Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 27, 2014

July 15, 2013

Socially Conscious Ice Cream Scoopers Hit Recess DC

Socially Conscious Ice Cream Scoopers Hit Recess DC

(Courtesy Taharka Brothers)

The Baltimore-based ice cream making Taharka Bros. will be serving up socio-politically inspired sweets at Recess DC Tuesday night in the hopes of putting a cherry on top of a Kickstarter campaign geared toward landing them a food truck.

The “Ice Cream for Change” tasting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Recess DC (727 15th St. NW). Admission is free, but promoters are suggesting donations of $20 in order to help the entrepreneurs reach their $28,000 fundraising goal. A donation of $50 entitles guests to open bar access from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Although still a young company, the TB brand already extends beyond Charm City, including standing orders for their signature gourmet ice creams at Eatonville restaurant and the various Busboys and Poets outposts surrounding our area.

TB has also participated in the now-annual DC Scoop competition and plans to face off against fellow frozen treat purveyors later this month.

Full story

Take Five: Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo.

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

This week, Congress’ newest member, freshman Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., talks about life in D.C., farming in Missouri and college football.

Q. Having worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for about a month now, what has been the biggest adjustment for you?

A. How slow everything is working; serving at the state level for eight years in the House of Representatives there, you can usually see light in the tunnel pretty significantly and you can see things moving and getting done quickly, but it seems like everything is moving at a snail’s pace right now.

Q. You spent some time studying in Cambridge while in law school — if you could travel anywhere today, where would you go?

A. I would say Australia. It’s just a country that I’ve never traveled to, and I think it would be a good visit.

Q. You are a fourth-generation farmer — what is your favorite part of your family’s farm?

A. I’m the fourth-generation owner of our family farm. Being a farmer, I think, is pretty significant. … I have a strong interest in agriculture, let’s put it that way. The best thing about the family farm is that it’s been in our family for several generations and just to be out there. … I enjoy listening to the cows more than I do people yelling and griping in Washington, D.C.

Q. Speaking of D.C., what is your favorite part of the city so far in the time you’ve spent here?

A. The history of D.C. Knowing that you’re walking in the same halls that so many other former leaders of our country were walking in, I think that’s pretty significant — definitely the history.

Q. Will your Missouri Tigers bounce back this year in the SEC?

A. Absolutely. I compare the Missouri Tigers to myself, being a graduate of Missouri and being the newest member to Congress, and Mizzou is also the newest member of the SEC. I look at it from the perspective that a lot of people may be underestimating the Tigers, but they’re going to overperform this year.

By JM Rieger Posted at 1:29 p.m.
DC, TakeFive

Leader Reid, It’s Mark Sanchez on Line One

Hey, if Harry Reid can take a gratuitous knock at the University of Southern California football program, HOH can take a gratuitous shot at the New York Jets, amirite?

With that out of the way (sorry, Jets fans), we’ll get to the serious accusations the Senate majority leader launched against Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s alma mater — that they bought players! — which is sort of like that one time Mitt Romney paid an effective zero percent tax rate, except probably a little truer.

The Nevada Democrat spoke Monday morning at the Center for American Progress and made little to no news about the Senate’s filibuster standoff, but he did take a 20-second timeout to flash his sports acumen by making fun of a poor, unassuming intern from USC, who told the majority leader that he was mulling “switching sides” after Reid’s Trojan insults. Full story

After Year on Lam, Lujan Grisham’s Pup Comes Home

A year after her furry-footed friend scampered off into the great unknown, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has again found love — thanks to the good Samaritan who delivered her precious companion, Kiwi, back into her loving arms.

After Year on Lam, Lujan Grishams Pup Comes Home

(Courtesy Michelle Lujan Grisham)

The audacious Shih Tzu first interjected herself into Lujan Grisham’s life back in 2004, scampering into the New Mexico Democrat’s car on a fateful, rainy day. That same free spiritedness may have prompted Kiwi to burrow out of Lujan Grisham’s yard last summer, a breakout the avowed pet lover discovered after her two other dogs freaked out from repeated hot air balloon landings near the Albuquerque home. The great escape happened a mere four days after Lujan Grisham won a spirited primary for the Democratic nomination. Full story

July 14, 2013

Egyptian Spring Is Sprung | Capitol Quip

Egyptian Spring Is Sprung | 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. And check out our past winners on Pinterest.

Nuclear Summer in the Senate | Capitol Quip

Nuclear Summer in the Senate | Capitol Quip

Senators every few years or so take it to the brink over use of the chamber’s delightfully arcane and complicated rules and procedures. Members of the august chamber fret and fume and spit and claw, while the rest of the world tries to figure out what a motion to proceed is.

Let us know how you feel about the Senate’s latest version of the Cuban missile crisis by leaving your caption in the comments section below.

Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and then everyone can vote for the winner until Thursday evening.

The winner gets a signed print from illustrator R.J. Matson.

Looking for inspiration? Check out a lineup of our past winners on Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:30 p.m.
Capitol Quip

July 12, 2013

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Pregnant With Third Child

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers announced today she and husband Brian Rodgers are expecting their third child.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Pregnant With Third Child

McMorris Rodgers is expecting her third child this December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Being a wife and mother have been the most wonderful and blessed experiences in my life.  For some time, Brian and I have hoped we would be able to have another child, so it is with great joy we announce that we are expecting our third in December,” the Washington Republican said in a statement.

McMorris Rodgers, who turned 44 in May, is the only woman to have given birth twice while serving as a member of Congress. She said in her statement she will continue to serve in her leadership position and will seek re-election in 2014.

“Both Cole and Grace were born while I was a member of Congress, so we will continue to balance the challenges of parenting young children and working – just like countless moms and dads all across America,” she said.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:58 p.m.

Who Is ‘Dirty Harry Reid’?


Who Is Dirty Harry Reid?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We don’t think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office has any sway over the folks at “Jeopardy!” But the timing Thursday was just too ironic.

On the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid presented plans to his caucus to change Senate precedent to curtail executive branch filibusters (which we’ve covered extensively over at #WGDB), “Who is Dirty Harry Reid?” made an appearance as a correct response on an episode of the top-rated quiz show program.

That question came in a before-and-after category that required the name of a current senator in each response to a clue. Reid was paired with the iconic Clint Eastwood character. One of the Senate’s other big baseball fans might be happier with the amalgamation involving his name.

The clue: “1970s pitcher whose name precedes a type of arm surgery takes a Senate seat for Arizona.” The correct response: “Who is Tommy John McCain?”

McCain’s Diamondbacks are all too familiar with the procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament. Pitcher Daniel Hudson recently visited Dr. James Andrews for his second Tommy John surgery.

Rohrabacher Spokeswoman Jumps to ‘Real News’

Tara Olivia Setmayer, the long-standing spokeswoman for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., stands poised to leap from behind the scenes directly into the limelight when she joins the ranks of TheBlaze’s New York City-based news team this August.

Setmayer is set to slide into one of the co-host chairs at “Real News,” a weeknight current events roundup show presented by conservative firebrand Glenn Beck.

The Garden State native told HOH she’s excited to begin the next chapter of her career, but she already anticipates a bittersweet pseudo-breakup with D.C.

“I will miss how everyone talks in acronyms no one outside of Washington understands. It’s like our own nerdy political language,” she said of the inside-the-bubble banter that clouds the air in This Town.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 1:16 p.m.
DC, Staffers, TV Land

Congressional Politics, by the Numbers

Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown’s recent outburst — you know, the one during the heated farm bill 2.0 debate where she furiously spat 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s fatalistic campaign calculus back in House Republicans’ faces — got us thinking about the numbers that matter most to Congress these days:

  • 99.98 percent — chances that, no matter what the issue or who threatens to drag their heels, the Senate will skip town by no later than Thursday night
  • 99 percent — outraged members of the Congress-bashing “Occupy” movement
  • 85 percent — chance it will rain in D.C. from now until FOREVER
  • 70 percent — functional support the “gang of eight” believed it needed to browbeat House Republicans into seriously considering its contentious immigration bundle (nice try)
  • 60 percent — minimum support required to even bring up a bill for a Senate vote
  • 51 percent — theoretical vote threshold required to pass a bill in the Senate (almost never happens)
  • 50.1 percent — theoretical vote threshold required to pass a bill in the House
  • 47 percent — part of the electorate GOP standard-bearer Romney infamously wrote off during a secretly taped speech at a private fundraiser
  • 33.33 percent — probability that the congressional hearing/speech/presser you desperately need to watch is on one of the OTHER C-SPAN channels
  • 17 percent — latest congressional job approval rating (per Gallup)
  • 1 percent — the ultra wealthy; presumed beneficiaries of most behind-closed-doors legislative haggling

Tryst Toasts Rickey All Month Long

As we approach the halfway point of one of the stickiest, dampest months in recent memory, it’s good to know that Tryst stands ready to refresh D.C. denizens with a trio of specialty Rickeys.

The iconic cooler — originally fashioned by blending bourbon, ice, fizzy water and a squeeze of lime in an effort to slake the thirst of 19th-century D.C. lobbyist Col. Joseph Rickey — has enjoyed a renaissance as of late. Its gin-based counterpart is faring even better, rising in recent years to become the District’s “native cocktail.”

Tryst in Adams Morgan is celebrating Rickey Month by fielding three twists on the traditional drink:

  • Gin Rhuby ($9): Edinburgh gin, house-made rhubarb-beet juice, Aperol, fresh lime, splash of soda
  • 1700 Park Road ($10): Bulleit bourbon, house-made tamarind puree, Black Strap rum, fresh lime, splash of house-made coconut water soda, halved hazelnut garnish
  • Flanders Soda ($12): Dickle rye, Bulleit bourbon/Edinburgh gin, fresh lime, house-made Flanders soda (forged from Rodenbach Red reduction)

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:47 p.m.
Booze, DC, Restos

A New Beginning for Hill Vegans

Congressional staffers might soon have vegan dining options again.

Members of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association (Veggie Caucus) and the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition agreed Thursday that while there will be no more “Meatless Mondays,” there should be more vegan dining options in congressional cafeterias.

Full story

By JM Rieger Posted at 12:40 p.m.

July 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell’s Grave Warning

It appears that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., firmly believes fiddling with the filibuster rules would be the final nail in the coffin of Nevada Democrat Harry Reid’s career.

Veggie Caucus on a Roll With ‘Healthy on the Hill’ Lunches

More than 120 staffers gathered in the Rayburn House Office Building today for the second “Healthy on the Hill” luncheon, an event aimed at promoting a healthy, plant-based diet.

Co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association, or Veggie Caucus, the event featured a 9-year-old speaker, an outline of dining options around the Hill and 10 recipes, each made in front of the audience.

Veggie Caucus on a Roll With Healthy on the Hill Lunches

PCRM’s Jill Eckart, center, teaches staffers about healthy, vegan food options Thursday, alongside Food for Life Instructor Kara Blank-Gonzalez, left, and PCRM’s Joe Gonzales, right. (JM Rieger/CQ Roll Call)

The luncheon followed calls from vegetarian staffers to bring back “Meatless Monday” after it was shut down by congressional dining operator Restaurant Associates in June. Full story

By JM Rieger Posted at 4:39 p.m.

Teacher Mark Takano is Rough on GOP’s Immigration Paper

Lawmakers just finished bloodying each other over the revamped farm bill.

Teacher Mark Takano is Rough on GOPs Immigration Paper

(Courtesy Mark Takano)

But longtime schoolteacher Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., is already looking forward to the next battle, breaking out his trusty red pen to mark up and grade a “Dear Colleague” letter from House Republicans warning Speaker John A. Boehner to tread carefully on any immigration overhaul.

A Takano aide told HOH the office found the developing missive on a congressional message board and immediately set about analyzing the arguments involved, as well as style points.

Per Team Takano, Republicans have yet to weigh on the California Democrat’s biting critique.

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