Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

Posts by Jason Dick

16 Posts

November 20, 2015

In the House, Personal Debates on Refugees

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., speaks with a reporter outside of the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amash has family ties to the Middle East. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House debate on refugees and national security this week took a turn for the personal and for good reason: Several members are refugees or the children of refugees, have family ties to the Middle East or were imprisoned in U.S. internment camps on the basis of their ethnicity.

After the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans drafted legislation requiring the FBI to certify background checks for U.S.-bound Syrian and Iraqi refugees and U.S. national security agencies to vouch that they are not security threats. The final vote in the House on Thursday was 289-137, a veto-proof margin. Full story

November 1, 2015

Gutiérrez: Immigration Letter Buries GOP’s Chances for 2016

Gutierrez thinks Republicans are about to step in it thanks to Brooks' letter. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Gutiérrez thinks Republicans are about to step in it thanks to Brooks’ letter. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a little more than a year out from Election Day, but Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez has already made plans, and he’s thanking his Republican colleagues for helping set the schedule.

“I’ve got arrangements for early the Wednesday after the election to really have a great celebration in 2016, and I know I can buy those airline tickets and make those hotel reservations and that I’m going to be very, very happy, because I’m going to be well rested, because it’s going to be a very early night,” the Illinois Democrat said as members were heading out of town on Oct. 29. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 9 a.m.

October 8, 2015

With No Plan, Republicans Sputter Over What’s Next (Video)

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks beside House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. McCarthy is reinforcing to Republicans that he can keep them united, despite conservatives trying to move their party to the right after Boehner's sudden resignation. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The futures for McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, center, and Boehner are suddenly in flux. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was that rarest of spectacles: politicians at a loss for words.

As Republicans left their conference meeting shortly after noon Thursday, with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy bowing out of the race for the speakership, his party colleagues had no talking points, no direction on what was next. Full story

September 18, 2015

Catholic Congressman Explains Boycott of Pope’s Address

Gosar  has some ideas about what the Pope should talk about. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gosar has some ideas about what the pope should talk about. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a self-described “proud Catholic,” is skipping the pope’s address to Congress next week, begging off because he hears Francis is going to discuss issues he doesn’t agree with.

In an op-ed on titled, “Why I am Boycotting the Pope Francis’ Address to Congress,” Gosar says if the pontiff were going to discuss a long list of Gosar’s priorities, including religious freedom, terrorism and abortion, “I would be the first in line.” But, the congressman says because media reports indicate Francis will be discussing what he calls the “fool’s errand of climate change” at length, that’s not going to fly. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:18 p.m.

July 1, 2015

When Nancy Invoked Tip … Fair Comparison?

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was questioned about any retirement plans by CNBC’s John Harwood, she was having none of it, and invoked Democratic royalty, former Speaker Thomas J. “Tip” O’Neill, as a point of comparison. So is it a fair point to compare the two?

“Did any of you ever ask Tip O’Neill, ‘Don’t you think you’re a little old for the job?’ I don’t think so,” the California Democrat replied to Harwood’s recent question about whether she was feeling pressure to step aside so other Democrats could lead the caucus.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While we can’t speak to what the press corps was asking the Massachusetts Democrat back in the 1980s, we can look at the numbers. Full story

June 30, 2015

Fight Over Edmund Pettus Bridge Simmers

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama: It’s complicated.

How else to explain a state where the white Republican governor takes down the Confederacy’s many flags and declares it time to raise taxes while a black Democratic congresswoman argues against changing the name of a bridge named after a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand dragon.  Full story

June 25, 2015

Mario Biaggi, Bronx Democrat Who Resigned in Scandal, Dies at 97

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Mario Biaggi, a 10-term New York Democrat who resigned in scandal in 1988 and went to prison for a range of corruption crimes, died Wednesday. He was 97 years old.

The popular Bronx lawmaker, first elected in 1968, was a legendary New York City police officer and hands-on member of Congress who, when he resigned on Aug. 5, 1988, had been endorsed by both the local Democratic and Republican parties. He had been convicted on “a host of racketeering, conspiracy and extortion charges,” Roll Call reported that year, stemming from separate cases. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:02 p.m.

June 4, 2015

Selma Congresswoman Opposed to Renaming Edmund Pettus Bridge

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., who represents Selma and grew up there, has come out strong against renaming the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the Bloody Sunday clash between civil rights marchers and Alabama law enforcement.

On June 3, the Alabama Senate voted to rename the bridge, named after a Confederate general and grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, to the Journey to Freedom Bridge. Sewell, who is African-American, said it is important to recognize the history, all of it, behind the bridge. Full story

March 4, 2015

Winter Storm Bibi Arrives as DHS Funding Fight Fizzles

Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Yellow police tape blocked access to the Capitol, a sign of enhanced security for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a colorful accent to the fight over funding the Homeland Security Department.

Why was this Tuesday different from any other? An ice storm. Black-hatted Orthodox Jews. Protesters. A Capitol Police armored car. Elie Wiesel. Robert Kraft and the Lombardi Trophy. Three floor managers at one time on the House floor. Senate President Pro Tem Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, sitting in the presiding officer chair most often occupied by the absent Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Netanyahu’s staff live-tweeting, in violation of House rules. Full story

March 2, 2015

The ‘Real Congresswoman From Selma’ Has Her Say

Sewell, likes to kid that her mother is the "real congresswoman" from the district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell likes to kid that her mother is the “real congresswoman” from the district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Rep. Terri A. Sewell has her constituents in Alabama. Then she has “the” constituent.

“Everyone knows [who] the real congresswoman from the 7th District is,” the Alabama Democrat said. Her staff backs her up, almost in unison: “Nancy Sewell.” Full story

This Is Today’s Selma

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SELMA, Ala. — There’s “Selma” the movie, a powerful testament to the Civil Rights Era. And there’s Selma the city, where vacant storefronts abound on Broad Street, the main thoroughfare leading to the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“No one’s going to care about home more than we do. And I have a great sense of community that was nurtured in Selma,” Rep. Terri A. Sewell told CQ Roll Call during an extended interview in her district office recently. Sewell was born on Jan. 1, 1965, about two months before “Bloody Sunday,” “Turnaround Tuesday” and the Selma to Montgomery March, galvanizing events of the Civil Rights Era.

Virtually her entire life, the Democrat’s hometown has been a symbol of the movement, and as the representative of Alabama’s 7th District, she’s fought for Congress and the rest of the country to recognize its accomplishments. Full story

February 24, 2015

Native Son Bidding for a Sweet Return to Montgomery | Life After Congress

Davis spoke at CPAC in 2013. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Davis spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Perhaps it’s fitting that an African-American man who addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention in support of Barack Obama and the 2012 Republican National Convention against Barack Obama is running in a nonpartisan race here against a man named “Strange.”

Former Rep. Artur Davis, a native of this city who once represented Alabama’s 7th District as a Democrat, is about to test the life lessons espoused by his successor, Democratic Rep. Terri A. Sewell. Davis’ one-time ally likes to tell public school kids not to take short cuts, to be proud of who they are and where they’re from and that they can always go home. Full story

February 20, 2015

Terri Sewell Proves You Can Come Home Again

Sewell, left, takes a selfie with Patti Chambers at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, right, poses with Patti Chambers at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — “I come to places like Sidney Lanier so you can see, congresswomen look like me,” Rep. Terri A. Sewell tells a roundtable of student journalists here at Sidney Lanier High School.

With apologies to the late novelist Thomas Wolfe, the Alabama Democrat contradicts the title of his 1940 book, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Full story

July 30, 2014

Bill Foster, Congress’ Science Guy

Foster in his Longworth office on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Foster in his Longworth office on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not everyone gets cards from Fermilab.

Democrat Bill Foster’s Longworth office is a modest one, its small waiting area festooned with the requisite Lincolnia befitting a House member from Illinois.

Amid the Land of Lincoln regalia is a more personal effect of the man who represents the 11th District, offering a hint of his role as Congress’ science guy. Displayed on the shelves are greetings and salutations from his friends at Fermilab, the national laboratory where Foster helped hunt down the top quark and pursue other experimental physics for nearly a quarter century. The snow-scaped image of Fermilab’s upside-down-Y-shaped Wilson Hall helps define who Foster is: a man whose scientific acumen has informed his life as an entrepreneur, physicist and public servant.

Foster has been proudly flying the science flag in the halls of Congress. On the floor, he’s gleefully pushed for the House’s science measures, even working in references to Star Wars.

In June he hobnobbed with Bill Nye the Science Guy at the White House Maker Faire, a kind of summit to push innovative entrepreneurship.

This is a man who seems comfortable verging into science geekiness.

Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5 a.m.

June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor: A Brief Biography

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary Tuesday night in an upset that stunned Capitol Hill. College professor David Brat defeated Cantor, 56 percent to 44 percent, according to The Associated Press. Below is more information about the Virginia Republican and his district from his CQ member profile.

Officially, Cantor is the House majority leader. Unofficially, he serves as the GOP leadership team’s bridge to the younger and more conservative segments of the Republican Party. He is a powerful ally (and reputed occasional rival) of Speaker John A. Boehner.

Cantor wears stylish suits and speaks in a Southern drawl. Widely viewed as a speaker-in-waiting, he made clear after tough elections in 2012 that he would not challenge Boehner, calling him a mentor in a “real partnership” that is “focused on trying to deliver results.”

“I stand with Speaker Boehner when he says, ‘Let’s rise above the dysfunction, and do the right thing together for our country,’” he said in November 2012. “Economic growth, entitlement reform and solving our spending crisis are our top priorities.”
Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 8:40 p.m.
Eric Cantor
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