Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2015

Posts by Hannah Hess

411 Posts

April 17, 2015

Boko Haram Survivors Renew Push to #BringBackOurGirls

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, hugs Nigerian student Saa, as Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., looks on during a news conference at the House Triangle, April 15, 2015, to draw attention to the plight of girls who have been kidnapped by terrorists. Saa and another girl, Patience, were held captive by Boko Haram but were able to escape. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jackson Lee hugged Nigerian student Saa, on the one-year anniversary of her kidnapping. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two schoolgirls who escaped the terrorist group Boko Haram solemnly marked the one-year anniversary of their kidnapping by climbing the steps of the Capitol to tie a red ribbon around one of its stately columns.

As part of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, Saa, 19, and Patience, 18, joined House lawmakers pleading for the U.S. government and the international community to intervene in and assist Nigerian efforts. During the April 15 press conference on the East Front, Democrats talked about bipartisan efforts underway to provide more resources and Saa shared her resolve to escape from Boko Haram. Full story

White House Fence Jumper Who Kicked K-9 Pleads Guilty

The Maryland man who scaled the White House fence in October and was caught on camera kicking one of the Secret Service’s big Belgian Malinois dogs pled guilty Friday to a federal charge stemming from the intrusion.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, formerly of Bel Air, Md., has been in custody since his Oct. 22 arrest on the White House grounds, a high-profile security scare that took place four weeks after another man made it into the executive mansion, allegedly armed with a knife. Full story

Miriam Carey Shooting Provokes Lawsuit Against DOJ

Idella Carey, mother of Miriam Carey, protested her daughter's death the West Front of the Capitol last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Idella Carey, right, mother of Miriam Carey, protested her daughter’s death the West Front of the Capitol last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Efforts to shed light on the chaotic events that led federal law enforcement officers to fatally shoot a 34-year-old woman outside the Capitol 18 months ago may rest in the hands of a federal judge.

Congress has shown scant interest in probing the death of Miriam Carey, the Connecticut dental hygienist involved in the fast and furious car chase that ended with 18 rounds of gunfire on and around the campus. Full story

Congress Wants Answers From Capitol Police on Gyrocopter (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress say they received no warning that the West Front went into lockdown Wednesday afternoon, prompting concerns about how Capitol Police would handle a more menacing threat to the secure airspace surrounding the Dome.

Among those demanding accountability from Capitol Police over the gyrocopter incident are appropriators who write the Capitol Police budget. Full story

April 15, 2015

Gyrocopter Lands Amid Capitol Police Tumult

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After arresting the pilot of a small gyrocopter that touched down Wednesday on the West Front, many Capitol Police were left wondering, “What’s next?”

Hours before Florida man Doug Hughes landed his small aircraft, officers learned new details about a major shakeup underway among the department’s top brass. In an official memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, Chief Kim C. Dine notified the force he had chosen Deputy Chief Matt Verderosa to replace outgoing Assistant Chief Daniel Malloy, effective May 1.

Still uncertain is Dine’s own future with the department. The chief has submitted a resignation letter to the Capitol Police Board, following reports of conflict within the agency. Full story

March 30, 2015

Wisconsin Field Hearing Could Fuel Critics of Ron Johnson, Tammy Baldwin

A whistleblower who contacted both Baldwin and Johnson will testify Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A whistleblower who contacted both Baldwin and Johnson will testify Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Monday’s rare recess field hearing will focus attention on the controversy within a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Medical Center that’s become a thorny subject for both the state’s senators.

Among the witnesses slated to testify at the joint congressional event in Tomah, Wis., is Ryan Honl, a former facility employee who corresponded with the offices of Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Ron Johnson. In both cases, Honl’s whistleblower tips about over-prescription of opiates were allegedly mishandled. Full story

March 27, 2015

Ed Whitfield’s Ties to Lobbyist Wife Subject of House Ethics Probe (Updated)

Whitfield, left, has denied using his seat to boost his family's financial interests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whitfield, left, has denied using his seat to boost his family’s financial interests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | The congressional ethics police have launched a formal investigation into allegations that Rep. Edward Whitfield has been using his House seat for family gain.

The House Ethics Committee on Friday announced that its 10 members have voted unanimously to form an Investigative Subcommittee to determine whether the Kentucky Republican violated any law, rule or regulation with respect to ties to his lobbyist wife, Constance Harriman Whitfield. The probe centers on reports that the couple may have coordinated to advance her work on behalf of the Humane Society Legislative Fund or the Humane Society of the United States. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 12:29 p.m.
Ethics, Investigations

March 26, 2015

Capitol Fun Police? Farr Opposes July Fourth Security Plan


Farr fed up with Capitol Police curtailing fun around the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the House’s most liberal Democrats vowed to be the “squeaky wheel” if congressional leaders agree to recommendations from Hill law enforcement to limit access to the Capitol on July Fourth.

“This building belongs to the people, not to the Capitol Police, and they ought to accommodate the people who own this building, the American people, so they can come and visit their Capitol,” Rep. Sam Farr of California said Thursday, telling CQ Roll Call that the March 12 proposal ticked him off. Full story

Congress Not Pushing Back on July Fourth Security Crackdown

Oh, say will you still be able to see from the Capitol? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oh, say will you still be able to see from the Capitol? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hill staffers would be the people most affected if Capitol law enforcement cracks down on Memorial Day and Fourth of July parties. That might be why members of Congress do not seem to be pushing back on a March 12 letter from the Capitol Police Board.

While lawmakers dismissed past proposals to limit access to the so-called “people’s house,” such as building a fence around the 276-acre complex, as former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer recently suggested, this most recent recommendation might prove more popular. Full story

March 25, 2015

Eight Arrested in Anti-Abortion ‘Pray-In’ Outside Boehner’s Office

Anti-abortion protesters claim they were betrayed on Jan. 22, 2015, the day of the March for Life. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Anti-abortion protesters claim they were betrayed by GOP House leadership on Jan. 22 when the March for Life descended on D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A 30-minute “pray-in” organized at the door of Speaker John A. Boehner’s office by anti-abortion groups ended Wednesday morning with eight arrests.

“We were told yesterday by Speaker Boehner’s office that this is the most pro-life Congress that has ever been installed, and yet a ban on late-term abortions … has languished in the House, the so-called ‘most pro-life House in the last 70 years,'” said Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, a prominent activist who was handcuffed by Capitol Police after dropping to his knees outside the Ohio Republican’s Longworth office. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 2:29 p.m.
Capitol Police
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