Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

December 19, 2014

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells Joins Bowser Administration

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Wells, seated right, will head the District’s environmental agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser announced Friday that outgoing Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells will join her administration as the director of the District Department of the Environment.

“Making D.C. a cleaner, more environmentally friendly city isn’t just a health issue — it’s an economic issue,” Wells said in a statement. ”I look forward to working with the Mayor-elect to create greater economic opportunities for more Washingtonians while also preserving our city’s environment for generations to come.” Full story

December 18, 2014

Secret Service: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Fence

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Norton toured the White House perimeter to examine recent security changes. (Courtesy of Norton’s office)

Along with recommendations for U.S. Secret Service administration and personnel, a report released Thursday recommended the fence surrounding the White House be replaced as soon as possible.

“Importantly, designers of the new fence must balance security concerns with the long and storied tradition of the White House being the ‘People’s House,’” wrote the report’s authors. “These historical, symbolic, and aesthetic factors deserve consideration, but ultimately they should not be permitted to delay or prevent a fence that could save lives.” Full story

Washington Monument Closed for Elevator Glitch

monument001 030813 440x292 Washington Monument Closed for Elevator Glitch

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Washington Monument was closed to tourists Thursday, as technicians searched for the source of an electrical issue in the elevator. The closure notice was an unwelcome reminder of elevator malfunctions this spring, which raised questions about the monument’s renovation.

“This is the first time we’ve had an issue since those several days of issues following the May reopening,” National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said in a phone interview. Litterst explained that a circuit breaker tripped Wednesday, prompting the Thursday closure to search for the source of the issue. The monument is expected to reopen Friday. Full story

Capitol Police Investigating Threat Against Rep. Bill Johnson

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Capitol Police are investigating a threat against Johnson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Threats against Ohio Republican Rep. Bill Johnson have Capitol Police and the FBI searching for a suspect along with local law enforcement in Salem, Ohio.

Johnson’s field representative and security director contacted police in the eastern Ohio town at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to report a call to the Salem office from a screaming man who swore at a staffer and made threats toward the congressman, according to local news outlet WYTV. According to the report, the suspect resides outside the community. Full story

Capitol Hill Commissioner Concerned About 2024 D.C. Olympics Bid

runners001 100412 440x292 Capitol Hill Commissioner Concerned About 2024 D.C. Olympics Bid

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser and representatives from Washington 2024 made their pitch for D.C. to host the 2024 Summer Olympics Tuesday, but one Capitol Hill neighborhood representative is raising concerns about the bid.

“D.C. residents should have a say in this because certainly we’re going to be paying for it. There’s no question about it,” Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Flahaven said in a Wednesday phone interview. Flahaven’s district includes the southeast Capitol Hill neighborhood, which could be affected by the Olympic plan. Full story

December 17, 2014

McConnell Announces New Senate Sergeant-at-Arms

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Willison will join the ranks of former SAAs (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is sweeping the decks at the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office, replacing SAA Drew Willison with former Navy SEAL and Defense Department alumnus Frank J. Larkin for the 114th Congress.

James W. Morhard, a former chief of staff on the Senate Appropriations Committee with more than 20 years of experience in the chamber, returns to Capitol Hill after a decade in the private sector to replace Michael Stenger in the No. 2 spot in the office, the Kentucky Republican announced on Wednesday. Full story

From ‘Printing’ to ‘Publishing’: The GPO Has a New Name

Budget 2014 20 040813 1 440x251 From Printing to Publishing: The GPO Has a New Name

The GPO is not just for printing anymore. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Government Printing Office has officially become the Government Publishing Office, after President Barack Obama signed the year-end “cromnibus” spending package late Tuesday night.

The name change was a provision in the legislative branch portion of the bill, which allocated $120 million to the publishing office, an increase of $1 million from 2014. In the bill, the GPO provision notes that the title change was instituted “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” Full story

December 16, 2014

Fired Staffer Sues Farenthold, Alleging Sexually Charged Workplace

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Blake Farenthold is being accused of discussing “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about a former staffer with one of his employees in a lawsuit that alleges the Texas Republican created a hostile work environment on Capitol Hill.

The complaint filed on Dec. 12 in District of Columbia court by Lauren Greene, who was fired from her position as Farenthold’s communications director in July, was first reported Tuesday by the National Law Journal. Greene claims the two-term congressman regularly drank to excess, and “because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red-head patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.” Full story

Norton Asks GOP Leaders for House Voting Privileges

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., sent a letter to House Republican leadership Tuesday asking that she be granted a vote on the House floor in the 114th Congress.

Currently, Norton can vote in committee, but she does not have a vote on the House floor or Committee of the Whole. The District of Columbia delegate, other delegates and Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner were granted floor votes in the 103rd, 110th and 111th Congresses, when Democrats had the majority. They could vote in the Committee of the Whole, as long as their votes were not decisive.  Full story

Legislative Counsel Staffer Remembered as Funny, Positive

 Legislative Counsel Staffer Remembered as Funny, Positive

(Courtesy of the family of Ed Leong)

Edward Leong, 61, a staffer in the Office of Legislative Counsel for 36 years, died on Dec. 7 at his home in McLean, Virginia, after a nine-year battle with lung cancer.

“He was funny, caring, and brilliant,” said Sandra Strokoff, the legislative counsel of the House. “We work totally behind-the-scenes and he was completely OK with that. He was all about making sure that the legislation drafted was as good as it could possibly be.” Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 2:57 p.m.
Campus, Staffers

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