Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 4, 2015

May 1, 2015

Capitol Police Investigating Gun Report Leak

On Jan. 29, this gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol VIsitor Center. (Photo courtesy of CQ Roll Call Tipster)

On Jan. 29, this gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo obtained by CQ Roll Call)

After two CQ Roll Call reports Friday called attention to safety lapses involving firearms in the Capitol and raised eyebrows among concerned members of Congress, police officials announced a new investigation — into how CQ Roll Call got the story.

U.S. Capitol Police said an independent body is investigating the source of a report of instances of guns left unattended in three occasions on the Capitol complex. Full story

Do Capitol Police Problems Go Beyond the Bathroom? (Updated)

On Jan. 29, this gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol VIsitor Center. (Photo courtesy of CQ Roll Call Tipster)

This gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 29, according to a source. (Photo obtained by CQ Roll Call)

Updated, 3:23 p.m. | CQ Roll Call’s publication Friday of a jarring photo of an unattended handgun reportedly found in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom in January had members of Congress questioning the preparedness of the police who protect the Hill —  and whether authorities are concealing lapses in safety.

“I was unaware of these instances until this morning,” said House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas. “The Capitol Hill Police are awesome people who need to retrain everyone that carries a gun. It does not surprise me that mistakes can be made, what would surprise me is if we did not retrain every single person with better procedures.” Full story

Cruz Makes Ill-Fated Pitch to Block D.C. Law

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made a last-ditch push for the Senate to block a District of Columbia law Friday, but his statement was almost certainly made in vain.

Following the House vote to block D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act late Thursday night, the presidential candidate is urging the Senate to do the same, though senators have already left town. RHNDA is a D.C. Council measure that seeks to combat workplace discrimination based on reproductive health decisions, but conservatives say it could force employers to violate religious freedom. Full story

Capitol Police Left Guns in Bathrooms (Video) (Updated)

On Jan. 29, this gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol VIsitor Center. (Photo courtesy of CQ Roll Call Tipster)

This gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 29, according to a source. (Photo obtained by CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:20 p.m. | When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places. Full story

April 30, 2015

House Votes to Block D.C. Law

Norton said the resolution was "a double whammy." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton said the resolution was “a double whammy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a largely symbolic move, the House voted mostly down party lines late Thursday night to block a District of Columbia bill that D.C. officials say would combat workplace discrimination.

A corps of mainly Republicans passed a joint resolution of disapproval 228-192, aimed at the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, which dictated that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their reproductive health decisions. Conservatives argued the act could force employers to violate their religious beliefs. Full story

Members Urge Capitol Police to Allow Sledding

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Through an amendment to a spending bill, lawmakers are urging the Capitol Police to allow D.C. residents to sled on Capitol Hill.

The ban on Hill sledding garnered attention this past winter, as families were turned away, sleds in hand, from sliding down the snowy hill with the Capitol in the background. Capitol Police reportedly told one hopeful sledder that a congressional appropriator insisted the ban be enforced. Full story

Graves Brings Conservative Focus to Legislative Branch Funding

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., chairs the subcommittee in charge of legislative branch funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graves chairs the subcommittee in charge of legislative branch funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Rep. Tom Graves, his role as chairman of the subcommittee that doles out funds for the legislative branch is an opportunity to put his fiscal conservative principles into practice. Full story

April 29, 2015

Pat Roberts: ‘Nothing Less Than Full Victory’ on Ike Memorial

Roberts, left, was elected chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roberts, left, praised the Kansas elements of the controversial plan for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The senator who made headlines for quoting a Disney movie earlier this month adopted on Wednesday the words of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower on Wednesday, declaring he would “accept nothing less than full victory” in the long slog to build a memorial to the 34th president. Full story

House Appropriators Face Backlash on WMATA Cuts

Gerald Connolly

Connolly was among the lawmakers urging appropriators to restore WMATA funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House appropriators looking to cut funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are facing a backlash from regional lawmakers.

In the fiscal 2016 spending bill the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee approved Wednesday, the subcommittee allocated $75 million to WMATA. That figure is half the amount that has been typically allocated to the Metro since 2009. Full story

House to Vote Friday to Block D.C. Law (Video)

Flores and other conservative lawmakers pushed for a vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Flores and other conservative lawmakers pushed for a vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the first time in 25 years, the House is set to vote Friday to strike down a District of Columbia law.

A member of Congress and a GOP leadership aide confirmed Wednesday the House will debate the resolution aimed at the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act Thursday and will vote on the measure Friday. The bill aims to combat employer discrimination based on decisions people make on their reproductive health, but conservatives argue it could violate religious freedom. Full story

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