Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 31, 2015

January 30, 2015

Jim Moran Doesn’t Miss Congress

Moran starts with McDermott on Feb. 2. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moran starts with McDermott Will & Emery on Feb. 2. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the record, ex-Rep. James P. Moran doesn’t miss Congress. At least, “not yet.”

Perhaps it’s because, after sparking a national debate by arguing that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are “underpaid,” he is launching into the lucrative world of lobbying.

Full story

5 Potential Scenarios for D.C.’s Marijuana Initiative

What's next for marijuana in D.C.? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s next for marijuana in D.C.? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The ongoing battle over the District of Columbia’s marijuana policy is currently at a standstill, but several scenarios over the coming weeks could alter its fate.

In November, 70 percent of D.C. voters approved Initiative 71, legalizing the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana. But Congress moved to block the initiative by attaching a rider to the year-end spending package barring federal and local funds from being used “to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or reduce penalties associated with the possession, use or distribution.” Full story

January 29, 2015

McCain Outraged by CodePink Protesters, Police Response

Sen. John McCain’s reaction to protesters who disrupted a hearing, calling one “low-life scum,” garnered media attention Thursday, but the incident also has sparked calls for an investigation into the Capitol Police’s response to the rowdy CodePink activists.

“We’ve got a letter going to the police,” the Arizona Republican said in the Senate Subway. “And I’ve already talked to [Sen. Roy Blunt], who’s the chairman of the Rules Committee, about the sergeant-at-arms being involved. No, we’re raising hell about it.” Full story

Congress’ Top Travelers Say Globetrotting on Private Dime Essential

McDermott says Congress needs to travel to do its job more effectively. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McDermott says Congress needs to travel to do its job more effectively. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As one of the top travelers in Congress, Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette likes to give this advice to incoming House freshmen: “Pick one or two countries and really get deeply involved in the politics and culture.”

For DeGette, that nation is Japan. The lawmaker, who was born in Tachikawa, explained her “long cultural and personal connection” in a recent interview. “My district, in Denver, has a huge business and cultural connection to Japan,” she said, adding that the head of the local chamber of commerce is excited by the ties. Full story

January 28, 2015

Heritage Action Urges Congress to Reject D.C. Bills

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heritage Action for America, a conservative advocacy group, is calling on Congress to reject two District of Columbia Council bills, which, the group argues, infringe upon religious liberty. It is the first time the group has weighed in on a District initiative.

“The D.C. government is forcing religious organizations and employers to choose between upholding their beliefs or complying with a coercive government regulation that requires them to violate their beliefs and missions,” Michael Needham, the group’s CEO, said in a statement Tuesday. “Heritage Action urges Congress to use its constitutional authority to disapprove of these intrusive and flawed laws.” Full story

January 27, 2015

Bowser Talks Marijuana, Statehood With Boehner

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss local  issues with lawmakers, including Speaker John A. Boehner.

Bowser said her goal was to introduce herself to the lawmakers and foster communication between Capitol Hill and the mayor’s office. Full story

Conviction of Reid Bundler Upheld, Next Stop: SCOTUS?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A prominent Nevada lobbyist convicted of making illegal contributions to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2010 re-election campaign is preparing to ask the Supreme Court to revisit campaign finance limits, following a Monday federal appeals court decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the convictions of F. Harvey Whittemore, 62, of Reno, Nev., for two counts of violating federal campaign finance law, and one count of causing a materially false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission. Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing in the case, though the Nevada Democrat was required to amend his campaign finance reports. Full story

Cannon Parking Garage Now for Members Only (Updated)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:15 p.m.| New parking rules adopted Tuesday dictate that only members of Congress will be allowed to park in the Cannon House Office Building parking garage.

“Due to the Cannon construction, only members with a Cannon-designated member plate can now park in the Cannon garage, which is new this year,” House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., said at the committee’s organizational meeting Tuesday morning, where the new rules were adopted. Full story

Protesters Arrested at Fast-Track Trade Hearing

Capitol Police arrested three sign-carrying, slogan-shouting demonstrators who disrupted a Tuesday morning Senate Finance Committee hearing on the president’s trade policy agenda.

The protesters wore shirts reading “No Fast Track” and greeted U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman with signs stating, “Froman lies” — a response to his statement to the committee that trade promotion authority “is Congress’s best tool to ensure that there is ample time for public scrutiny and debate on U.S. trade agreements.” Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 1:03 p.m.
Capitol Police

January 26, 2015

White House Drone Raises Questions About D.C., Capitol Policy

Sen. Leahy brings a drone to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy brought a drone to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A small drone found on the White House lawn caused some lawmakers to question the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone policy in the District of Columbia Monday.

“The Secret Service cannot handle the threat of drones without further Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations that update the interpretation of the no-fly zone to include such unmanned aircraft,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Monday. Full story

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