Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 29, 2015

March 7, 2014

Democrats Roast Ann Richards’ Granddaughter, Set Political Bar High

Democratic operatives all over town had a ball Friday afternoon ribbing their colleague, Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Lily Adams, after the 27-year-old was declared the future of the Texas Democratic Party on cable news.

It all started Friday morning, when MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” featured a segment on political up-and-comers in the Lone Star State.

Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater prognosticated that Adams will likely be a future occupant of the Texas governor’s mansion, her late grandmother Ann Richards’ former crib.

“This is the one that’s just going to cause waves today,” Slater foreshadowed. “She is extraordinary. She is bright.”

Full story

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — “Hi! Would you like an American-made keychain?” an aide with the Alliance for American Manufacturing asks while dangling a shiny, red- white- and blue-lettered bottle opener to the CPAC faithful.

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The group, which religiously tracks the downward spiral of domestic hiring — 6.1 million jobs lost from 2001-2009, per their estimates — practices what it preaches, proudly distributing U.S.-born trinkets to the grabby stream of passersby.

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

But here, amidst this celebration of the party of Ronald Reagan, the AAM is one of the few keeping the faith.

HOH spotted a handful of other American-made keepsakes (a water bottle here, a patriotic pen there) up for grabs at the various booths set up in the “CPAC Hub.” But the brunt of the giveaways being greedily stuffed into near-bulging gift bags appeared to have traveled much further than those piled into ballrooms bemoaning the fate of American exceptionalism.

Prominent outsourcers include:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:05 p.m.
ScandalFaced, Whuck

Police Conclude Investigation Into Capitol Car Crash (Updated)

Police Conclude Investigation Into Capitol Car Crash (Updated)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police have cleared the scene of a fatal single-car crash that propelled a silver SUV into a tree south of the Capitol early Friday morning.

No details have been released on what may have caused the high-speed collision as the driver headed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car hit a large, decorative flower pot — ironically designed to deter crashes and traffic — with such force that the vehicle was flung airborne, ripping branches nearly 30 feet above the ground from two nearby trees.

Updated 6:42 p.m.

First responders arriving on the scene around 3 a.m. found the silver SUV vertically wrapped around a tree, about 50 feet from the cracked pot. The force of the crash catapulted pieces of the car into the intersection with D Street Southeast. The Metropolitan Police Department identified the driver, who died in the accident, as 19-year-old Hunter B. Harries of McLean, Va. A toxicology report is “pending autopsy,” said MPD spokesman Hugh Carew.

Full story

McHenry Reaches for the Stars, Settles for Football and NASCAR | Madisonville

When your second-grader’s class stages “Macbeth” at parents’ night, you’re torn between admiring the effort of the kids and worrying that the teacher is unhinged.

McHenry Reaches for the Stars, Settles for Football and NASCAR | MadisonvilleSo it was when Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, the North Carolina Republican, chaired a hearing called “The Growth of Financial Regulation and Its Impact on International Competitiveness.” Vanity prevailed over good judgment when the Oversight and Investigations unit of the House Financial Services Committee took this up Wednesday.

Even the big-thinking McHenry must have noticed that the performance was falling short of the ambition.

Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver II, for example, decided the best way to explain financial regulation and international competition was to talk about his days playing football. Cleaver said he lived for the chance to “put your helmet into” a running back or receiver. Those days are gone.  “It’s been outlawed,” he said. “You can’t even trip anymore. You pamper the quarterback.”

Full story

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

Maintaining that whole separation of church and state split is a tightrope act on any given day of the year.

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

Scott Peters)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/SPHP-445x321.jpg" width="445" height="321" /> (Courtesy Scott Peters)

Church has, as of late, taken the lead on Capitol Hill thanks to the contributions of high-profile, and intimately connected, spiritual leaders.

Last week, Rep. Scott Peters experienced the rare privilege of having his father, retired pastor and civil rights activist Harvey Peters, usher in the legislative day with a prayer.

“Few members of Congress get the chance to see a parent speak in the House chamber, and I am truly thankful that I was able to share this moment with him, and with my Mom, RuthAnn, who watched from the gallery,” the California Democrat shared on the House floor. “His work instilled in me and my three sisters the values of courage and equality that I’ve tried to bring to my own service.”

An aide to the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, told HOH that the chaplain’s office has limited data regarding immediate family members who have presided over the morning prayer, but confirmed that Peters is in a fairly exclusive group.

Rep. Bruce Braley is in the club.

The Iowa Democrat got to see his brother, Rev. Brad Braley, prepare Congress for the work ahead during the of summer 2010. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 3 (Video)

HOH serves up another dish of the best of what’s around with members detailing how cold Ukraine is, explaining what happens when the toilet leaks and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seeing how many times he can say “Koch brothers” in a 10-minute speech.

Crash Lands Car in Tree on South Capitol Street (Updated)

Crash Lands Car in Tree on South Capitol Street (Updated)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Update 11:53 a.m. | A high-speed crash at the intersection of South Capitol and D streets Southeast landed a driver in the hospital early Friday morning — and the car in a nearby tree.

Capitol Police responded to the scene of the crash at approximately 3 a.m., according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.

The car hit one of the massive, round decorative flower pots outside the barricade on the South side of the Capitol campus and went airborne before landing in the tree, Schneider reported. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car was still in the tree as of 7:37 a.m. Friday.

Immediate street closures remain in effect until the scene is cleared. Due to the traffic accident investigation, nearby streets are closed including portions of Washington Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and South Capitol Street Southeast.

Update 11:53 a.m.

The cause of the crash remains unknown and Capitol Police have not yet released any information on the driver’s condition or whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

Officers were already on the scene when D.C. Fire and EMS responded to a single, overturned vehicle around 3:02 a.m., according to D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Oscar Mendez. The driver was transported to George Washington Medical Center at 3:28 a.m. with life-threatening injuries, Mendez said.

The single-car accident involved a lone driver and no passengers. There was no chase involved, according to Schneider.

Debris from the crash, including the small engine of the small, silver SUV littered the intersection, and officers on the scene said car parts had been found on the roof of the nearby Longworth Office Building Parking Garage.

Read our new post on the investigation finishing here.

More photos below.

Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 8:43 a.m.
Capitol Police, DC

March 6, 2014

A Top-Down View of #CPAC2014

Here’s what conservative conferees have on their minds scalps at CPAC:

Clean pates

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Rainbow-striped mohawks

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Impeccably arranged ‘dos

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Colonial-era head coverings

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Stetsons

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Camouflage ball caps

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Fedoras

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Combat helmets

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Russian-style furriness

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Okay, that last one is a doorman here at the Gaylord. But still, awesome.

 

Team Congress Triumphs in Annual Hockey Game

 

Team Congress Triumphs in Annual Hockey Game

Erik Paulsen and xx May prepare for a faceoff on Wednesday. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call File Photo)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/Paulsen-Hockey-335x335.jpg" width="335" height="335" /> Rep. Erik Paulsen prepares for a faceoff on Wednesday. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call)

Team Lawmakers have evened up the record against their rival hockey team, Team Lobbyists, in the sixth edition of the Congressional Hockey Challenge.

It was no blowout — the Wednesday night game was suspenseful to the end at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., the site of the Washington Capitals’ practice facility. The lawmaker team, made up of members of Congress, members of the Canadian Parliament, Hill operatives and federal government workers, trailed the lobbyists for much of the game.

But in a third-period rally, the lawmakers moved ahead to win 7-5. The record now stands at 3 wins apiece.

Full story

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

Here’s what the rest of the world is faced with when conservatives reach the “braking” point:

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Buckle up, folks. We’re all in for one helluva ride.

The Early Buzz on #CPAC2014

The Early Buzz on #CPAC2014

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is just getting started at National Harbor, but the rat-a-tat online chatter about the far-right fest has already reached a fevered pitch.

At least one randy traveler is raring to go

 

A few early arrivals may have already overstayed their welcome

 

Full story

March 5, 2014

Five Letters for Capitol Quip’s Retirement Bingo

Five Letters for Capitol Quips Retirement Bingo

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:

  • It’s not encouraging — they asked me for a bigger room.
  • Pallone versus Eshoo for bingo caller is a good matchup.
  • Great, more games to be played in the House.
  • Retiring? I hadn’t realized they were even still alive!
  • Now they play nice together.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on March 9 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 6:16 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Prose-Peddling Pols Swarm CPAC

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is once again upon us, bringing together hundreds if not thousands of right-wing activists determined to crack the code to winning back over the government.

A number of prominent House and Senate Republicans are scheduled to rally the faithful during the weekend long strategy session.

Some are even bringing along some product to push.

In addition to the donation-driven receptions and private meet-and-greets sprinkled about National Harbor, several past, present and would-be politicos are expected to hunker down for book signings of their personal texts.

The nightstand stocking opportunities include:

Thursday, 2:30 p.m.: Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., signs copies of “Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!”

Currently No. 575,242 in Amazon’s Kindle rankings. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:52 p.m.
Books, Reps, Sens

Overheard: Joe Wilson’s West Africa Ties

“And, well, if [AFRICOM] ever relocates to the continental United States, Charleston, South Carolina comes to mind. With military facilities and — we also have a shared culture with West Africa, so there’s a relationship which is very positive.”

— Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., at a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing, speaking to Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command.

Getting to Know Ron Wyden’s Spokesarmy

Now that he wields the gavel to the agenda-setting Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden has also inherited a much bigger microphone.

Luckily, the Oregon Democrat has assembled an eight-person answer squad — including four issues-specific spokespeople — to help carry his message into the world.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time there will be four designated spokespeople for the SFC Chairman,” tax and investigations specialist Lindsey Held told HOH of the dedicated response team. In addition to the other three policy point people, like herself, Wyden will be supported by a digital director (Rebecca Steele), press secretary/speechwriter (Ryan Carey), deputy press secretary (Samantha Offerdahl) and press assistant (Taylor Harvey), Held explained.

Per Held, many of the mouthpieces have already been working together for years, either under newly minted diplomat Max Baucus, D-Mont. (Held, Carey, Harvey), carrying over from Wyden’s Finance staff or switching over from his Energy and Natural Resources Committee crew.

“It’s a melding of the two families, ‘Brady Bunch’-style,” Held suggested.

Congressional media aides confirmed that Wyden’s hydra-like communications hub dwarfs every other Senate press shop. The three-person outfit tasked with cranking out Maryland Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski’s Appropriations Committee missives came in a distant second.

Unlike the Byzantine tax code, Team Wyden is committed to not hiding behind complexity.

“If you can’t figure out who to call for something, or just need help navigating an issue, call me and I’ll get you an answer,” Held pledged.

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