Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 26, 2015

Posts by Bridget Bowman

36 Posts

November 19, 2015

House Staffer Takes Stand in Capitol Arrest Hearing

Eidinger was charged with "unlawful entry," (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Eidinger was charged with unlawful entry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A House staffer took the witness stand in District of Columbia court Thursday, in a case that has raised questions about Capitol Police policy toward protesters.

Outgoing House Oversight and Government Reform staff director Sean McLaughlin testified that he acted in his professional capacity when telling protesters they would be asked to leave if they were disruptive, in a case stemming from an April arrest of D.C. activist Adam Eidinger during a committee markup.

“Generally I’m the person who is in control of the committee room,” McLaughlin, who has worked as staff director for about one year, told the court. Full story

Ethics Committee Defers to DOJ on Pittenger Probe

UNITED STATES - MAY 20: Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C,, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pittenger is under a cloud related to possible ethics violations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:43 p.m. | The House Ethics Committee voted Wednesday to establish an investigative subcommittee to look into allegations that Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., “received compensation for his involvement with a fiduciary business, a real estate investment firm known as Pittenger Land Investments, Inc.” But, at the request of the Justice Department, the committee has recommended the subcommittee defer its investigation. Full story

November 18, 2015

Farenthold Sexual Harassment Case Is Settled Out of Court

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 27: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, October 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Farenthold and Greene have settled their case out of court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The sexual harassment case against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, halted Wednesday because an agreement was reached by the two parties.

The details of the resolution that led to the parties’ suggestion the case be dismissed, which was first reported by the National Law Journal, are unclear. The lawyer for Lauren Greene, the former staffer who alleged harassment and discrimination, and Farenthold’s office, did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday night. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 7:30 p.m.

House Honors Victims of Beirut Bombings

Issa led a moment of silence. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Issa led the moment of silence for the Beirut victims. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House paused Wednesday night to pay tribute to the lives lost at the hands of the Islamic State terror group in Beirut, Lebanon.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stood with members of the US-Lebanese Friendship Caucus, which he chairs, in the Well of the House to lead lawmakers in a moment of silence to honor the 43 victims who were killed when two suicide bombers attacked Beirut on Nov. 12. Full story

November 17, 2015

Paris Attacks Highlight 9/11 Health Care Bill

Sen. Mark S. Kirk was among the lawmakers calling attention to the expired 9/11 health program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk was among the lawmakers calling attention to the expired 9/11 health program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, first responders from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on American soil headed to the Capitol to push Congress to renew their health care programs.

New York firefighters and other first responders joined lawmakers at a Tuesday event calling for the World Trade Center Health Program, which expired on Sept. 30, and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, to be permanently extended. The Paris attacks and other potential attacks on the United States, they contended, demonstrate the need to prove the government is committed to taking care of first responders.

“It’s equally ironic that we sit here now, a few days after Paris had their 9/11, to take care of the folks who responded to ours,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said at the event. “What kind of message does it send to Americans if folks like this have to stand up in front of Congress and beg for health care support?” Full story

Lawmakers Hit Secret Service on ‘Disturbing’ Culture

When the Secret Service circulated Chaffetz's file, it set off alarms with his fellow lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the Secret Service circulated Chaffetz’s file, it set off alarms with his fellow lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Secret Service came under the congressional microscope once again Tuesday, with lawmakers seeking answers about agents who wrongly accessed a fellow congressman’s personnel file.

On Sept. 30, the agency’s inspector general released a report confirming that Secret Service employees accessed and circulated House Oversight and Government Affairs Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s 2003 application for a job at the agency, after Chaffetz’s probe of mishaps at the Secret Service. The incident prompted Homeland Security subcommittees of jurisdiction from the House and Senate to hold a joint hearing.

“The American people deserve answers,” said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency. “As disturbing as this incident is, it is only one example of other instances where Secret Service employees showed very poor judgment and leadership failed to act.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:26 p.m.

November 16, 2015

Ryan Holds Moment of Silence for Victims of Paris Attacks

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan held a moment of silence on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As members of Congress debated on television shows and in news statements how to respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris, they paused Monday night to pay tribute to the victims.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., held a moment of silence on the House floor Monday at around 7 p.m. to honor the victims of the attacks. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 7:22 p.m.
Paul Ryan

November 4, 2015

Howard Coble Dead at 84

Coble in June 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coble in June 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 9:22 a.m. | Republican former Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina died late Tuesday after an extended hospitalization. He was 84. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 8:08 a.m.

October 8, 2015

In Speaker Possibilities, a Lack of Women

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

McMorris Rodgers chairs the GOP Conference. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Look at the list of potential Republican candidates to be the next speaker of the House and one thing becomes clear: It’s male-dominated.

The highest ranking Republican woman, Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is on the list, but not many members will cite her among potential candidates, noting they believe she will not run for the top spot. Full story

‘What the Hell?!’ Mayhem After McCarthy’s Exit (Video)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks to a swarm of reporters following the House GOP conference meeting. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra was about to do an interview with CNN, when the shocking news that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s was taking himself out of the race to become the next speaker broke.

“I was listening though the earpiece, and we were going to talk about the Democratic presidential race. All of the sudden word comes across that the meeting broke up, and that Kevin McCarthy is withdrawing,” said the California Democrat, who was striding through the midday sun, as he walked toward the carriage entrance. Full story

September 23, 2015

Former Rep. Howard Coble in Critical Condition

UNITED STATES - JUNE 12: Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., heads to the Rayburn subway from the House floor following votes on Thursday, June 12, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Coble, pictured here in 2014, is in critical condition.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Howard Coble is in critical condition, breathing with the aid of a ventilator, after complications from a skin cancer surgery, according to a Greensboro, N.C., news report.

A former staffer confirmed that Coble was recently admitted to the hospital for surgery related to skin cancer. From the Fox 8 report:

His nephew said that not long after the procedure, he developed complication with his breathing and was unable to swallow. He was put on a ventilator.

Howard Coble was taken off the ventilator a couple of days ago and started experiencing the same problems, so doctors put him back on it Monday.

Ray Coble said it looks as if his uncle will probably have to have long-term care indefinitely.

Ray Coble said a decision will probably have to be made “within a day or two” whether to give him a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. This will only be done if doctors feel he can tolerate the procedure.

Coble, 84, retired from Congress last year after a 30-year career on Capitol Hill. The North Carolina Republican, known among staffers and lawmakers for his love of madras jackets, was well-respected on both sides of the aisle for his work on the Judiciary Committee. In the later years of his congressional career, Coble chaired the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet as well as the Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law panel.

On the Judiciary Committee, Coble’s legislative work focused on strengthening copyright and patent laws. He also co-founded the Creative Rights Caucus, which works to protect intellectual property.

Before coming to Congress, Coble served in the Korean War and remained a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve for 22 years. Born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1931, Coble graduated with a history degree from Guilford College, later earning a law degree from University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill — despite first expressing an interest in becoming a minister.

One of Coble’s former senior aides, Kirk Bell, who is now the chief of staff for Rules Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas, offered this sentiment: “Howard was a good mentor to many staffers here on Capitol Hill and left an impressive legislative record. More so, he is just a great guy. Our prayers go out to him and his family.”

Coble announced in November 2013 that he would not run for re-election, citing health concerns. In his announcement, the North Carolina Republican said he was proud of his office’s support for the people of his district.

“I think it is important for elected officials to be visible and accessible and, pardon my immodesty, I feel I have lived up to that goal,” he said.


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September 3, 2015

Veteran Pelosi Staffer Heads to Nonprofit

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime House Democratic staffer Jerry Hartz announced Thursday he is leaving the Capitol next week to join a nonprofit supporting democratic governments.

Hartz has served as the director of floor operations for California Rep. Nancy Pelosi for the past 13 years, times spanning her leading of the caucus in the minority to her election as the first woman speaker to back to the minority. As the staffer who helps coordinates votes and member actions on the floor, Pelosi noted his expertise will be missed. Full story

July 10, 2015

House Confederate Flag Battle Not Over

Vargas (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Bill Clark)

Vargas and other House Administration Democrats want action on the resolution referred to their panel. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Bill Clark)

After a long day fighting over the Confederate battle flag, it is unclear where the issue might flare up next for the House of Representatives.

For the second time in less than a month, House Democrats on Thursday sought a floor vote for a resolution to ban Confederate flag imagery on House grounds. Like before, Republicans made sure it was sent to the House Administration Committee to go through “regular order,” rather than an up-or-down vote right then and there.

It might stay there, but not if the committee’s Democrats have anything to say about it. Full story

June 11, 2015

Floor Updates? There’s an App for That (Video)

Hoyer's office launched the new app "Whip Watch." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoyer’s office launched the new app “Whip Watch.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., announced Thursday his office has launched an app that details floor updates and provides insider information on the latest developments.

“Today, I’m proud to announce a new app called ‘Whip Watch’ that will be a great resource for our Members and staff, while also making the House of Representatives more open and accessible to the public,” Hoyer said in a statement. Full story

March 13, 2015

Scalise Asks Marijuana Legalization Question in Email Survey

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As more states consider measures to legalize marijuana, one prominent congressional Republican wants to know what his constituents think about the issue.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., posed the question, “Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level?” to constituents Wednesday. The survey was first reported by Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell, who found the poll embedded on the congressman’s website as part of a Google alert that notifies him when a “.gov” page contains the word “marijuana.” Full story

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