Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 5, 2015

July 2, 2015

Virginia Man Cries Foul Over Capitol Police Actions

Shimeles thinks Capitol Police overreacted. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shimeles thinks Capitol Police overreacted. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The man at the center of a Memorial Day bomb scare near the National Mall wants Capitol Police to help pay for the pressure cooker and propane tank they detonated, plus for damage to his automobile.

“Honestly, it’s not only my equipment. They destroyed my car as well,” said Israel Sean Shimeles, the Arlington, Va., man who was arrested on May 24. Traffic charges against Shimeles were later dropped, but he has yet to hear from Capitol Police in response to his damage claims. Full story

D.C. Statehood Gets Independence Day Push

Pelosi's office encouraged other offices to tweet about D.C. statehood. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi’s office encouraged other offices to tweet about D.C. statehood. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are voicing their support for the District of Columbia statehood effort ahead of Independence Day, though some of their leaders do not co-sponsor the statehood bill.

In an email sent to House Democratic offices Thursday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s press office encouraged offices to retweet Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., who tweeted, “This July 4, we renew our fight to end #TaxationWithoutRepresentation in the nation’s capital with #DCStatehood!” The “Digital Dems Early Bird” email sent to offices highlights various caucus priorities each day. Full story

Capitol Police Reveal Fourth of July Concert Restrictions

 Freedom Plaza take cell phone camera photos of the July 4th fireworks in Washington on Thursday, July 4, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The annual fireworks will light up skies over D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As congressional administrators prepare to host the annual Independence Day celebration, Capitol Police released details of security measures designed to curtail debauchery during the patriotic festivities.

Glass bottles have been added to the list of items prohibited from the grounds on Saturday, along with the usual ban on alcoholic beverages, suitcases, duffel bags, bicycles and weapons or explosives — including fireworks.

Full story

Enhanced Security at Capitol After Navy Yard Shooting Reports (Updated)

The scene at the Navy Yard in Sept. 2013.

The scene at the Navy Yard in Sept. 2013. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:19 a.m. | Reports of an active shooter at the Navy Yard in Southeast D.C. Thursday morning drew security units from across the District, including the Capitol Police, who also stepped up security at the nation’s Capitol ahead of the holiday weekend.

The Metropolitan Police Department gave the “all clear” at the Navy Yard shortly after 10 a.m., and confirmed there was no evidence of a shooting at the facility. According to MPD, a call from within the Navy Yard reported “possible sounds of gun shots” around 7:29 a.m. “At this time we have completed our search of the building and have found no evidence of a shooting or injured personnel,” MPD said in a press release.

Full story

July 1, 2015

Donald Trump Is Coming to D.C., One Way or Another

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One way or another, Trump will be able to take residence on Pennsylvania Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The current controversy surrounding businessman and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is not having an effect on at least one of his business ventures  redevelopment of the Old Post Office Pavilion. Full story

Capitol Police Chief Responds to Hearing Arrest Questions

Dine responded to questions about congressional hearing arrests. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dine responded to questions about congressional hearing arrests. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine has clarified the process for removing demonstrators from congressional hearings, ahead of a Thursday court hearing for one activist who alleges he was unlawfully arrested.

In April, local activist Adam Eidinger was arrested during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee markup on a resolution blocking a D.C. law, and charged with “unlawful entry.” His arrest prompted Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., to ask the Capitol Police for clarification on policies regarding removing demonstrators from congressional hearings. Full story

June 30, 2015

D.C. Gun Fight Advancing Through Courts

Norton (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton has accused GOP lawmakers of bullying D.C. over its gun laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A federal appeals court has expedited the case of a trio of men who filed suit against the District of Columbia in February after being denied handgun carry licenses, and ruled that D.C. can keep enforcing a key provision of its concealed carry licensing system in the meantime.

Backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit based in the state of Washington, the men challenged the discretionary nature of the D.C.’s gun licensing system, which requires gun owners demonstrate a “good” or “proper” reason to obtain a concealed carry permit. Full story

Vatican Releases Schedule for Pope Francis U.S. Visit

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Vatican on Tuesday released Pope Francis’ schedule for his September visit to the United States, where he will spend five days and address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24.

“It is with humility and deep gratitude that we will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol in September for a Joint Meeting of Congress,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “His visit to the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented, and it is with open ears and hearts that we will welcome his address to the Congress.” Full story

June 29, 2015

Rick Renzi Appeal Denied, Limiting Congress’ ‘Speech or Debate’ Immunity

Rick Renzi (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court refused to hear Renzi’s appeal. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the Supreme Court declined to hear former Rep. Rick Renzi’s latest appeal Monday, it was the latest blow to Congress’ ability to shield its work from prosecutors under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.

An amicus brief filed in April by the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group warned of dire consequences for Congress unless the court struck down the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against Renzi’s defense.

“The Ninth Circuit rulings, if allowed to stand, would decimate the protections of the clause, and with them the independence of the legislative branch,” the House’s lawyers argued. Full story

D.C. Statehood Bill a ‘Take That’ to Republicans

Carper, left, chaired a hearing on D.C. statehood last Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Carper, left, chaired a hearing on D.C. statehood last Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite the uphill battle for District of Columbia statehood, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., has reintroduced a statehood bill noting that the District’s unique political status is contrary to the American values celebrated on Independence Day.

“These Americans serve in our military, die defending our country, serve on our juries, and pay federal taxes,” Carper said of District residents in a statement. “Yet, despite their civic contributions, they are not afforded a vote in either chamber of Congress. This situation is simply not fair, and it isn’t consistent with the values we celebrate as a country on July 4th every year.” Full story

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