Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

October 1, 2013

Freebies Galore for Congressional Castoffs (Updated)

Updated: 4:12 p.m. | That government ID card might be useless around the Capitol today, but plenty of local businesses are rolling out the red carpet to furloughees in need of gastrotherapy:

Art and Soul/415 New Jersey Ave. NW

Happy hour pricing — $4 regional draft beers, $5 appetizers, $7 cocktails and house wines — extended 4-8 p.m. until the shutdown ends. “Show us your government ID this week, and your second HH drink is on us,” a restaurant aide said.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken/1308 G St. NW

One free doughnut with purchase of any doughnut or chicken order for any federal or D.C. government employee with ID.

Bayou Bakery/1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, Va.

Free beignets with any coffee purchase to badge-flashing patrons. Owner David Guas is mulling additional deals and plans to offer something special each day until the shutdown ends.

Boundary Road/414 H St. NE

All-day furlough happy hour deals include $5 local beers, $5 Green Hat gin and tonics and the $7 “Nonessential Combo,” partnering a Narragansett Brewing Co. tall-boy with a shot of Old Overholt rye; no (federal) ID required.

Brasserie Beck/1101 K St. NW

Special two-course meal deal ($20) for all federal and military employees from open to close Tuesday, plus a $2 “Holy Acromonie Punt-e-mes,” featuring Jack Daniels cut with ginger beer and a cherry garnish.

Capitol Lounge/229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Offering one free draft beer to badge-flashing feds, Tuesday only.

Carmine’s/425 Seventh St. NW

Shutdown-inspired “Olive Branch” cocktail — fashioned from Plymouth gin, olives, pickled onions and rosemary — available for $12 a pop.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman suggested that CEO Jeff Bank would happily reserve one of the backrooms for a legislative huddle. “Bank says that deals are made over pasta, so he’s offering any of Carmine’s nine private rooms free to Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama to hammer out an agreement over some spaghetti and meatballs,” the Carmine’s aide shared.

Clyde’s of Georgetown/3236 M St. NW

Tuesday-only shutdown specials include $3 canned beers, $4 drafts of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Starr Hill Pils, $4 Absolut and Maker’s Mark cocktails, $4 fireball and rumchata shots, $5 glasses of Rosemount Shiraz and $10 blue plate specials.

Clyde’s of Chevy Chase/5441 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.

Badge-flashers receive 20 percent off their entire check (lobster special, excluded), Tuesday only.

The Coupe/3415 11th St. NW

Expanded Tuesday-only happy hour (2-8 p.m.) deals include 50-cent Sriracha chicken wings, house made deviled eggs (gravlax, chives, crème fraiche), Surryano ham-wrapped dates stuffed with Marcona almonds and Camembert, roasted corn hush puppies, $3 National Bohemians, $4 rum punch and $5 house wines.

Granville Moore’s/1238 H St. NE

$3 “under pressure” barbecue pork belly bites on special today. $1 Stella Artois for as long as owner Teddy Folkman can swing them.

“We have 10 cases of Stella coming in today. So ’till we run out’ … kinda like the budget,” Folkman told HOH.

Hill Country Barbecue/410 Seventh St. NW

Happy hour drink prices — $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon, $5 well shots and cocktails, $5 margaritas and $20 pitchers of margaritas — in effect for anyone with a government ID until the shutdown ends.

Irish Whiskey Public House/1207 19th St. NW

Happy hour drinks and $1 appetizers available to badge-flashing feds until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Johnny’s Half Shell/400 North Capitol St. NW

Newly minted cocktail “The Furloughed Fortune” — a red, white and blue cooler forged from dry gin, blue curacao, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup — available for $5 from 11:30 a.m. till closing, until the shutdown ends.

Mockingbird Hill/1843 Seventh St. NW

One free glass of sherry poured for badge-flashers from now until Thursday.

Nando’s Peri-Peri

The South African-style chicken joint has prepared a “Boneless Chicken, Spineless Congress” promotion whereby furloughed feds can enjoy a free butterflied chicken breast at any area location. Participants must claim the deal via Nando’s Facebook page and flash a valid ID.

“Members of Congress need not apply,” the restaurant specified in an email blast.

Passion Food Hospitality

All the Passion Food properties (DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana, District Commons, Burger Tap and Shake, Fuego, PassionFish) are in full-time happy hour mode — half-price appetizers, $5 margaritas — until the shutdown ends.

Pork Barrel BBQ/2132 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.

The former Hill staffers behind this smokehouse are looking out for their own by serving up one pulled-pork sandwich, per day, to furloughed employees until the shutdown ends. ”Must have gov ID & EXCLUDES CONGRESSMEN,” the former congressional aides warned the Twittersphere.

Quill Bar and Lounge/1200 16th St. NW

$2 “furlough fries” available at the bar all day; no ID required.

Taqueria Nacional/1409 T St. NW

Daily happy hour deals — $2 margarita or draft beer with the purchase of any two tacos on Mondays, $1 taco with purchase of any margarita or beer on Tuesdays, $9 trio (chips and salsa, one taco, one margarita) are good anytime — extended from 11 a.m. to close, until the shutdown ends.

ThinkFoodGroup

Cheflebrity José Andrés is treating all furloughees to a free sandwich, available 3-5 p.m. daily at any TFG property (Jaleo, Oyamel, Zaytinya) until the shutdown ends. ID required.

Gratis foodstuffs, available for dine in or carryout, include:

Jaleo — Flauta de Jamon Serrano (Barcelona’s bread brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, jamón Serrano, manchego cheese)

Oyamel — Torta Pancita (Spiced “36 hour” Shenandoah pork belly, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, Dijon mayonnaise)

Zaytinya — Chicken Schwarma (garlic-lemon marinated chicken, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, lavash bread with garlic sauce)

Urbana/2121 P St. NW

Progressive happy hour — usually in effect 4-7 p.m.; one extra hour will be tacked onto the tail end each night (so, 4-8 p.m. tonight, 4-9 p.m. Wednesday) — resetting every Monday, until the shutdown ends. Expect $1 oysters (served by the half- and full dozen), $5 bar snacks, $6 Absolut mixed drinks, $6 house wines and $7 specialty cocktails.

September 30, 2013

Hospitality Spots Offer Respite to Shutdown Victims

No one, particularly those who work in a town where oversized egos are more prevalent than America flag lapel pins, wants to think of himself as being non-essential.

Hospitality Spots Offer Respite to Shutdown Victims

(Courtesy Sprinkles Cupcakes)

The good news is, even if you awaken Tuesday only to discover you are not the lifeblood of the federal government, the local restaurant scene wants to make sure that, at the very least, you won’t starve to death.

Sprinkles Cupcakes (3015 M St. NW) will treat federal employees who flash a government ID to one free gourmet cupcake (any flavor) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Chainlet Z-Burger is going bigger, pledging one free burger (plain, cheese or bacon-topped) for badge-flashing feds — and D.C. government aides — at lunch (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and dinner (5-7 p.m.) at any of its four locations for the duration of any shutdown.

Need something a little stronger?

Port City Brewing Co. is shaving 20 percent off draft pints and growler fills of the Essential Pale Ale for those who trek out to the Alexandria, Va., (3950 Wheeler Ave.) tasting room; no staff ID required. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:16 p.m.
Booze, Food, Restos, Staffers

Jared Polis’ Green Eggs and Slam

Monday is the deadline day for third quarter fundraising — and over the past several days, House and Senate campaigns and committees flooded inboxes with donor solicitations.

Most are boring and banal sources of manufactured outrage. But we spotted a true diamond in the rough.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., emailed his supporter list Sunday with a poem mocking Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor last week.

“No, I do not like Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham,” Polis wrote. “And shutting down government without giving a damn, // No I do not like it, I do not like it, // I do not like it, patriot I am.”

He scores extra points for his rhyming prowess: “I will not insure your child with asthma // I will not insure your disorder of plasma.”

Polis is not in a competitive district, but he is the national chairman for candidates services at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Shutdown Kills Dog, Panda Shows

With neither chamber looking like it’ll blink ahead of a government-wide shutdown, animal lovers all over town are bracing for a cold and heartless world devoid of cute and fuzzy moments.

Shutdown Kills Dog, Panda Shows

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

Lawmakers hoping to convince Amtrak to allow household pets to travel on its passenger trains were scheduled to plead their case Wednesday morning outside Union Station. But the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council shelved the animal-friendly photo op due to logistical uncertainty.

“The location of our press conference, Columbus Plaza, is administered by the National Park Service and we have been informed that in the event of a shutdown, all permits for special events are canceled. Given that possibility and the fact that we have participants coming in from out of town, we didn’t want to wait until the last minute to make our decision,” Mike Bober, PIJAC vice president of government affairs told HOH.

Meanwhile, the National Zoo alerted fans that a shutdown would force it to pull the plug on the dozen-plus animal cams that provide a real-time peek at the activities of assorted critters — including the newly arrived Sumatran tiger cubs feed, and D.C.’s most cherished bandwidth-suck, the Giant Panda Cam — until further notice.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:38 p.m.
Critters, DC

Al Franken Rocks Paul Simon Connection

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is dangling a major-league get in front of those who might be on the fence about giving to his re-election campaign: an intimate evening with award-winning musician Paul Simon.

Al Franken Rocks Paul Simon Connection

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Franken bills the semi-secret show — his famously media averse press office declined to tell HOH anything about the upcoming performance, scheduled to take place somewhere in D.C. on Friday  — as the “Best Concert Ever” on his campaign site.

Potential attendees are, of course, invited to contribute anywhere from $5 to $2,600 for the chance to huddle with the activist crooner (estimated value of prize: $3,000), but no money need change hands to actually enter. All entries must be received by 11:59 tonight.

“Sen. Franken has known Paul Simon for 38 years (he was one of the hosts the first season of “Saturday Night Live”) and they have kept in touch ever since,” was all a Franken aide would say of the boss’s relationship with the celebrated singer. The duo could certainly have a long and illustrious history together, given that Simon appeared on SNL, either as host or as the featured musical act, at least nine times during Franken’s roughly 15 years on the show.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:38 p.m.
Celebs, DC, Sens

Take Five: Rep. Janice Hahn

Take Five: Rep. Janice Hahn

Hahn hangs out with her grandchildren before the Congressional Women’s Softball Game in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

This week, Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., talks about her dad, the grandkids and her favorite D.C. eats.

Q. I read that your father [former LA County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn] was the only public official from the city to show up at the Los Angeles airport to welcome Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1962. What do you remember about that?

A. I was not with him, but I do remember when he came home that evening he talked about the time that he spent alone with Dr. King. My dad picked him up from the airport and drove him around Compton because he wanted Dr. King to see the African-American community in LA, and then he took him to this office and gave him a cup of coffee. When my dad came home that night, he spoke about Dr. King’s hope for America and what he hoped his children would be able to experience one day. When Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, my dad always thought he heard it first.

Q. You have five grandchildren. How often do you get to see them?
A. Well, two live in Bend, Ore., and three are in Colorado. I see them as much as I can. The three from Colorado were here when I was inaugurated, then they came again when I played in the Congressional Softball Game recently, saying, “Go Mimi!” My 7-year-old Brooklyn wanted to celebrate her birthday with cupcakes in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
Q. You raised three children as a single mother. What misconceptions do you believe the public has about single parents?
A. I think more and more people are single parents. I think there’s less misconception about it because it’s really kind of the new norm. Vice President Joe R. Biden Jr. was a single parent after the death of his wife. I know more and more single parents.
Q. You’ve been a congresswoman for two years now. How would you describe the city of Washington to someone who has never visited or lived here?

A. It’s on a swamp. [She laughs.] I tell everyone what a beautiful, historic, fascinating city this is. I am reminded of that every time I fly in from LA, when I catch my first glimpse of the Washington Monument or our nation’s Capitol. Every summer, when you see all the families who come here to tour this great city, the history really speaks for itself. I’m always inviting my friends from California to visit me. The weather is a little challenging, though.

Q. What’s your guilty pleasure eatery in D.C.?
A. Acqua al 2 at Eastern Market. It’s got wonderful Italian food and then across the street from that is a gelato place [Pitango]. Those are probably my two favorites.

Yoder Expecting First Child in November

The Yoder household dynamic will change very soon. Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and his wife, Brooke, who have no pets or children, are expecting a baby girl in early November.

“I’m 37, Brooke is 38, and we’ve had the opportunity to do some great things, and this is one of the things we were missing from our lives, so we’re very, very excited about opening this new chapter,” Yoder told HOH. “It’s just such a joyous moment, and to be a father to a baby girl is just really, really cool.”

Yoder said he is excited to be a father and has consulted with members and friends about the challenges and blessings to expect.

“It’s something we always wanted to do, and something we’ve always wanted to be able to do, but the timing never worked out, and we were waiting for the Lord’s blessing to give us this chance,” Yoder said. “I talk to people every day who tell me that it is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your life, but it is also the greatest thing you’ll ever do in your life, and it changes what it means to be happy and what you enjoy. Some members have three, four, five kids, or more, and so I’ve certainly spoken with my colleagues about the value of making sure you leave time, you make sure that you put family first and ensure that you carve out time in your schedule.”

In addition to painting and preparing the baby’s room, Yoder said Brooke’s mom will help out once the baby is born. Despite these preparations, the Yoders are still deciding on a name.

“We do not have a name picked out,” Yoder said. “We’ve been tossing around some family names and we have a book here that’s got 60,000 names in it. The name you pick has a big impact on the identity the child takes on, and so we’ve been really kind of debating it, and I guess ultimately Brooke’s vote carries the most weight around here.”

Fellow Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio is also expecting his first child in November, and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., welcomed a child in April. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., had her first child in July and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s third child is due in December.

Yoder said nothing compares to the joy of a newborn.

“Politically I’ve had a chance to serve in one of the greatest deliberative bodies in the history of the world. I get a chance to represent a wonderful community, I’ve had great health, a wonderful life, but I don’t think anything compares to the joy of bringing your first baby into the world,” Yoder said. “I think it will make even more tangible the importance of some of the tough decision we’re having in Washington.”

By JM Rieger Posted at 1:46 p.m.
Freshman, HillSide, Kiddies, Reps

September 29, 2013

Play That Funky Filibuster, Congress Boy | Capitol Quip

Play That Funky Filibuster, Congress Boy | Capitol Quip

If there is one thing Congress does somewhat well, it’s theatrics disguised as debate. In the midst of the usual end-of-year milieu, there has been even more showboating than normal, particularly on the Senate floor. Which brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section of our Heard on the Hill blog. 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

All Over but the Cruzin’ | Capitol Quip

All Over but the Cruzin | Capitol Quip

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.

September 27, 2013

Kyle All Smiles With Birth of Smallest Politics Reporter

Kyle All Smiles With Birth of Smallest Politics Reporter

Michaela Rayne Trygstad was born Friday afternoon. (Courtesy Kyle Trygstad)

Roll Call politics reporter Kyle Trygstad announced the birth of his first child, Michaela Rayne Trygstad, on Friday afternoon.

“Mom and baby are doing wonderfully,” Trygstad, who covers Senate races, said in an email just a couple of hours after his daughter was born at 3:07 p.m.

“She’s born into a proud journalism tradition with grandpa Carl Cannon and great grandpa Lou Cannon,” Trygstad added.

Michaela clocked in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces, and is 21 inches tall. Trygstad’s wife, Kelly, was almost named Michaela, and the couple loved the name.

She arrived approximately one week late — ironic for Trygstad, who has not missed a deadline in years.

Pound for Pound, Mark Udall Is a Twitter Beast

Sure, he may be lagging behind social-media darlings Sen. Marco “Watergate” Rubio, R-Fla., and GOP filibuster twins Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas — each boasting about 436,000 followers, 250,000 followers and 161,000 followers, respectively — in terms of online adulation.

But Colorado Democrat Mark Udall proved Friday that he knows how to cram a whole lotta attention-getters into 140 characters:

Whereas most pols appear satisfied with sneaking one, two or, every once in a blue moon, a trio of hashtag threads into their average Twitter missive, Udall managed to shoehorn in an unprecedented half-dozen potentially trending topics into his denunciation of a potential government shutdown.

#wellplayedsir

GOP Gets In on ‘Breaking Bad’ Mania With ‘Breaking Dems’

Perhaps it is a good time for AMC’s “Breaking Bad” to wrap things up. Once politics gets a hold of you, it’s only a matter of time before you jump the shark, and the story of chemistry-teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White has assiduously amped up the pressure, avoiding the shark-infested pop Rubicon so far.

Case in point? The National Republican Congressional Committee has started selling its “Breaking Dems” poster, a riff on the Emmy-award winning show that spells out its targets for the 2014 cycle:

Godspeed, Breaking Bad! Stay away from the water!

Satirist Suspects Government Shutdown Is Only the Beginning

The way Mark Fiore sees it, the multifaceted GOP push to grind the government to an absolute halt is but a speed bump en route to its ultimate goal: total annihilation.

Republican Doomsday Cult from MarkFiore on Vimeo.

In his latest animation, “Republican Doomsday Cult” — during which the narrator explains, “We must cut everything. Lest the devil of compromise returns” — the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist posits that Republicans John A. Boehner of Ohio, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas are deliberately leading the entire country toward certain destruction.

“When you have the Republican Speaker of the House threatening a national default, food stamps being slashed while farm subsidies are increased and an attempt to defund a program that has been in existence for four years, things have gone to crazy-land,” Fiore argues on his personal blog. Full story

Archivist Gadfly Aims to Keep Ex-Presidents Honest

Dogged researcher Anthony Clark wants to peel back the curtain on what he believes might be the most blatantly revisionist outlets to ever operate on the taxpayers’ dime: presidential libraries.

Archivist Gadfly Aims to Keep Ex Presidents Honest

(Screenshot)

His forthcoming exposé, “The Last Campaign,” delves into the secretive world of how former presidents and their privately funded foundations put the happiest face possible on all that they accomplished, while also striving to sweep any negativity under the rug.

According to Clark, most modern presidential foundations — and, by extension, the monolithic showplaces they spawn — have abandoned any semblance of being merely academic, assuming more of an activist role in rehabilitating their namesakes’ legacies.

Full story

Liberals Riff on Ted Cruz’s Rhymes

Liberals Riff on Ted Cruzs Rhymes

(Screenshot)

Say what you will about what some may regard as the GOP’s historical disdain for the arts, but Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has inspired the left to read more, pen its own political poetry and even canvass constituents in verse.

Cruz threw open the creative floodgates by channeling Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, during his 21-hour, non-filibuster of President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul.

His reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” — a parable about fearing the unknown only to later grow to love the new experience — may have fallen on deaf ears in the Senate, but resonated with critics elsewhere.

Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley did a little storytelling of his own, warning House members against the dangers of obstructionism. Full story

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