Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2015

April 17, 2015

Boko Haram Survivors Renew Push to #BringBackOurGirls

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, hugs Nigerian student Saa, as Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., looks on during a news conference at the House Triangle, April 15, 2015, to draw attention to the plight of girls who have been kidnapped by terrorists. Saa and another girl, Patience, were held captive by Boko Haram but were able to escape. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jackson Lee hugged Nigerian student Saa, on the one-year anniversary of her kidnapping. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two schoolgirls who escaped the terrorist group Boko Haram solemnly marked the one-year anniversary of their kidnapping by climbing the steps of the Capitol to tie a red ribbon around one of its stately columns.

As part of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, Saa, 19, and Patience, 18, joined House lawmakers pleading for the U.S. government and the international community to intervene in and assist Nigerian efforts. During the April 15 press conference on the East Front, Democrats talked about bipartisan efforts underway to provide more resources and Saa shared her resolve to escape from Boko Haram. Full story

White House Fence Jumper Who Kicked K-9 Pleads Guilty

The Maryland man who scaled the White House fence in October and was caught on camera kicking one of the Secret Service’s big Belgian Malinois dogs pled guilty Friday to a federal charge stemming from the intrusion.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, formerly of Bel Air, Md., has been in custody since his Oct. 22 arrest on the White House grounds, a high-profile security scare that took place four weeks after another man made it into the executive mansion, allegedly armed with a knife. Full story

Miriam Carey Shooting Provokes Lawsuit Against DOJ

Idella Carey, mother of Miriam Carey, protested her daughter's death the West Front of the Capitol last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Idella Carey, right, mother of Miriam Carey, protested her daughter’s death the West Front of the Capitol last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Efforts to shed light on the chaotic events that led federal law enforcement officers to fatally shoot a 34-year-old woman outside the Capitol 18 months ago may rest in the hands of a federal judge.

Congress has shown scant interest in probing the death of Miriam Carey, the Connecticut dental hygienist involved in the fast and furious car chase that ended with 18 rounds of gunfire on and around the campus. Full story

Congress Wants Answers From Capitol Police on Gyrocopter (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress say they received no warning that the West Front went into lockdown Wednesday afternoon, prompting concerns about how Capitol Police would handle a more menacing threat to the secure airspace surrounding the Dome.

Among those demanding accountability from Capitol Police over the gyrocopter incident are appropriators who write the Capitol Police budget. Full story

April 16, 2015

On Emancipation Day, D.C. Reflects on Lack of Rights

Women dress in period garb for the 2012 Emancipation Day Parade. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Women dress in period garb for the 2012 Emancipation Day Parade. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia is a time for celebrations and reflection, but also to draw attention to D.C.’s lack of voting rights in Congress.

As public schools and local government offices closed Thursday to celebrate the 153rd anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves in D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., noted Congress was still open.

“I sure wish we’d close them up,” Norton said at a prayer breakfast at the Willard Hotel. “Congress is particularly intent on doing great harm to the District of Columbia this year.” Full story

Gyrocopter Aftermath: Schumer’s on It

Schumer wants questions answered soon on how a gyrocopter managed to land on the West Front lawn of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schumer wants questions answered soon on how a gyrocopter managed to land on the West Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer has questions on the gyrocopter. A “whole lot” of them. Full story

With Capitol in Sight, Postal Customers Struggle to Pay Their Taxes

Customers gather outside the National Capital Station post office on tax day. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Customers gathered outside the National Capitol Station post office on tax day. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

The irony was unmistakable.

Just blocks north of the Capitol building, confused taxpayers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia were gathered outside the National Capitol Station post office branch, trying to mail their returns to the IRS late in the evening on deadline day.

Until recently, the large postal facility was open late at night, particularly on April 15. But, as more returns have been filed electronically and the Postal Service has faced budget woes, the extended hours have ceased.

Full story

April 15, 2015

Gyrocopter Lands Amid Capitol Police Tumult

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After arresting the pilot of a small gyrocopter that touched down Wednesday on the West Front, many Capitol Police were left wondering, “What’s next?”

Hours before Florida man Doug Hughes landed his small aircraft, officers learned new details about a major shakeup underway among the department’s top brass. In an official memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, Chief Kim C. Dine notified the force he had chosen Deputy Chief Matt Verderosa to replace outgoing Assistant Chief Daniel Malloy, effective May 1.

Still uncertain is Dine’s own future with the department. The chief has submitted a resignation letter to the Capitol Police Board, following reports of conflict within the agency. Full story

Calls for D.C. Rights Mount on Tax Day, Emancipation Day

Woodrow Landfair, left, and a man named David who declined to give his last name, sit along 3rd St., on the Mall while bound to a "liberty pole" as part of a vigil to draw attention to the District's lack of full representation in Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Protesters attach themselves to a “liberty pole” as part of a vigil to draw attention to D.C.’s lack of full representation in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While April 15 might just be a filing deadline for most Americans, for D.C. residents, it’s a day when the words that adorn their license plates hit home.

“The slogan ‘taxation without representation’ is something you would hope had perished with the end of the Revolutionary War, but it still applies today to the 650,000 Americans who call the District of Columbia home,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Wednesday. “We feel our status as lesser citizens especially on April 15.” Full story

Man Flies Gyrocopter to West Front of Capitol (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:22 p.m. | A man has been arrested after flying a small gyrocopter onto the West Front of the Capitol, prompting Capitol Police to briefly lock down the building.

The Tampa Bay Times reported a 61-year-old mailman named Doug Hughes planned to fly to the Capitol to deliver a message on campaign finance and corruption and identified him as the person arrested.

Witnesses described a man flying on a gyrocopter — a contraption looking like a bike with helicopter wings. They told CQ Roll Call the copter was very loud and flew toward the Capitol from the direction of the National Mall.

Full story

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