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

Posts by Bridget Bowman

127 Posts

January 23, 2015

U.S. Conference of Mayors Moving Past Congressional Gridlock

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)

Mayors from across the nation have a message for Congress: Gridlock means mayors have had to pick up the slack.

Nearly 300 mayors from across the country, and from both parties, descended on the District of Columbia following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address for the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting. Up for discussion in particular were new ways federal and local governments can get things done. Full story

Standing Committee of Correspondents Election Decided by Coin Toss

 Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., speaks with reporters in the basement of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The standing committee ensures the press has access to lawmakers throughout the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The late-night Senate votes weren’t the only drama on Capitol Hill Thursday. Up in the Senate Daily Press Gallery, an election to fill a spot on the Standing Committee of Correspondents for the Daily Press came down to a coin toss.

Four members of the press campaigned for three open spots on the committee that oversees the House and Senate daily press galleries. Matthew Daly of the Associated Press garnered the most votes, 161, while NJ.com/New Jersey Star-Ledger’s Jonathan Salant was a close second with 157 votes. But The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and the Omaha World Herald’s Joseph Morton were tied for third place, each receiving 138 votes. Full story

January 22, 2015

Lawmakers Define Oversight Role in L’Enfant Metro Incident

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress are looking to flex their oversight muscles, after summoning national and local transportation officials to Capitol Hill on Wednesday evening to brief them on the recent deadly incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station.

Although the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and the D.C. government is becoming involved, members of the capital region delegation insisted they, too, have a role to play.

Full story

January 21, 2015

Protesters Stage a ‘Die In’ in Longworth Cafeteria

Protesters participate in a "die in" in the Longworth cafeteria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Protesters participate in a “die in” in the Longworth cafeteria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Roughly 20 to 30 protesters staged a “die in” in the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria Wednesday afternoon to bring attention to police militarization and racial profiling.

The protest, first reported by The Washington Post, began at approximately 12:30 p.m. According to a cafeteria worker present for the demonstration, the protesters laid down on the ground between the cash registers and tables for about five minutes. Full story

Norton: Union Bill Is ‘First Attack’ on D.C. Autonomy in 114th Congress

The District will have to grapple with a new marijuana rider. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said Tuesday that Republicans have launched their “first attack” on District of Columbia autonomy in the 114th Congress in a bill that would make violence from labor union organizing a federal crime.

The “Freedom from Union Violence Act of 2015,” sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would criminalize violence committed by unions affecting commerce by robbery, extortion or threatening physical violence, subject to a fine up to $250,000 or up to 20 years in prison. The bill includes a provision noting that its jurisdiction would include criminal acts interfering with interstate commerce as well as commerce in the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

“D.C.’s labor laws have been thrown into a national anti-labor bill in a way that Senator Vitter could not do with local or state labor laws anywhere else,” Norton said in a statement.  In other words, the D.C. representative took issue with the fact that the federal bill would not affect labor laws in the states, but would affect D.C., since the District is not a state. Full story

January 20, 2015

(Don’t) Put Another Log on the Fire for SOTU

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As President Barack Obama makes his State of the Union address Tuesday, no one will be cozying up to a fireplace in the Capitol to listen to the speech.

One element of a multi-faceted security process involves closing down the Capitol fireplaces to avoid the smell of smoke, which would presumably cause alarm, during the president’s speech. Workers were spotted taking away firewood Tuesday and notices were posted explaining the fire’s absence. Full story

D.C. Hoping Obama Will Address Statehood in State of the Union Address

Obama making his 2014 State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obama making his 2014 State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been nearly 50 years since a president mentioned District of Columbia autonomy in the State of the Union address, but D.C. activists and leaders are hoping 2015 will be the year President Barack Obama brings the D.C. statehood effort to the national stage.

“I think this is an opportunity for President Obama to stand up for what I think is a moral cause and bring national attention to it,” said Josh Burch, co-founder of Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood. Full story

January 16, 2015

Work Begins on 10-Year Cannon Renewal Project

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers discusses the Cannon House Office Building renewal project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ayers discusses the Cannon renewal project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Preparations for the first phase in renewing the Cannon House Office Building have begun, launching a construction project that will continue over the next 10 years.

The $757.7 million project is revitalizing the oldest congressional office building, which, according to Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, is “showing its age.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 2:37 p.m.
AOC, Campus

January 15, 2015

Chaffetz Allowed to Move Oversight Chairmen Portraits

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Chaffetz, right, took the portrait of Issa, left, off the walls of the Oversight and Government Reform panel’s hearing room. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The walls of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room were bare Thursday afternoon, with a handful of tiny holes where portraits of past committee chairmen once hung.

Reports that new Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, took down the committee chairmen portraits had the gossip mill buzzing Thursday. The Hill first reported the news, along with comments from disgruntled staffers who took the move as a swipe at former Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Issa’s portrait had only been hanging since mid-November before it was moved out of the room. Though the Office of the Clerk is responsible for displaying works of art on the House side of the Capitol, Chaffetz is allowed to move the paintings. According to an aide with the House Administration Committee, the chairman controls the committee room decor. Full story

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to Attend State of the Union

Norton will bring Bowser to the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton will bring Bowser to the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser will attend the State of the Union Tuesday as a guest of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.

Bowser confirmed Thursday afternoon she will be attending the president’s annual address, a spokesman for Norton’s office told CQ Roll Call. In 2011, then-Mayor Vincent Gray attended the address as Norton’s guest. But when Gray was invited again in 2012, he reportedly skipped the event to attend his girlfriend’s birthday party. Full story

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