the high-stakes standoff between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Full story

Grassley’s Sky Diving Advice

Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa has some advice for anyone pondering following the lead of former President George H.W. Bush and jumping out of an airplane.

The Republican senator is known for having one of the most fascinating Twitter feeds in Congress, whether he posts about his complaints of a lack of historical programming on the History Channel or hitting a deer while traveling in Iowa. Grassley even highlighted his use of Twitter in a 2010 campaign ad:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9LDEo1ueyc

‘Al The Pal’ Could Get Air Force Facility Named After Him

"Durbin the Pal" (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Durbin the Pal” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Alan J. Dixon, the Illinois Democrat who died earlier this month, might have an Air Force facility at Scott AFB, a site near “Al the Pal’s” home of Belleville, Ill.

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois’ senior senator and chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, made sure the appropriations bill funding the Pentagon contained language providing the designation. Dixon, the chairman of the 1995 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, made transparency in the military’s decision-making process on the fate of its facilities one of his causes in his Senate career.

“His work to make sure Scott Air Force Base was given a critical mission in our nation’s defense has resulted in Scott becoming one of our nation’s premier Air Force assets,” Durbin said in a statement.

Pet Project Morphs Into Solon-Shaming ‘PolitiCat’

An anonymous online scold has begun a virtual game of cat and mouse with elected officials, awarding leaders willing to reach across party lines for the greater good with quirky honors while ripping those who just plain cross lines a new one.

Although a relative newcomer to the social mediasphere, “PolitiCat,” the nom de plume of the political science grad hoping to groom fellow would-be pundits, has set its sights on getting pols and voters to more carefully consider their actions.

“I aim to break into the consciousness of the general public, particularly younger people with regard to voter responsibility. I want to highlight the behavior of lawmakers and public figures, especially to ‘catch them being good’ vis a vis advancing bipartisanship,” PC asserted via email.

That outreach has, so far, not always resonated with intended allies (a la the Wichita, Kan., radio host who just didn’t “get” one muddled missive).

 

 

We, too, were a bit stumped by what seemed to be a nonsensical exchange with Rep. Patrick Murphy — until PC explained the open letter was actually a response to an earlier fundraising pitch from the Florida Democrat. Full story

July 17, 2014

Joe Manchin’s Penchant for Power Lunching

What's for lunch? Bipartisanship! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s for lunch? Bipartisanship! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If it’s hump day, budding coalition builder Sen. Joe Manchin III is probably breaking bread with members of his slowly widening circle of fellow comity seekers.

Aides to the West Virginia Democrat confirmed the self-styled troubleshooter has taken to gathering together colleagues for friendly visits, as often as the hectic congressional schedule permits.

“He likes to have bipartisan lunches,” Team Manchin told HOH, stressing that the semi-regular get-togethers — which appear to flow from a fairly fluid guest list — lean more toward informal discussions than issue-specific strategy sessions. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:23 p.m.
Freshman, HillSide, Sens

July 16, 2014

Courtney Stodden’s PETA Push Gets Tongues Wagging

Love her or despise her, Capitol Hill denizens were utterly captivated by having a nearly naked Courtney Stodden preach the virtues of a vegetarian lifestyle to them while shoving fake wieners in everyone’s mouths.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The platinum-tressed teen blew into town to draw eyeballs to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’ curbside veggie dog giveaway. The staff luncheon/exercise in political theater is meant to serve as a counterpunch to the meat lobby’s annual hot dog blowout.

According to PETA spokeswoman Moira Colley, the group rallied supporters to the cause by distributing around 600 not dogs — “They’re all soy protein and spices,” one cheerful volunteer said of the meatless analogues — to famished passersby. Full story

Wicker, Feinstein Seek to Revive ‘Seersucker Thursday’

Senators gathered in the Senate reception room for a "Seersucker Thursday" back in 2011. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators gathered in the Senate reception room for a “Seersucker Thursday” back in 2011. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the Senate’s great summer traditions will make a comeback shortly before August recess.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein are inviting fellow senators to observe “Seersucker Thursday” at the end of July.

Full story

Senate Softball Rivalry Once Again in Full Swing

Party lines, schmarty lines.

The key thing that keeps Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., going while here in D.C. is the burning desire to topple the other in their annual softball showdown.

Team Scrantonicity has faced off against the Hit It Toomey squad each summer for the past three years with mixed results. Scrantonicity throttled its foes 20-10 last year, but Team Toomey has wracked up more “W”s than losses over time.

“Sadly team Toomey leads the all-time series 2-1. But I’m quite confident the series will be all even after tonight’s festivities,” a Casey aide assured HOH in a trash-talking email.

Those looking to get swept up in softball mania should make their way over to the National Mall (Seventh and Madison streets NW) around 6:45 p.m. to catch all the action.

Look for Casey to be snagging flies in the outfield (our tipster says the boss typically patrols right field), while Toomey tends to plant himself at third.

Vote for Your Favorite Congress Border Run Capitol Quip

YUMA SECTOR
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:

  • This reminds me of that children’s classic, “Make Way for Ducklings.”
  • Think of these kids as bills proposed in Congress. None shall pass.
  • We’re also now seeing some refugees from Brazil, looking for a new land of soccer opportunity.
  • We had to update the sign.
  • When the president couldn’t make it, he did send down these nifty new signs.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on July 20 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 Rebecca Gale Posted at 3:55 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Randy Weber Is Always Recruiting for Hot Pepper Parties

“We’ve got some fresh peppers in here. They’re not hot,” Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, mischievously goads his congressional aides after pouring out the baggie full of mixed chilies he religiously totes around in his coat pocket.

Sam Lombardo, a much-too-trusting summer intern, takes the bait, hurling a pea-sized ornamental pepper down the hatch.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The impetuous youth makes it through the first few bites unscathed, but is soon fanning his wide-open mouth for relief while Weber — who is always looking to welcome new chili-heads into the fold — chuckles with delight. Full story

Joe Manchin Brings the ‘Hollow’ to D.C.

Wild and wonderful though it may be, West Virginia continues to wrestle with its fair share of challenges. Sen. Joe Manchin III wants to help shine a light on what life is like in the Mountain State by hosting a screening of “Hollow” (that’s “holler” to you and me, Russ), a cinematic labor of love released last year.

The “interactive documentary,” which continues to foster community building across the social media sphere, will be shown on July 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center. Those interested in attending should RSVP to hollowevent@manchin.senate.gov.

Filmmaker and West Virginia native Elaine Sheldon McMillion is expected to participate in a discussion about her attempt at getting up close and personal with the community in economically depressed McDowell County.

Topical snippets — including a dizzying spin through a county fair — are available for viewing via Vimeo.

1 MINUTE IN APPALACHIA: County Fair from Hollow Interactive on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, McMillion has been urging social media users to collectively reminisce by flooding Instagram with pics tagged #hollerhome. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...