Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2015

July 27, 2015

D.C. Drawn Into Sanctuary Cities Debate

Gohmert introduced "The Safer DC Act" Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gohmert introduced “The Safer DC Act” Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House has voted to limit funding for so-called sanctuary cities, but one lawmaker is pushing to take further action in the District of Columbia, dictating specific policies for law enforcement.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, has introduced “The Safer D.C. Act” declaring the District is a “sanctuary city,” or a jurisdiction with policies that shelter undocumented immigrants. “The Constitution explicitly vests Congress with exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia — and we should take action,” Gohmert said. “Therefore, at the very least, Congress must use our explicit Constitutional power to ensure that at least the District of Columbia is not a sanctuary city.” Full story

July 24, 2015

Capitol Police Stop Ex-Cop From Taking Loaded Revolver Into Library

lag flies at half staff over the Library of Congress Jefferson Building to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Police at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building found a loaded gun in the Virginia man’s briefcase. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:33 p.m. | Capitol Police stopped a 55-year-old Virginia man who claimed to be a local cop from carrying a loaded revolver into the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building Tuesday.

Jeff Jefferson Ahn, listed as Yong Ahn in documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, entered the Jefferson Building’s carriage entrance on First Street Southeast, Tuesday morning. He placed a black briefcase into the X-ray machine around 9:45 a.m. During screening, an officer noticed what appeared to be a handgun. Full story

Capitol Marks 17 Years Since Fatal Shooting

Capitol Police Officer Gene Petty stands on ceremonial duty before an annual wreath-laying ceremony for U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson, killed by a gunman while on duty in 1998. The ceremony took place at an entrance to the Capitol dedicated to the slain officers. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police honor two of their own, who were killed by a gunman while on duty in 1998. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On a day when Louisiana lawmakers and other members of Congress mourned a fatal shooting in a Lafayette movie theater, Capitol Hill also honored two Capitol Police officers killed by a gunman who charged into the Capitol exactly 17 years ago.

“Shots fired at the Document Door. This was some 50 feet from where I was sitting. Two U.S. Capitol Police officers were down,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, recalled on Friday. “Their names were Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson. Between them, they had eight children and 36 years on the job.” Full story

Ike Memorial Panel Adds Ex-NRA Leader

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission is bringing out the big guns.

Former National Rifle Association President David Keene has joined the commission’s advisory committee, expanding the ranks of a panel that now includes more than 25 prominent individuals, including broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw. Full story

Convicted Republicans Plead for Mandatory Minimums Changes

Kevin Ring, who is serving the remainder of a sentence for bribing public officials under home confinement, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in the DC office of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, May 11, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ring says courts need more leeway in sentencing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An ex-colleague of Jack Abramoff shared an anecdote from his stint in prison with a room full of conservatives Thursday. After the one-time Hill climber explained to a fellow inmate that a dog was going to get neutered, the inmate asked the longtime Republican aide, “How long does it take for them to grow back?”

Kevin Ring, the lobbyist who was sentenced in 2011 to 20 months in federal prison for his role in a corruption scheme, was pitching to GOP aides gathered in the Rayburn House Office Building on an effort to overhaul mandatory minimum requirements. Ring, who has been working in downtown Washington, D.C., since his April prison release, wanted the staffers to understand that current guidelines more often send low-level dealers and addicts to prison, not drug kingpins. Full story

July 23, 2015

Senate Panel OKs 10-Year Credit-Monitoring for Hacked Workers

Mikulski offered two OPM amendments. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mikulski offered two OPM amendments. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Senate panel approved enhanced protections for the more than 22 million federal workers and retirees affected by data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management Thursday, but opted not to provide additional funds for the embattled agency.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, by voice vote, agreed to adopt more protections for federal workers and retirees whose information was stolen in two breaches at OPM, by attaching a provision to the appropriations bill with jurisdiction over the agency. But lawmakers also opted, by voice vote, not to provide additional money to OPM. Full story

July 22, 2015

Tom Brokaw Joins Ike Memorial Board

heater in the the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, May, 19, 2014. Blakey jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 82nd Airborne. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Brokaw helped make the WWII Memorial a reality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The group planning a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced Wednesday that NBC News’ Tom Brokaw has joined its advisory committee.

Noting that Brokaw’s 1998 best-selling book, “The Greatest Generation,” made him an expert in, and advocate for, the young American soldiers who served under Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission welcomed his support. Headed by Frank Fahrenkopf, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Gen. Paul X. Kelley, the former commandant of the Marine Corps, the advisory committee is working to get the controversial memorial built. Full story

Capitol Food Workers Bring Income Inequality to Congress’ Front Step

A protester at Wednesday's rally. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Workers called for higher wages and a union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

For the third time in the past eight months, food-service workers at the Capitol have gone on strike to push for higher wages and union representation, a rare example of a national issue — income inequality — hitting close to home for Congress.

Forty Capitol workers, the highest number so far, joined roughly 650 federal contract workers from across the District of Columbia Wednesday who went on strike and rallied in Upper Senate Park. Full story

National Security or First Amendment? Gyrocopter Case Proceeds

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes wants to argue a “necessity defense” for his gyrocopter flight. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The airspace security concerns Congress has harped on since the April 15 gyrocopter stunt on the West Front continue to delay Douglas Hughes from a federal trial, but the Florida mailman has dreamed up his own defense strategy.

Hughes presented his “necessity defense” to reporters Wednesday, after a status hearing in the federal courthouse mere blocks from the Capitol. Full story

July 21, 2015

Lawmaker Threatens to Strip WMATA of Management

Mica conducted a hearing on WMATA safety and management. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Amid concerns about the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s management of the second busiest transit system in the country, one member of Congress is threatening to strip WMATA of its current management and structure.

“If this nonsense continues in the lack of management and the ability to get extensive management in place, I will work, and I think I can get support, to require that the operations and management be put up for bid and be given to an operating company,” Rep. John L. Mica said at a hearing on Metro safety and management Tuesday evening. Full story

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