Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 31, 2015

Posts by Hannah Hess

406 Posts

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

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

Authorities to Transfer Jesse Jackson Jr. to D.C. Halfway House

Jackson will be monitored and forced to look for a job at the halfway house. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jackson will be monitored, placed under curfew and forced to look for a job at the halfway house. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is expected to return to Washington this week, nearly 17 months after the Illinois Democrat entered the federal prison system to begin a 30-month sentence for defrauding his campaign.

Jackson will enter a privately run halfway house as early as Thursday, where he will be monitored, placed under a curfew and be required to look for a job, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday evening, relaying the news from a Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman. Full story

March 24, 2015

Police Want to Curtail Capitol Fourth of July Festivities

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Staffing the July Fourth and Memorial Day concerts, including rehearsals and setup, cost Capitol Police more than $735,000 in overtime during 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

First sledding, now the Fourth of July.

Law enforcement authorities at the Capitol are asking congressional leaders to curtail the most patriotic summer celebrations on the Hill by implementing new restrictions on Independence Day and Memorial Day festivities. The Capitol Police Board has asked the Capitol be restricted to members and staff who have offices in the Capitol, plus the VIPs.

Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 11:23 p.m.
Campus, Capitol Police

Social Media Policy Stirs Up More Trouble Within Capitol Police Ranks

Use of social media is the subject of a controversial department directive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Officers’ use of social media is the subject of a controversial department directive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sharing photos and posts about the scene of the March 7, 2014, crash that landed a silver car in a tree southeast of the Capitol got a few Capitol Police officers into trouble with the department.

Disciplinary action taken against one officer who posted “stupid stuff” got employees curious about what the agency deemed unprofessional when it comes to social media use, according to Jim Konczos, chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee’s executive board. So the union asked department leadership to clarify. Nearly a year later, Chief Kim C. Dine has issued strict new guidelines on how employees can use Facebook, participate in online forums and comment on news sites, both on and off the clock. Full story

Bipartisan Pair Volunteers to Get Schooled on House Ethics

Cicilline, right, said he wants to set an example for other lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cicilline, right, teamed up with Rigell to attend an ethics training workshop. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the heels of Rep. Aaron Schock’s resignation announcement, two of the Illinois Republican’s House colleagues paid a timely visit to the congressional ethics police.

Reps. Scott Rigell, R-Va., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., made a Monday afternoon appointment with House Ethics Committee staff to get schooled on congressional ethics, taking advantage of what Cicilline described as a “natural time” to think about the rules governing the behavior of members and how those rules are enforced. Full story

March 20, 2015

Could Aaron Schock Really End Up in Jail?

Aaron Schock office

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could Aaron Schock actually end up “in jail” for his misspending, as the Illinois Republican’s father said after his son’s resignation announcement?

It seems possible, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that federal investigators based in Springfield, Ill., are looking into Schock’s spending, and have subpoenaed witnesses to appear before a grand jury next month. An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the report. Full story

Page 1 of 41

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...