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

September 4, 2015

GAO Questions Capitol Power Plant Transition

The Capitol Power Plant heats and cools the Capitol complex. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Government Accountability Office report released Thursday calls into question the ongoing project to transition the Capitol power plant from relying partially on coal to completely on natural gas.

The watchdog agency suggested the Architect of the Capitol did not follow leading capital-planning practices in the project, which result in an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. AOC Stephen T. Ayers disagreed with the report’s claims, arguing that transitioning the power plant is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. Full story

September 3, 2015

House Ethics Committee Extends Review of Mike Honda

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Honda’s lawyers are pushing back on the allegations, saying no rules were violated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shown notes from his district office’s staff retreat, Rep. Michael M. Honda allegedly acknowledged to ethics investigators that what he was seeing was “open to a lot of interpretation, but it doesn’t look good.”

The California Democrat’s former campaign manager presented official staff with a strategy in which district office events would be used to raise money, according to Office of Congressional Ethics documents released Thursday. Doug Greven also identified target voting demographics to the district office staff, including “younger people, Caucasians and Latinos.” Full story

Fattah Case: Congressional Gmail Subject to Subpoena

 Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Fattah tried to shield his Gmail account from prosecutors, under the Speech or Debate clause. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just like Hillary Rodham Clinton, members of Congress can use personal email addresses to conduct congressional business. But those communications are not immune to FBI search.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court opinion shed light on Rep. Chaka Fattah’s fight to squash a search warrant seeking data from his Gmail account. The Pennsylvania Democrat, indicted July 29 for alleged racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud, objected to turning over some emails sought in a grand jury subpoena, arguing disclosure would violate his constitutional protections.

Several months later, a judge has issued a search warrant authorizing the FBI to dig for evidence of criminal activity dating back to Jan. 1, 2008. Full story

September 2, 2015

White House Aide Facing Indictment Has Resigned

The Obama administration aide indicted Tuesday for allegedly shooting her Capitol Police boyfriend on Aug. 7 has resigned, according to a White House spokesperson.

Barvetta Singletary submitted her resignation, effective Aug. 28, three weeks after she was placed on unpaid leave from her job as a special assistant to the president and House legislative affairs liaison, following a domestic dispute at her Maryland home. The White House accepted Singletary’s resignation. Full story

Mike Honda Lawyers Up

Honda has also hired a public relations firm, specializing in crisis communications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Honda has also hired a public relations firm, specializing in crisis communications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael M. Honda hired attorneys from two prominent Washington law firms and a California public relations firm to respond to a controversy surrounding a potential House Ethics Committee probe into improper coordination between his campaign and official staff.

The move by the California Democrat, disclosed in quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission, comes after Honda acknowledged he has been cooperating with Office of Congressional Ethics investigators who are looking into allegations raised by a former staffer. Full story

September 1, 2015

OPM Awards Credit-Monitoring Contract in Wake of Data Breach

Millions of individuals affected by the June data breach at the Office of Personnel Management will receive three years of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance, the agency announced Tuesday.

The Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have awarded a more-than-$130 million contract to Identity Theft Guard Solutions, working as “ID Experts,” to provide three years of services to the 21.5 million individuals, and their dependent children, affected by the June data breach that involved background investigations. More than 22 million current, former and prospective government employees were affected by two breaches at the agency, which were first reported in early June. Full story

White House Staffer Indicted for Shooting at Capitol Police Boyfriend

The White House staffer and longtime Capitol Hill aide arrested Aug. 7 for allegedly shooting at her Capitol Police boyfriend has been indicted for first degree assault, Maryland authorities said Tuesday.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks also announced charges against Barvetta Singletary of second degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. Singletary was placed on unpaid leave from her job as special assistant to the president and House legislative affairs liaison after the arrest. She is free on a $15,000 bond, with her access to the White House revoked. Full story

Capitol Police Arrest Secret Service Impersonator in Scalise’s Office (Video)

Capitol Police arrested a man last month for reportedly impersonating a law enforcement officer in House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s Rayburn office.

Darryl Sharp, 54, allegedly entered the Louisiana Republican’s office around 2 p.m. on Aug. 19. He yelled at staff, demanded paperwork and claimed to be with the Secret Service, according to a person familiar with the incident. Scalise’s staff called Capitol Police. Full story

August 31, 2015

Slain Former Intern Remembered at American University

Kevin Sutherland in front of the White House. (Photo courtesy of the Sutherland family)

Sutherland stands in front of the White House. (Courtesy of the Sutherland family)

On a small altar at the American University chapel sat red, white and blue flowers, a New York Yankees cap, and a picture of a beaming young man standing in front of the White House.

More than 100 students, faculty and members of the community gathered at the Kay Spiritual Life Center on the northwest D.C. campus to remember the young man in the picture: Kevin Sutherland.

Full story

GPO Touts ‘Historic Low’ of Discrimination Complaints

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Government Publishing Office is on track to report the lowest number of workplace discrimination complaints in nearly 20 years, the agency announced Monday.

The GPO, which is responsible for printing, publishing and preserving the federal government’s documents, said in a statement it is set to report a “historic low” eight formal equal employment opportunity complaints in 2015. That is a more than 50 percent decrease from 2014 and more than an 80 percent decrease from 2013.

“We think the decline is attributed to the fact that we’ve put a lot of emphasis on educating our employees, the whole workforce really,” Juanita Flores, who manages the GPO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, said in a phone interview. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:41 a.m.

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