Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015

Bowser, Council Score D.C. Budget Autonomy Victory

Bowser's motion to dismiss the budget autonomy case appeal was granted Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowser’s motion to dismiss the budget autonomy case appeal was granted Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council scored a victory Wednesday in the ongoing court case surrounding a law granting D.C. more control over its local budget.

On the same day the D.C. Council debated the District’s budget, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Bowser’s motion to dismiss the case’s appeal, which centered around a dispute between the D.C. Council and Bowser’s predecessor, Vincent Gray. Full story

DOJ Opposes Moving Menedez Trial to D.C.

DOJ lawyers (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Justice Department fired back at Menendez. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Justice Department lawyers filed their response Tuesday to Sen. Robert Menendez’s request to move his federal corruption trial from Newark, N.J., to Washington, D.C., arguing the New Jersey Democrat “ignores” the indictment’s allegations he accepted things of value in his home state and demonstrates a “lack of seriousness” about the charges he faces. Full story

Blimps Over Capitol: Just Hot Air?

The Office of Naval Research worked with Science & Technology International  to develop blimps for the war on terrorism. (Alex Wong/Getty Images File Photo)

The Office of Naval Research worked with Science & Technology International in 2003 to test blimps for the war on terrorism. (Alex Wong/Getty Images File Photo)

Coming soon to a Capitol skyline near you: Giant blimps at 10,000 feet?

The woman at the helm of the House Administration Committee thinks the Capitol needs eyes in the sky, after authorities failed to detect Florida mailman Douglas Hughes’ April 15 gyrocopter flight.

Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., visited U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ground stations along the Southern border in January and was amazed at the clarity of the Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS. She is suggesting the “sophisticated technology” might suit the Capitol. Full story

May 26, 2015

Food Truck Man Owned Pressure Cooker Destroyed by Police

The Arlington, Va., man who triggered a bomb scare Sunday near the National Mall apologized and explained the pressure cooker that Capitol Police exploded was used for his food truck business, NBC4 reported on Monday.

Acting out of an abundance of caution during the annual Memorial Day concert that draws thousands to the Capitol grounds, a bomb squad smashed his back window of a “suspicious” car parked on the west side of Third Street Northwest, removed the pressure cooker and a propane tank — also food truck equipment — and then blew them up. Full story

National Mall Giving Away Tickets to Landmark Music Festival

The festival is a fundraiser for National Mall upgrades, due to wear and tear from millions of visitor a year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The festival is a fundraiser for necessary National Mall upgrades, due to wear and tear from millions of visitor a year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As part of an effort to publicize the National Mall’s first-ever music festival and make it accessible, the Trust for the National Mall is giving away 1,000 tickets this week to the Landmark Music Festival.

Potential festival goers can enter the lottery to win a pair of 2-day passes to the festival, which will take place Sept. 26-27 at West Potomac Park, south of the National Mall. The Trust for the National Mall will be giving away 500 pairs of passes; the deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Full story

Police Evacuate Capitol, CVC After Fire Alarm Goes Off

Capitol Police stand guard Tuesday outside the Capitol. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police stand guard Tuesday outside the Capitol. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:24 p.m. | Police evacuated the Capitol Tuesday after a fire alarm went off in the Capitol Visitor Center.

According to a source close to the investigation, “exhaust fan issues” caused the smoke to appear in a room in the CVC around 12:20 p.m., prompting Capitol Police officers to evacuate both that building and the Capitol. Full story

May 25, 2015

Capitol Police Explode Pressure Cooker in ‘Suspicious’ Vehicle Near National Mall

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Capitol Police bomb squad safely exploded a pressure cooker in a parked car near the National Mall Sunday evening, the department said in a statement. They acted out of an abundance of caution, during the annual Memorial Day concert that draws thousands to the Capitol grounds, but later found nothing hazardous about the vehicle. Full story

May 21, 2015

Senate at Work Won’t Stop Memorial Day Concert

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Setup for the Memorial Day concert will go on as planned. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite the impending weekend Senate session, the 26th Annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol will go on — and that means some inconvenience for congressional staffers and thousands of dollars worth of overtime work for Capitol Police.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Senate was scheduled to be in session and voting Saturday on legislation related to expiring surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act. And a reauthorization of expiring highway authorities was also on track to be unresolved by the weekend.

Full story

Doug Hughes: Congress Must Honor Vows to ‘We the People’

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida mailman Douglas Hughes got a hero’s welcome when he returned to Washington Thursday to face six charges related to his April 15 landing on the West Front of the Capitol.

In a lofty speech to supporters and about two dozen reporters, Hughes called on lawmakers to “honor the vows of fidelity implicit in the Constitution.” The 61-year-old advocate for campaign finance reform clarified, that’s “fidelity to ‘We the People.'” Full story

Foster Youth Shadow Day Shows Power of Personal Stories

Briana Smith, 19, of Los Angeles, talks with Bass about her experience in three foster care. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Briana Smith, 19, of Los Angeles, talks with Bass about her experience in three foster care homes. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Karen Bass took to the House floor Wednesday for a one-minute speech, standing next to a picture of a smiling young woman. That same young woman sat in the gallery above as Bass told her story.

“Briana became an open case with child services at the age of 15 due to abuse by her father,” the California Democrat said. “Multiple placements, neglect and instability defined her foster care experience.” Full story

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