Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 26, 2015

Posts by Bridget Bowman

208 Posts

April 23, 2015

Norton Rips Vitter for ‘Mean-Spirited’ Obamacare Probe

Vitter's attempt to subpoena documents from the D.C. government failed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vitter’s attempt to subpoena documents from the D.C. government failed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., applauded a Senate committee for declining to subpoena the District of Columbia government Thursday, but not before saving some choice words for its chairman, Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

“Perhaps after having his hat handed to him by his own colleagues, Vitter will cease this mean-spirited attempt to deprive Members and staff of employer contributions to their health insurance premiums,” Norton said at the end of her lengthy statement. Full story

Republicans Vote Against Vitter’s Obamacare Subpoena

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. David Vitter’s quest against the government contribution to congressional health care hit a road block Thursday, as a number of Republicans on the panel he chairs declined to support his effort to subpoena the District of Columbia government for health care documents.

In a 14-5 vote, members of the Senate Small Business Committee voted not to subpoena the D.C. Health Benefit and Exchange Authority, with five Republicans voting against their chairman’s effort to compel DCHBEA to reveal which House and Senate employees authorized Congress to be classified as a small business. Participating in the D.C. small business exchange allowed members of Congress and congressional staff to keep the government-employer contribution to their health care plans. Full story

April 22, 2015

Vitter’s Obamacare Probe Continues With Subpoena Vote

Vitter is continuing to demand answers about congressional health care enrollment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vitter is continuing to demand answers about congressional health care enrollment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. David Vitter’s crusade against government contributions to congressional health care plans continues this week with a vote to subpoena documents from the D.C. government, but he may have some dissenters in the Republican ranks.

The Louisiana Republican is the chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, and he has used his perch to investigate congressional enrollment in the District of Columbia’s small-business exchange, which allowed for a government contribution to congressional health care plans. But his investigation has some members questioning whether this is an issue for his committee. Full story

As Campaigns Heat Up, Candidates Mind Senate Rules

Paul's campaign video raised questions about a Senate rule governing floor footage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul’s campaign video raised questions about a Senate rule governing floor footage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Juggling a grueling campaign schedule and work as a U.S. senator can be a daunting task for the ones running for president, but as election season picks up, they’ll also have to be mindful of the Senate rules for campaigning.

For example, speaking on the prestigious Senate floor about policies affecting the nation would be prime fodder for a campaign video, but the candidates are not allowed to use floor footage in videos — or are they? Full story

Senate Contractors to Join Federal Workers Strike at Capitol

Reginald Lewis (center), a CVC food services worker, goes on strike for higher wages in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reginald Lewis (center), a CVC food services worker, goes on strike for higher wages in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Contract workers in the U.S. Senate will walk off their jobs Wednesday to join contractors from across the District of Columbia in a strike calling for preference to be given to contractors who offer better wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights.

The Senate janitors and food service workers will join workers from the Capitol Visitor Center, the Pentagon, Union Station, the National Zoo and Smithsonian Institution at the rally on the West Front of the Capitol Wednesday morning.   Full story

April 21, 2015

House Committee Approves Resolution Blocking D.C. Law

Ranking member Cummings, left, and Chairman Chaffetz, right, head the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cummings, left, and Chairman Chaffetz, right, head the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Tuesday evening to strike down a D.C. bill.

Committee members voted 20-16 to approve a disapproval resolution blocking the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act, which aims to prohibit workplace discrimination based on reproductive health decisions. Republicans, who voted to adopt the disapproval resolution, say it could force employers to violate their religious beliefs, while Democrats say it prevents employer discrimination based on private health decisions.

“There are important feelings on both sides of the issue but I’m pleased to see it pass with such a wide margin,” Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said after the hearing. “We have strength in numbers on the Republican side of the aisle but I hope it gets taken up by the full House. The clock’s ticking.” Full story

April 20, 2015

Another Schock Staffer Served Grand Jury Subpoena

Schock resigned on March 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schock resigned on March 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another staffer for ex-Rep. Aaron Schock has been served with a grand jury subpoena to testify as part of the investigation into the Illinois Republican’s spending.

Shea Ledford formally notified Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, of the subpoena Monday afternoon as the House gaveled into its pro forma session. According to the Legistorm database, Ledford has served as a “district special assistant” since April 2014. Full story

Norton Warns GOP: Don’t Tread on D.C.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the first time in more than two decades, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to take up a resolution aimed at blocking a D.C. bill Tuesday, to the chagrin of the District’s congressional delegate.

At issue is the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act the D.C. Council approved in January, which aims to prohibit workplace discrimination based on reproductive health decisions. Conservatives say the act could force employers to act contrary to their religious beliefs, violating religious freedom. Full story

April 16, 2015

On Emancipation Day, D.C. Reflects on Lack of Rights

Women dress in period garb for the 2012 Emancipation Day Parade. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Women dress in period garb for the 2012 Emancipation Day Parade. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia is a time for celebrations and reflection, but also to draw attention to D.C.’s lack of voting rights in Congress.

As public schools and local government offices closed Thursday to celebrate the 153rd anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves in D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., noted Congress was still open.

“I sure wish we’d close them up,” Norton said at a prayer breakfast at the Willard Hotel. “Congress is particularly intent on doing great harm to the District of Columbia this year.” Full story

April 15, 2015

Calls for D.C. Rights Mount on Tax Day, Emancipation Day

Woodrow Landfair, left, and a man named David who declined to give his last name, sit along 3rd St., on the Mall while bound to a "liberty pole" as part of a vigil to draw attention to the District's lack of full representation in Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Protesters attach themselves to a “liberty pole” as part of a vigil to draw attention to D.C.’s lack of full representation in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While April 15 might just be a filing deadline for most Americans, for D.C. residents, it’s a day when the words that adorn their license plates hit home.

“The slogan ‘taxation without representation’ is something you would hope had perished with the end of the Revolutionary War, but it still applies today to the 650,000 Americans who call the District of Columbia home,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Wednesday. “We feel our status as lesser citizens especially on April 15.” Full story

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