Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

December 13, 2013

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 9 (Video)

Nothing caps off a week like mom’s cooking, empty boxes and tofu. It’s Roll Call’s third installment of Congressional Hits and Misses.

December 12, 2013

C-SPAN Founder Brian Lamb Pressed About His Missing Credentials

Veteran broadcaster Brian Lamb learned a valuable lesson about the all-seeing eye of social media Thursday. The founder and former CEO of C-SPAN casually strolled into the Senate without updated press credentials.

“It’s hilarious,” Lamb told HOH about the brief run-in with Capitol gatekeepers.

Lamb, who began working as a Senate aide over four decades ago, explained that he had not renewed his press pass this year. When he wandered over to the second floor — en route to the radio/TV gallery for a vote by the executive board — staff stopped him and asked to see his congressionally issued ID.

Lamb explained the situation (“Everybody’s just doing exactly what they should have done,” he noted), got redirected upstairs to secure a temporary badge and then went about his business. But not before his gaffe was broadcast on Twitter.

C SPAN Founder Brian Lamb Pressed About His Missing Credentials

(Courtesy C-SPAN)

“I should have known better,” Lamb shared, adding, “Next time, I’ll make sure to stop at the desk and get my pass.”

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:20 p.m.
HillSide, media

Overheard: Rand Paul’s Hell-Freezing-Over Timeline

“I don’t think there’s going to be unanimous consent on anything until hell freezes over.”

— Sen. Rand Paul

By Roll Call Staff Posted at 12:58 p.m.
Overheards, Sens

December 11, 2013

Five Tasty Morsels | Capitol Quip

Five Tasty Morsels | 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:

  • Let’s save some for the next time we’re on furlough.
  • You really have to give credit to the toothpick lobby for a job well done.
  • This might be some kind of entrapment.
  • I don’t care how good this cheese cube tastes! I’ll not be cajoled into pushing to pass a farm bill!
  • And the jug of orange juice provides the perfect accompaniment.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Dec. 15 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 7:17 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Time Looks Back on Cruz’s Freshman ’13 (Video)

It’s been a whirlwind year for Sen. Ted Cruz, and while he didn’t finish first as Time’s Person of the Year in 2013, the magazine’s editors thought enough of the tea party favorite to compile the “highlights” in a video.

“Ted Cruz’s 2013 in Three Minutes” chronicles the Texas Republican’s most “upworthy” moments since he stepped onto the floor at the Capitol on Jan. 3.

From his accusations that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was “hiding something” and his scrutinizing of the country’s policy on drones, to the length and levity of his 21-hour anti-Obamacare filibuster and his relative fall from grace amid the government shutdown, it’s clear Cruz made his mark in the year 2013, even though he couldn’t beat out the pope.

HOH is itching to see what the junior senator comes up with next year.

 

 

National Press Club Hosts Sid Yudain Memorial Saturday

National Press Club Hosts Sid Yudain Memorial Saturday

(CQ Roll Call archives)

The late Sid Yudain, founding father of Roll Call, will be memorialized at 11 a.m. Saturday at a service in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club (529 14th St. NW).

Lael Yudain told HOH the hourlong service would be punctuated by tributes from those closest to her politically connected spouse, a roster that includes their son, Raymond Yudain, and political satirists/comedy pianists Dan Ruskin and Mark Russell, as well as other family members and friends.

The facility can accommodate as many as 150 guests, but Lael Yudain hinted that well-wishers would not be turned away.

“If it’s standing room only, that’s OK with us,” she said.

The event will be followed by an on-site reception.

No word yet on when the actual burial will take place. “We’re still waiting to hear back from Arlington Cemetery,” Lael Yudain said.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:59 p.m.
DC, media, VIPs

Overheard: The Schumer Rule, Debunked?

“You know that line about, ‘You do not want to get between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera?’ I am living proof that is not true.”

— Sen. Bill Nelson

Vegetarian Staffers Prep Last 2013 Feast, Plan for 2014

The Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association wants to send everyone home for the holidays with a full belly, so it’s bringing in the Randy Radish to feed the masses at the final policy luncheon of the year.

The educational event, which will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Michael Greger, director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States, is scheduled to take place Dec. 18 at noon in the Capitol Visitor Center (HVC 201). The lunch discussion, part of the group’s ongoing outreach, is free and open to everyone.

The Randy Radish is a local food truck that hangs its hat on vegan fare. House specialties include: a baked, barbecue sauce-drizzled jackfruit offering, a marinated tofu “Reuben,” a vegetarian hot dog with your choice of toppings (chili, sauerkraut, chopped onions) and house-made iced cinnamon buns.

Meanwhile, the CVSA is already plotting a dynamic new year.

A CVSA aide told HOH the group is hoping to bring together a certain diet-conscious New Jersey Democrat (newly minted Sen. Cory Booker) and pro-animal advocate from the President George W. Bush era (Matthew Scully) for a bipartisan powwow early next year.

U.S. Treasurer Will Autograph Currency at Holiday Sale

Searching for the perfect gift for the coin collector who is near and dear to your heart?

You may strike gold (or nickel, or copper) in the Rayburn House Office Building foyer on Thursday, during a holiday sale hosted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the people of Capitol Hill will have the opportunity to shop for rare currency, un-circulated coins, medals and limited-edition 2013 collector sets.

As an added bonus sure to thrill any currency enthusiast, U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios will be on site to autograph the products for four hours. Rios — whose signature appears on U.S. currency — will have her pen ready from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Full story

December 10, 2013

Paul Ryan Suggests Burrito Brothers Over Tortilla Coast

Watch out, Tortilla Coast. House Budget Chairman and restaurant staff alumnus Paul D. Ryan is recommending dinner at Burrito Brothers at 205 Pennsylvania Ave. SE as Capitol Hill awaits a budget deal.

Asked if he and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., would announce a deal Tuesday evening, Ryan said, “I hope to … soon.”

Paul Ryan Suggests Burrito Brothers Over Tortilla Coast

Has Ryan turned his back on Tortilla Coast? (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll File Photo)

What “soon” meant, Ryan wouldn’t say. “Don’t leave,” he suggested to reporters. “I’m going to have a late night. I don’t know about you guys.”

A reporter then asked if he could go to dinner. “Yeah, go to dinner. Nearby. Go to Burrito Brothers, it’s great,” Ryan replied.

Perhaps it was to wave off reporters from catching wind of any secret meetings at Tortilla Coast, the House GOP’s Mexican restaurant of choice at 440 First St. SE. We’re not privy to any easy-access Burrito Brothers basement for such a confab.

Pooh-Poohing Rick Perry’s Food Bet

We here at HOH LOVE when pols put regional foodstuffs on the line:

 

 

Constituents, sometimes, not so much: Full story

Menendez Pops the Question in Capitol Rotunda

New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez proposed to his girlfriend Monday in the Capitol, then whisked his betrothed away to the White House to celebrate at the annual holiday ball.

As first reported by Politico’s Mike Allen, the previously divorced pol asked Alicia Mucci — identified by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as a 45-year-old real estate agent who lives in Paramus — to join him in matrimony during a visit to the Capitol Rotunda. Some CQ Roll Call colleagues reported asking a tuxedo-clad Menendez what he was up to on Monday night, but they said the senior senator from the Garden State dashed away without comment.

Menendez’s office did not respond to multiple email inquires regarding further details about the pending nuptials, but Menendez did thank well-wishers via social media:

 

Fictional Franchise: Christmas Edition

In the latest installment of the Roll Call series that examines fictional characters and who represents them in Congress, we look at our favorite Christmas characters.

The rules for Fictional Franchise go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more here.)

George Bailey (James Stewart)
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
Bedford Falls, N.Y.
Republican Rep. Tom Reed

Seneca Falls makes a pretty good case that the upstate New York town is the “real” Bedford Falls.

And so Seneca Falls is not just the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, it’s where Clarence earned his wings and George Bailey lassoed the moon and his future wife, Mary.

Atta boys.

 

Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase)
“Christmas Vacation”
Shermer, Ill.
Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider

“Christmas Vacation” is part of writer/director John Hughes’ 1980s anthology of life in suburban Chicago. He based his movies in a town called “Shermer.” Hughes spent his high-school years in the Chicago suburb Northbrook, which was originally called “Shermerville.”

Geography aside, “Christmas Vacation” also functions as a public service announcement against the dangers of using a storm drain as a depository for recreational vehicle sewage.

 

Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) 
“Elf”
Upper West Side, New York City
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Buddy the Elf moves into the Central Park West apartment of his biological father, children’s book publisher Walter Hobbs, according to several blogs.

And Holy Zuul! Does this building have history!

The building is more famously known as “The Ghostbusters” building (an issue that will almost certainly be revisited in this series) and it was the subject of a 1999 New York Times profile.

But Buddy has connections to another New York City district.  He commutes to work at Gimbell’s and in the mailroom of the Empire State Building in Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney’s 12th District on the east side of Manhattan.

But for voting purposes, Buddy is a Nadler man. Nadler is a Fictional Franchise favorite, as his 10th District is home to Peggy Olson and Joan Harris of “Mad Men,Alex Forrest of “Fatal Attraction“ and Peter Warren Hatcher of the Judy Blume novels.

 

Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn)
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
Great Neck, N.Y.
Democratic Rep. Steve Israel

Friend of Roll Call/Long Island native/Hotline Editor-in-Chief Steve Shepard weighed in with this analysis.

Per Shepard: “Just a stone’s throw from the Empire State Building is Macy’s Herald Square location, situated on the western edge of Maloney’s district. But in the film, Kris Kringle actually lived at the fictional Brooks Memorial Home for the Aged in Great Neck, N.Y., on Long Island. That makes Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Santa’s congressman. And presumably Israel would also represent the bucolic suburban home for which Natalie Wood asked Santa.”

It should be noted that Great Neck is also home to Jay Gatsby and Israel’s 3rd District hosts Tony Miglione of Blume’s “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t.”

We believe.

 

Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) 
“A Christmas Story”
Hohman, Ind.
Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky

Writer Jean Shepherd set “A Christmas Story” in Hohman, which is a stand-in name for his hometown of Hammond, Ind.

Even so, the house used in filming is located in Ohio’s 11th. Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge represents that district that is also home to Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

 

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin)
“Home Alone”
Winnetka, Ill.
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky

All sorts of crazy went down over one Christmas break in Illinois’ 9th District. The owners of the “Silver Tuna” McCallister household accidentally left their 8-year-old son at home unsupervised as a crime wave involving a pair of burglars named “The Wet Bandits” hit the neighborhood.

Like other John Hughes films, this one is set in the North Shore suburbs. Schakowsky’s 9th District and Schneider’s 10th District bisect the region. The movie was shot in an actual house in the area that is well-documented on YouTube and various blogs. The McCallister house is an identifiable site in the neighborhood and Kevin, like Regina George of “Mean Girls,” is most definitely a Schakowsky constituent.

We love the Internet:

 

Rudolph T. Reindeer 
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Christmastown, Alaska
Republican Rep. Don Young

We interpret “Christmastown” to be North Pole, Alaska.

Christmastown is a deceptively cheerful name for the fictional village. Just about everyone in Christmastown, from Santa down to the reindeer calves, exhibits deplorable behavior and discriminates against Rudolph for what they perceive to be a birth defect.

It’s one thing for children to pick on somebody, but where were the adults in Christmastown? Comet? Rudolph’s own father, Donner? Santa?!?

Oh, they were there, bullying Rudolph right along with the children. Completely inexcusable. The ostracism was so unbearable that Rudolph was forced to flee the town with his band of oddball friends.

Oh, hey Santa! We hope that crow tasted delicious!

Given the fact that Hermey the Elf likely does not walk at a fast pace, we have concluded that the Island of Misfit Toys is a river archipelago in the nearby Tanana River.

As for Yukon Cornelius, we assume that judging by his name, he is likely Canadian, and thereby ineligible to vote in American elections.

 

Mike and Carol Brady (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson)
“A Very Brady Christmas”
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.
Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman

The Bradys are totally Valley, according to our friends at iamnotastalker.com. The Los Angeles Times did a pretty in-depth write-up on the house by, yes, a man named Brady.

In 1988, the Bradys reunited for “A Very Brady Christmas,” and the film took a dangerous turn. Mike, an architect, was called away from Christmas dinner after a building collapsed on two security guards. He, too, became trapped when he entered the building. The entire Brady clan raced to the worksite to keep vigil for him.

Carol single-handedly saved Mike through the power of song. Her rendition of “O, Come, All Ye Faithful” summoned the Brady patriarch’s strength to emerge from the rubble.

The district is just barely in Sherman’s stomping grounds, along with “The Bad News Bears” and “The Sandlot” kids.

But the North Hollywood Brady House is only a stone’s throw away from Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas’ 29th District. The 29th is also home to  Andrea Zuckerman, star-but-illegal student at West Beverly Hills High of the 90210 ZIP code.

Previous Installments: 

Making the Most of the Snow Day

There’s no denying it. Winter is here.

Rather than curse the crappy road conditions (and even worse, the inexperienced drivers), why not celebrate what a liberal coating of the white stuff means: We’ve got an honest-to-god snow day!

Granted, not everyone has the day off (ahem). But many folks do.

So, have a little fun today. You deserve it.

Béarnaise

Spike Mendelsohn’s steak frites joint (313 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is serving up hot toddys ($5) as well as bowls of French onion soup au gratin partnered with a glass of wine ($10) for those who need something warm in their bellies. And everyone can enjoy all-day happy hour ($2 off any beer, glass or wine or specialty cocktail).

Bullfeathers

The Capitol Hill watering hole (410 First St. SE) is rolling out frosty beers ($3 Bud Light, Shock Top and Bullfeathers Amber Ale) and winter warmers ($5 bloody marys, hot toddys and Irish coffee) for those willing to brave the elements. Drafts of Breckenridge Vanilla Porter are also on special for $5 today.

Dupont Circle Snowball Fight

The Washington DC Snowball Fight Association has yet to make the call about unleashing hell today. Confidence is medium they’ll get into something before this all melts away.

Johnny’s Half Shell

On days like today, Johnny’s co-owner John Fulchino wishes he were back in Beantown. “In Boston every bar and restaurant would be packed,” he said. “Lots of new love was found on those snowy days.”

Alas, he’s here.

But he is open. And he’s got something special he’s raring to pour.

“I just made fresh squeezed tangerine margaritas this week. Best margarita I have ever made,” he asserted. “Impossible to just have one.” Full story

Flake, Edwards to Headline 2014 Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner

Featured speakers Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., are officially on the hook to leave “This Town” laughing at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th annual congressional dinner.

The charity event, scheduled to take place on Feb. 5 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, helps fund the WPCF’s educational initiatives, ongoing oral history project and intern placement program.

WPCF dinner committee Co-Chairwoman Christina Bellantoni (current PBS NewsHour political editor/incoming Roll Call editor in chief) said Flake and Edwards got the nod after careful consideration of members who might enjoy mixing it up a bit on stage. The newly minted senator has shown he’s not afraid to take his cues from cult cartoons, while Edwards has been known to talk a little smack around the softball diamond.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., laid into colleagues at last year’s yukfest, the first time the field had been narrowed down to just two would-be roasters.

Should Flake or Edwards need some pointers, they might want to chat up Delaware Democrat Chris Coons. The then-incoming senator honed his material for three months in anticipation of the 2011 dinner.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:43 a.m.
DC, Reps, Sens

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