Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 1, 2015

Posts by Hannah Hess

582 Posts

November 9, 2015

Critics Decry Capitol Police ‘Old Boys’ Network’

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A two-word email sent on the eve of the Oct. 10 Million Man March prompted Capitol Police to confiscate the gun and badge of a newly promoted captain, only to return both items on Oct. 13.

The incident is still under investigation, according to outgoing Chief Kim C. Dine, who credits the department with taking “swift and appropriate action” when employees misbehave. But a congressional aide familiar with the captain’s case said the agency’s “old boys’ network is attempting to make an example of a woman who has a reputation for calling out improper behavior.” Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 11:50 a.m.
Capitol Police

November 6, 2015

Paul Ryan Asked to Curb Congressional Travel

Ryan, right, and his chief of staff are being sued for $100,000. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan hasn’t traveled much during his tenure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker D. Paul Ryan should suspend privately funded foreign travel by House members and staff, watchdog organizations said Thursday in a two-page letter that asks the Wisconsin Republican to launch a formal task force to review travel rules.

“The amount of privately-sponsored travel, once slashed by [the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act] to one-third its previous levels, is again rising near to the level of the Jack Abramoff travel junket era,” the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Public Citizen and others warned. Full story

November 5, 2015

Fattah’s Son Found Guilty on 22 Counts in Fraud Case

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fattah’s son was convicted Thursday. The father is facing a 29-count indictment himself. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A jury found Rep. Chaka Fattah’s son guilty on 22 of 23 counts Thursday in a federal bank and tax fraud case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 2:13 p.m.

Hill Makes Pitch for Protected Bike Lanes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The commute could get a little easier for cyclists who trek between Union Station and Capitol Hill, if Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers and local transportation officials can agree.

Support for a protected bike lane on Louisiana Avenue has grown steadily in recent months, with the Congressional Bike Caucus and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen backing the plan. On Wednesday, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., added her voice to the chorus. Full story

November 3, 2015

Capitol Police Arrest One of Their Own on Arson Charges

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Recruits line up in a side hallway before the start of the U.S. Capitol Police graduation ceremony for the 35 members of Recruit Officer Class #178 in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on Friday, Jan. 23, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A 12-year veteran of the Capitol Police was arrested Monday by the department, in connection with an alleged arson attempt on Halloween.

Rodney Perdue, 44, was charged as a “Fugitive from Justice.” Police booked the House Division cop around 1:45 p.m., pursuant to an extraditable arrest warrant issued by the Baltimore City Police Department on charges of attempted arson, arson by threat and reckless endangerment, stemming from a housing dispute. Full story

October 29, 2015

Carper Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Clinton Endorsement

UNITED STATES - October 6: Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., speaks during a news conference to call on Congress to pass the Lautenberg Act to "protect families from dangerous chemicals," outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Carper endorsed Clinton after Joe Biden announced he would not run for president. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton for president has landed Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., in the crosshairs of a conservative watchdog group.

A complaint filed Wednesday with the Senate Ethics Committee pertains not to whom Carper endorsed on Oct. 26, but how he did it. Full story

October 28, 2015

Hastert Pleads Guilty in Hush Money Scheme

Hastert pleaded not guilty. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hastert pleaded guilty. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:30 a.m. | Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty during a Chicago federal court hearing Wednesday morning to evading federal bank reporting requirements as he withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money.

Justice Department prosecutors asked for zero to six months in prison for the Illinois Republican, but the judge is not bound by those guidelines. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 29. Full story

October 26, 2015

After Capitol Police Missteps, Congress Looks the Other Way

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The makers of the Glock boast that the pistol is “precisely engineered to meet the demanding specifications of military and law enforcement agencies worldwide.” It’s just the sort of item that should never find its way into the hands of a child.

Yet that’s exactly what happened on March 24. Full story

Cozy With the Cops

 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, notes that lawmakers often become close to the Capitol Police and those running it.

“It becomes a bit cozy and they try to resolve things in a non-visible way, and I think that’s what’s going on here,” he says.

House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller says she wishes Chief Kim C. Dine well but says the “rank and file” look forward to improving the culture.

“Of course, we don’t appoint the chief. That’s by the Capitol Police Board, which is its own odd structure here,” the retiring Michigan Republican says. “It’s sort of a holdover from over 100 years ago.”

Miller has encouraged the Capitol Police Board to “cast a very wide net” in the search for Dine’s successor.

Rep. Rich Nugent, for one, isn’t convinced any amount of searching will matter.

“It’s just a screwy setup,” he says. “The House has oversight in name only. We can’t do anything. We can’t fire. We can’t hire.

“It’s just an old archaic system the way it’s set up today, which makes it nonaccountable.”

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October 23, 2015

DOJ Clears Lois Lerner, Closes IRS Investigation

lois lerner

Lerner in a House Oversight Committee hearing in in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress wanted to jail her, but the Justice Department closed its investigation Friday into the IRS’s handling of tax-exemption applications from political groups without pursuing criminal charges against Lois Lerner.

In a letter to congressional committees probing the allegations that Lerner knowingly presided over the improper targeting of conservative organizations, Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik said the DOJ “found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.” Full story

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