Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2015

June 4, 2014

Conservative Confab Kinda-Sorta Psyched for Christie

To the untrained observer, it may look like this in-flux Faith & Freedom Coalition news release is attempting to put on as happy a face as possible about having to settle for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at its conference, instead of nabbing the headline-grabbing Benham Brothers the event promoters clearly had their little hearts set on.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Not so, publicist Dave Mohel assured HOH.

Full story

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly will be immortalized as a bike trail this Saturday, effectively cementing his place in regional history for a good long while.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Virginia Democrat is poised to see his name added to the Cross County Trail on Saturday at 10 a.m., during a ceremony at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton, Va.

The official renaming comes some 15 years after local leaders first dreamed of piecing together the 40-mile stretch of recreational roadway, a project that Connolly, during his tenure as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, helped make a reality.

(Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority)

(Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority)

“He already is informally considered by many to be the ‘father’ of the CCT, and this trail naming is a well-deserved tribute to Mr. Connolly for his dedication and support of the Fairfax County Park Authority,” board members wrote last summer, in a report endorsing the name swap.

This cycling enthusiast is very familiar with the rolling terrain destined to bear Connolly’s brand into perpetuity; I even plotted a few choice spots to grab a bite along the way a few years back.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:57 a.m.
Food, Reps

June 3, 2014

Anatomy of a Steve King Tweet

Rep. Steve King took to the Twittersphere Tuesday to denounce the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials detained at Guantánamo Bay, asserting that the Obama administration and Bergdahl were working for al-Qaida.

To understand and appreciate the Iowa Republican’s tweet, you have to break down all the subtle complexities, all the puzzle pieces that King rammed together.

 

He begins with a hashtag. And not a common one. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:58 p.m.
Drama, FightingWords

Kids Sway the Darndest Things

“A 4-year-old ‘lobbyist’ just handed this to me in Dirksen,” a colleague relayed via email after crossing paths with the pint-sized influence peddler over in the Senate office buildings.

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

The combative sentiment stamped across the narrow strip of campaign literature is the latest rallying cry adopted by the left-leaning ladies behind the MomsRising movement. Group members are on Capitol Hill today beating the drum for U.S. Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

Senate’s Common Sense Coalition Convenes at nopa

A tripartisan group of Senate lawmakers retreated to the relative safety of Penn Quarter Monday night, gathering around the table for a working dinner at nopa Kitchen + Bar.

Out tipster counted 10 participants in all, a roster that included: Common Sense Coalition organizers Mark Warner, D-Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, along with Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va.; Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Angus King, I-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.

Did they need to clear the air about the administration’s proposed crackdown on carbon emissions?

Were they giving each other friendly odds on which leader might crack first during today’s campaign finance rumble?

Or was last night all about consoling Manchin after seeing his beloved pepperoni rolls bounced from the Taste of America brackets? Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:51 p.m.
DC, Food, Restos, Sens

June 2, 2014

Chris McDaniel Mississippi Voters Finding … Kentucky

Which McDaniel is it? This photo was taken in Kentucky over the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Which McDaniel is it? This photo was taken in Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He’s a young, conservative, Republican state senator from the South named Chris McDaniel.

No, not the one hoping to topple Sen. Thad Cochran in Tuesday’s Mississippi Republican primary.

This guy is a Kentucky legislator elected in 2012. And thanks to the other guy’s insurgent candidacy and a case of mistaken identity, this state lawmaker has been hearing from voters through just about every medium — calls, emails, Twitter messages, Facebook and even snail mail.

Full story

Adam Schiff Embraces Rigors of AIDS/LifeCycle Ride

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., appears to be reveling in the week-long cycling challenge he started on June 1, sharing highlights from the rolling landscapes he’s furiously pedaling across with his web flock.

The seasoned marathoner swapped his well-worn kicks for unfamiliar wheels (Bang-up job, FedEx!) in order to take part in the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle trek, an annual fundraiser benefiting the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. Schiff has completed a handful of running challenges over the past four years, but previously alerted HOH that, prior to Sunday, the furthest his limbs had ever carried him was 65-miles at a time.

Per his Instragram feed, Schiff blasted right through that benchmark on day one of the LifeCycle adventure, spinning some 80-odd miles during the first leg of the trip.

“Over to the coast and down the Pacific Highway, through Half Moon Bay and on to Santa Cruz in some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere. Rolling hills over rugged coastline, just gorgeous,” Schiff shared online.  The budding century rider shrugged off the pre-dawn start (“Up at 3:30 a.m.,” he nonchalantly mentioned) and was oddly excited about pushing himself 33 percent harder Monday (scheduled distance: 108 miles) than he’d ever attempted.

The jaw-dropping scenery unspooling before him must be quite the motivator.

Though it sounds like Schiff’s also soaring high on a combination of stress-busting endorphins and life-changing camaraderie.

“The best part of the ride, in addition to the great views, are the great riders and roadies,” he asserts on social media. “Very entertaining crowd, let me tell you.”

Glenn ‘Mr. One Minute’ Thompson Conquers C-SPAN

Rep. Glenn Thompson is done toiling behind the scenes. The Pennsylvania Republican has somewhat quietly, yet rather effectively, managed to topple two of his chattiest colleagues in the race to total C-SPAN dominance.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Granted, it’s only June, so there’s still plenty of time for other talking heads to get their rhetorical swerve on.

But Thompson appears to have the dedication, discipline and time-management skills required to carry him across the “Hey, Isn’t That …” finish line by popping up on must-D.C. TV more than anyone else this year.

As (only) C-SPAN junkies can attest, Thompson seemingly came out of nowhere over the past 18 months, knocking off perennial camera hogs Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, by amassing 155 onscreen appearances to their 136 and 124, respectively.

Full story

Taste of America Defending Champ Eliminated, Field Is Wide Open

Robert Schwalbach, right, chief of staff for Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands, talks with chef Spike Mendelsohn after the Northern Marina Islands team won the Roll Call "A Taste of America" contest. Mendelsohn holds the winning entry, an Apigigi, at We, the Pizza, his establishment on Capitol Hill where the winners were announced in 2011.

What’s an apigigi? As pictured here in 2011, it’s a Taste of America winner that went on to be stifled the next year. Competition is fierce. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

With last year’s champion out of the Taste of America competition, the field is wide open for a new dish to be crowned the best food in America.

So which state’s specialty will be this year’s Cinderella story? That remains to be seen as round 3 is currently underway and is set to end Friday.

The bracket-style tournament occurs alongside the 53rd Annual Congressional Baseball Game and pits state delicacies against one another, giving voters the opportunity to choose which dish will come out on top. Full story

June 1, 2014

Who’s Driving This Congress? | Capitol Quip

 CapitolQuip-06-02-14.jpg

Google is making some headway on developing driverless cars. Now, if they can take some of that technology and know-how and apply it to Congress …

That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

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

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

A Burr Under the VA’s Saddle | Capitol Quip

 CapitolQuip-05-26-14-Final.jpg

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

May 30, 2014

Jose Canseco Swings for the OPM Fences

Former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco is done with being just Twitter famous. He wants into the big show.

 

The all-star slugger turned reality TV go-to dusted off his #yeswecanseco slogan Friday — you know, the one he used during his short-lived bid to unseat embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — in order to lobby President Barack Obama for exiting White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s post.

Canseco’s Twinterview was short, but quite telling.

He provided insights into his:

Management skills

 

Full story

Ralph Hall Loves Making the Rounds

A House GOP aide said her boss was pleasantly surprised to spot one seemingly unflappable early bird buzzing about 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Friday morning: Rep. Ralph M. Hall.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to our tipster, the bright eyed and bushy tailed Texas Republican, who was edged out of office Tuesday by primary challenger John Ratcliffe, was busy showing constituents around the White House before 8 a.m. (which is WAY earlier than some gossip columnists roll out of bed).

Our spy said the boss didn’t recall bumping into the nonagenarian lawmaker all that often around the Oval Office.

“He’s not among the ‘regular’ members that my boss will run into for WH tours,” the aide suggested, listing Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and John Shimkus, R-Ill., as the most familiar faces to her employer. “My boss was more just impressed with the good action given the week he’s [Hall] had.”

Per Team Hall, it’s just business as usual.

“Rep. Hall enjoys spending time with constituents visiting D.C. and accompanies constituents to the White House whenever possible,” spokeswoman Adrienne Rimmer said of the four person group Hall showed around this morning. That reservation actually came in Tuesday morning, Rimmer specified, adding that the office confirmed the visit Wednesday.

And Hall, apparently, has no plans to stop giving his supporters a peek inside official Washington.

According to Rimmer, the office calendar is rapidly filling up with tour requests — 15 confirmed, 46 pending and four still being vetted, all for June — and the summer’s only just begun.

“He [Hall] enjoys serving 4th District constituents and will be working just as hard on their behalf the next six months as he has during the past 33 years,” she asserted.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:17 p.m.
Baller, DC, Reps

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of May 26 (Video)

It may have been a short work week, but members still found the time to discuss the pros and cons of pets using pot, their relations to Mark Wahlberg and the lifespan of Twinkies.

Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marathon enthusiast and Rep. Adam B. Schiff is switching sports this weekend to help support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He’s scheduled to hop into the saddle Sunday for the AIDS/LifeCycle ride — a weeklong trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“That is gonna be a long ride,” he said of the 545-mile trek he’s hoping to power through from June 1-7.

The California Democrat is no slouch. He’s completed endurance races staged in the District, Philadelphia, New York City and Malibu, Calif., over the past few years.

But Schiff noted that he typically does Olympic length triathlons; the predetermined biking portions in those particular contests top out at around 25 miles.

He’ll need to crank out around 80 miles a day to keep pace with the LifeCycle crew. And he said the longest ride he’s been on to date was the 65-miler he knocked out last weekend.

“It felt pretty good. But it was hard,” Schiff said of the first metric century he got under his belt.  Full story

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