Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 23, 2015

February 4, 2014

Foreign Affairs Committee Crew Coalesces Around Winter Olympics

Members of the usually combative Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday buried the hatchet long enough to rally behind the U.S. Olympic team.

In our opinion, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y., took the gold in terms of expressing his enthusiasm about the upcoming action in Sochi, Russia:

Full story

Today’s Congressional Special: Grasshopper Soup

No word on whether the unsuspecting House staffer who got served an apparently insect-laden cup of soup whilst dining Tuesday in a congressional cafeteria leaped right out of his/her chair. But we’ve got to imagine the meal-time surprise did not sit well.

Today’s Congressional Special: Grasshopper Soup

(Courtesy Cloture Club)

HOH attempted to touch base with the undoubtedly shocked party, but has not yet successfully contacted the individual who fished what certainly looks to be a deceased grasshopper from the depths of a Restaurant Associates-supplied repast. It’s not even clear which eatery dished out the offensive sustenance, as some rumor mongers insist the blame belongs to cooks in the Rayburn, while others maintain that the horror show happened in Longworth’s cafeteria.

Regardless, the phenomenon quickly spilled over onto social media and congressional listserves, as fellow aides shared the gross-out pic across Twitter and the House intranet.

Restaurant Associates did not respond to email queries concerning the suspect lunch offering. The congressional caterer has run up against some interesting issues as of late, including engaging in less-than-appetizing shop talk and brazenly flouting food labeling rules.

Conspiracy Theories Swirl Concerning Fate of Capitol Hill Fox

The sullen-sounding updates began trickling in just as the morning rush hour shifted into high gear.

A few tipsters seemed unwilling to jump to any soul-crushing conclusions, but many feared the absolute worst: The Capitol Hill Fox might have been dispatched to that great, big grassy Capitol complex in the sky.


View Capitol Hill Fox sightings in a larger map

“Bad news. Driving in this morning I passed a recently killed fox on the House 295 exit ramp about 200 yards before the tunnel,” a source shared post-commute.

The death notices snowballed from there, with some spotters left reeling (“Today sucks,” one heartbroken gent declared) while others attempted to rationalize the hurt away.

“I think there is actually a whole family of foxes that live on the East Potomac golf course,” began one starry-eyed optimist, only to come to grips with the CHF’s likely demise midstream by calculating that any Hains Point dwellers were unlikely to “come into the city.”

HOH witnessed the matted mound of blood-stained fur strewn outside the Third Street tunnel while driving into work as well, but was unable to conduct a CSI-style deconstruction due to the briskly flowing traffic.

While never prone to panic, the only rational choices were to accept that the CHF might truly be gone — say it ain’t so, @CapitolHillFox! — or buy into the National Park Service’s preposterous position that there are MULTIPLE foxes living among us.

As the walls of reality continued crashing down around us, HOH began wondering whether foul play may have entered into the equation.

Sure enough, a potential enemies list soon came into sharper focus. Full story

Lorenzo Lamas Mulls Run for Waxman’s Seat

In Heard on the Hill’s ongoing quest to bait as many celebrities as possible into running for the newly opened west Lost Angeles seat in Congress, we got a joking “maybe” from “Falcon Crest”/”Grease” star Lorenzo Lamas:

 

 

For context, Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman announced last week he is retiring from his west Los Angeles-based district. California’s 33rd is unique in that it covers Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu, parts of West Hollywood and a whole handful of other movie star enclaves.

This is the first time since 1974 that the region will see  an open-seat race, and so we spent part of Monday afternoon trolling various movies stars on Twitter to see if they are mulling a run.

This race has the potential to be the greatest House race in the history of the United States, and we don’t want to leave any stone unturned. (For serious coverage of the race, check out our At the Races blog.)

Full story

Mark Warner Ready to Kick Justin Bieber to the Curb

Canadian troublemaker Justin Bieber ought to be thankful Sen. Mark Warner doesn’t have the final word on foreign relations.

Bieber has attracted a lot of heat lately thanks to a string of rather unsavory encounters, including physical altercations, a scrap with a neighbor and, most recently, a high-profile arrest involving driving under the influence in Miami.

When asked Tuesday by the hosts of WNOR’s “Rumble in the Morning” about the status of a populist petition to have the pot-smoking pop star deported (nearly a quarter of a million signatures and counting), the Virginia Democrat hinted that he’d gladly endorse the immigration crackdown.

“As a dad with three daughters, is there someplace I can sign?” Warner quipped.

Warner then doubled down on the deportation stance on social media.

“It’s true: I’m not a #Belieber,” he confessed to the twitterverse.

This marks the second time a local radio show has exposed a rift between the once-vanilla singer and Senate Democrats. The first beef was entirely of the Biebs’ creation, given that the one-time YouTube star threw shade at Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota for her pushback against the illegal streaming of copyrighted material online.

Bieber’s continuing antics have helped cement the case against him that non-fans have made to the administration.

“We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth,” more than 245,000 signatories have asserted via the “We the People” portal.

Of course, he may choose to leave on his own. TMZ insists his substance abuse problems have earned Bieber a top spot on a Homeland Security watch list.

February 3, 2014

Milton Wolf’s Family Feud

Meet Senate hopeful Milton Wolf.

Milton Wolf’s Family Feud

(JM Rieger/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The tea party candidate hoping to knock off longstanding Kansas Republican Pat Roberts this fall is not only not at odds with the parties currently controlling Congress, he’s also at war with his own bloodline.

As Wolf explained to At the Races, the trained physician just happens to be a distant cousin of President Barack Obama.

The two are, admittedly, not all that close:

That’s a tough spot to be in.

And it’s not one that many others appear to be able to relate to.

Progressive problem solver Walter White is clearly stumped by Wolf’s antagonistic attitude: Full story

Radel Gone, but Not Forgotten

Just because ex-Rep. Trey Radel tendered his resignation a week ago, doesn’t mean GOP leaders are ready to let him go just yet.

Radel Gone, but Not Forgotten

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

The embattled freshman lawmaker from Florida, who went from rising star to spectacular flame-out after being busted for possession of cocaine last fall, cast his final vote on Jan. 27.  Yet his name remains enshrined in the roster of active lawmakers on the House Republican Conference’s official website.

Sorry, GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, but your rap lyric quoting, Skymall-reviewing, Vine-making homey is outta here. And he’s not coming back this time.

Capitol Complex Crawling With Critters

First there was Capitol Hill Fox. Then a snowy owl swooped into town.

Now, Capitol possum has come out to play.

Capitol Complex Crawling With Critters

(Courtesy Kevin Barta)

A Twitter spy snapped a pic over the weekend of the white-faced marsupial strolling around the unseasonably warm grounds.

No word on whether the possum and fox may be in league together. But HOH can’t help but wonder what would happen if the two did decide to engage in an all-out turf war.

We already know how CHF treats unsuspecting squirrels.

But, as we’ve gleaned from YouTube, possums do not automatically back down — be their assailants covered in slobber or hot pink vestiments:

Here’s hoping all our feral friends can reach a power-sharing agreement sans unnecessary bloodshed.

Funny Ladies Get Serious About Women’s Rights

Her irreverent “State of the Uterus” address may be in the rearview, but satirist Lizz Winstead is already looking forward to stirring the electoral pot this fall. And she’s got a posse of high profile pals coming along for the ride.

The co-creator of the “Daily Show” most recently yukked it up by having a felt replica of the female reproductive system give conservative lawmakers a thorough tongue lashing for attempting to impose their religious views on women. Her twist on the president’s annual State of the Union speech was the opening salvo in a battle that’s meant to rage on through the upcoming midterm elections.

Having laid the initial groundwork for the “V to Shining V” campaign, Winstead said she intends to turn the Lady Parts Justice portal into an interactive map of places where women’s rights are being threatened by spotlighting eyebrow-raising rulemaking happening in statehouses across the country. Full story

Richard Simmons Will Not Run for Waxman Seat

Not that he was on anyone’s radar in the first place, but fitness guru (and Roll Call favorite) Richard Simmons will not run for Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s west Los Angeles-based House seat.

Responding to a query tweet from this reporter, Simmons wrote back, “I think not lol.”

 

Simmons’ fitness studio, Slimmons, is based in Beverly Hills. Simmons is somewhat active in politics. In the past he has testified on Capitol Hill on childhood obesity and he was a source of hope for discouraged members and staffers during October’s shutdown.

Our loss.

February 2, 2014

Obama’s Olympic Effort | Capitol Quip

 Obamas Olympic Effort | Capitol Quip

What happens when you decide to go it alone, without Congress? President Barack Obama will soon find out, but there’s no reason not to make a few predictions with 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

The Tide Has Turned | Capitol Quip

The Tide Has Turned | 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.

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

January 31, 2014

Veggie Caucus Ready to Rock Meat-Free Week

During most of the year, members of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association must scrounge around for the few, non-animal-born scraps dining purveyors such as Capitol Hill contractor Restaurant Associates sparingly — and sometimes, begrudgingly — dish out to diet-conscious staffers.

Not this week.

D.C.’s fourth annual Meat-Free promotion is taking place from Feb. 3 through Feb. 10. The District-wide celebration of “green” living features daily eating, drinking and networking events for those who adhere to a plant-based lifestyle.

The festivities include: Full story

Angus King Dashes Hopes to QB for Dan Snyder

Angus King Dashes Hopes to QB for Dan Snyder

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Angus King is no Robert Griffin III, and he concedes that backing an effort to strip the NFL of its tax-exempt status will not help that.

“I’ve always wanted to be the quarterback of the Redskins, and this may be the end of that,” King said. “So, there’s high stakes for me.”

King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, has signed on to a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would remove the tax status enjoyed by some professional sports organizations, including the NFL and the PGA.

Full story

Chabot, Holtz Huddle at GOP Retreat

Leave it to Speaker John A. Boehner to bring fellow Ohio Republican Steve Chabot face to face with his past.

Boehner tapped College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz to motivate House Republicans during the group’s retreat in Cambridge, Md. — a pep talk which included a throwback pic of a mutton-chopped Chabot being courted by the then-third-year coach to play ball at the College of William & Mary.

Chabot, Holtz Huddle at GOP Retreat

(Courtesy Team Chabot)

Full story

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