Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

January 21, 2014

Santorum, Duggars to Double Team 2014 March for Life

Updated 1:55 p.m. | 2012 presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will be back in Washington on Wednesday to rally the faithful — including assorted members of the ever-expanding Duggar clan — during the 41st annual March for Life.

Jim Bob Duggar, the most procreatingest patriarch on TLC, is expected to join Team Santorum for a meet-and-greet with Patriot Voices, the political action group founded by the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania. The pre-march confab, now in its second year, is scheduled to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Ave. NW).

Josh Duggar, the Arkansas ex-pat who relocated to the D.C. area last year to become executive director of the Family Research Council’s Action arm, is also expected to participate in the event at the Hyatt. Full story

January 20, 2014

Howard Dean Pokes Fun at ‘Dean Scream’

It’s rare that a public figure can poke fun at himself. Rarer still to do so as a means of political fundraising. But former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean did just that, using the 10th anniversary of his full bull-goose looney “Yeeaarrgghh” speech after falling short in the Iowa caucuses to plug Democracy for America, the successor of his Dean for America organization.

(Courtesy Democracy for America)

(Courtesy Democracy for America)

The ask, in emailed form, even provides the text of the Dean Scream:

“It’s hard to believe it was ten years ago tonight. On this day a decade ago — January 19, 2004 — I gave one of the most famous speeches in the history of American politics. Or perhaps “infamous” would be more accurate.

I’m guessing you might remember the climactic moment of that night, as I enthusiastically rallied my presidential campaign supporters in the aftermath of a disappointing finish in the Iowa Caucus:

‘Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico! And we’re going to California and Texas and New York! And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House!


While the ‘Dean Scream’ became fodder for late night comedians, including a hilarious version by Dave Chappelle I still laugh about, I also feel very proud of the state-by-state preamble to my unforgettable rallying cry. Because, when I said we were heading to New Hampshire and South Carolina and Oklahoma… and to Washington, DC to take back the White House… it turns out I wasn’t kidding.”

Dean goes on to say this was kinda sorta the start of the 50-state strategy he hung his hat on as DNC chairman, a position he was elected to in 2005. The next year, Democrats retook the House and Senate, and in 2008, the White House.

But let’s give it to Dean. Most solicitations for political money are either painfully earnest or a bit of a snoozer. He had the moxie to take one of the most cringe-worthy moments in American politics and OWN it.

And, for what it’s worth, here’s the Chappelle skit:


January 19, 2014

Who’s Driving The Bus? | Capitol Quip


Despite the partisan gridlock of the past few years, as well as the opposition of conservatives, the recent $1 trillion-plus omnibus appropriations bill sailed through Congress. What happened? This 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

Clearing Out The Cupboard | 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 17, 2014

Capitol Hill Fox: Our Once and Future King

We’re not ready to plunge into a Whovian wormhole and declare that the Capitol Hill Fox has been around for centuries. But stunning new evidence could send others spiraling.

The Architect of the Capitol’s unearthing of a faded photo of a man cradling a fox in front of the Capitol back in 1919 is just the latest piece of the mind-scrambling puzzle that is the CHF.

There are some who believe the red-haired rascal may be new in town. Administration types suspect the CHF is not working alone.

And still others are totally confused about the seemingly misdirected media worship. Full story

Exit Interview: Philip Minardi

With just hours to go before he officially cuts ties with Congress, GOP aide Philip Minardi took a little time to reflect on the rollercoaster ride that is working on Capitol Hill.

The House flack, who most recently handled press for Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., will be juggling communications duties for the Travel Technology Association starting Monday.

Minardi told HOH there are a number of things he’ll miss about working on the Hill. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 13 (Video)

Members speak Spanglish, salute landlords and remind us that calcium is in fact part of a nutritious diet in this week’s Congressional Hits and Misses.

January 16, 2014

Bill Frist’s Plane Trip Was in the Toilet

(CQ Roll Call archives)

(CQ Roll Call archives)

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did not feel he got the first-class treatment he deserved from United Airlines after a parade of passengers noisily purged their systems in his immediate earshot.



The Tennessee Republican was bummed right off the bat. Full story

Georgia Farmers Are Just Nuts About Saxby Chambliss

Peanut producers in the Peach State want to help draw Sen. Saxby Chambliss out of his shell.

The second-term Georgia Republican on Thursday become only the fifth inductee into the Peanut Hall of Fame, an elite club — “Induction in the Peanut Hall of Fame is the highest recognition one can receive from the growers in the state of Georgia,” the congratulatory press release asserts — created by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Previous honorees include President Jimmy Carter and the late Sen. Herman Talmadge, D-Ga.

The trade group hailed Chambliss’ leadership as a former chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, effectively commending him for never cracking during farm bill negotiations. Full story

Hill Salon Offers Free Services This Sunday

(Courtesy Cole Stevens Salon)

(Courtesy Cole Stevens Salon)

Beauty maven Diane Stevens is celebrating her two-year anniversary on Capitol Hill by offering free trims, basic stylings and hair therapy treatments on Jan. 19 as part of her “First 100 Weeks Neighborhood Meetup.”

The complimentary sessions at Cole Stevens Salon (1210 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) will be available — reservation requests should be directed to: — between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

In addition to serving Continental breakfast, the salon is treating guests to:

  • A complimentary haircut for men or women (including consultation, shampoo, cut and basic styling. Additional charge for complete flat ironing); or,
  • A complimentary intensive treatment (to hydrate, repair, restore your scalp and nurture your hair to health)

New clients can also avail themselves of a special introductory offer featuring a custom cut and highlights for women ($149). “They will be as bold or conservative as you want,” a salon spokeswoman suggested.

Cole Stevens Salon: 1210 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-547-4444;

January 15, 2014

Five Quips in the Cupboard | Capitol Quip


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:

  • They went to the PACs, To raise them some bread;
    When they came back, The lesser off were dead!
  • C’Mon, throw us a bone.
  • It’s time to teach you to beg.
  • Good thing I got my pay raise before this happened.
  • Empty stomachs, sure, but at least our pockets are lined.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Sunday 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 6:41 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Party’s Over for Jim Moran

Democratic Rep. James P. Moran is not just through with Congress. He’s done with fundraising, it seems.

On Wednesday afternoon, political donors received an emailed heads-up that an upcoming Moran fundraiser was kaput.

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 3.36.36 PM

Said fundraiser was set to take place on Jan. 24 at Art & Soul restaurant.

It was to be a luncheon with “suggested contributions” ranging from $500 to $2,500 that would have gone toward the Moran for Congress campaign.

The Carper and Coburn Travel Agency | Madisonville

Some causes look so doomed that all you can do is sit back and admire the pointlessness. So it felt Tuesday, when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee looked for ways to make sure government employees aren’t wasting money on travel and conferences. As anyone who’s ever packed a bag knows, the value of a trip or conference is only clear after it’s over.

Madisonville-Logo(185x185)Changing the wasteful-spending-on-travel-and-conferences culture in government is like changing an aircraft engine during the flight, said Chairman Thomas R. Carper of Delaware. Carper didn’t mean it that way, but that’s about as good an illustration of pointlessness as you’re likely to find.

Ranking member Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said that as a physician, he used to attend conferences. About half of them were good ones and about half weren’t, he said. If even penny-pinching Citizen Coburn can spend his own money wisely only half the time, what chance does the government have?

Not that the two senators weren’t helpful.

Carper, for example, told two administration officials they could save money by booking travel after 6 p.m. And Coburn wondered whether they’d ever used to avoid booking charges. Carper helpfully noted that the sooner they book their trips, the less they cost.

The Delaware Democrat also told them that if a conference is financially justifiable in a given location, it should be held there even if the place is desirable. This could mean government agencies are so spooked by bad publicity that they’re ordering their employees off to Buffalo, N.Y., for conferences or it could mean that Carper’s home-state office isn’t being entirely truthful to him about why nobody is going to Wilmington, Del. Full story

Welcome Back, You Crazy Kids!

The second session of the 113th Congress is now fully under way.

And while we’re happy for the steady stream of fresh content, the truth is, it is an election year. So who knows how much time we have with the following striking personalities once the legislative wheels come careening off.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Folk hero? Conniving villain? Canadian?



We prefer to think of Cruz as the Senate’s wildest card. Full story

Overheard: Klobuchar Quizzes Law School Profs

“I first want to note for the record that two of the witnesses were my law professors. Professor Stone taught evidence and Professor Sunstein was my administrative law professor. And they both were fans of the Socratic method, so this is my revenge.”

— Sen. Amy Klobuchar prepares to put the screws to her past during a serendipitous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

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