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

Posts in "AOC"

June 22, 2015

AOC Details July 4th Concert Security Protocols

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers rush to check items off their legislative to-do list before the Independence Day recess, Capitol administrators are busy preparing for the annual July 4th Concert on the West Lawn.

“A Capitol Fourth,” the live concert broadcast on PBS, is set for Saturday, July 4, at 8 p.m., and the Architect of the Capitol announced Monday that the concert will result in a familiar series of street closures. Full story

May 11, 2015

McCain Takes Swipe at Cannon Refurbishment

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

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

As crews refurbish the Cannon House Office Building, Sen. John McCain says the project is wasting taxpayer money.

As part of his “America’s Most Wasted” series, the Arizona Republican listed the Cannon Renewal Project as one of 10 examples of unnecessary spending. The $752.7 million, 10-year project will revitalize the oldest congressional office building, but McCain said the price is concerning. Full story

May 6, 2015

Capitol Dome Workers Pause for ‘Safety Stand-Down’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Construction workers who scale the Capitol Dome each day gathered Wednesday morning to learn about safety procedures and fall prevention.

Dozens of workers in their neon vests and hard hats listened to a number of technical experts and government officials as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s second annual National Safety Stand-Down, encouraging construction companies across the country to take a break from work and discuss fall prevention strategies. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 3:58 p.m.
AOC, Campus

March 25, 2015

Rotunda to Close for Six Weeks This Summer

Floor and art protection will once again be installed in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Floor and art protection will once again be installed in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Rotunda will close for six weeks this summer for scaffolding installation as part of the $60 million Dome restoration project.

According to a recent update on the Architect of the Capitol’s website, the Rotunda will be closed from July 25 through Labor Day on Sept. 7 so workers can install scaffolding to repair the Rotunda’s interior. Damage to the Dome has caused water to leak through the more than 1,000 cracks onto the Rotunda, damaging the interior. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:40 a.m.
AOC, Campus

March 20, 2015

What Will Happen to Schock’s ‘Downton Abbey’ Office?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s next for the Schock office? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Rep. Aaron Schock leaves Congress on March 31, his “Downton Abbey” office will remain, though the days of the pheasant feathers and paintings could also be numbered.

Whoever wins the special election for Schock’s seat in Illinois’ 18th District will inherit the Republican’s Rayburn office, but the Architect of the Capitol could repaint the bright red walls depending on the new member’s request.

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

November 21, 2014

Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives on the Hill

Capitol Christmas Tree

The Capitol Christmas Tree is hoisted from the truck for transportation to the West Lawn of the Capitol on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

All the way from Minnesota, the Capitol Christmas Tree arrived on Friday. Now, the Minnesota White Spruce just needs to be anchored upright, decorated head to toe and lit, finally, by Speaker John A. Boehner on Dec. 2.

This year’s tree traveled from the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota with some companions from back home — thousands of handmade ornaments from North Star State children tagged along for the journey.

According to an Architect of the Capitol blog post about the tree, the tree was selected on a two-day trip in July by AOC Superintendent of Capitol Grounds Ted Bechtol.

The lighting ceremony will take place on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol. It will be lit every night when the sun goes down until Jan. 1.

Related:

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Announced

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November 19, 2014

Capitol Dome Braces for Next Phase of Restoration

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.,  discusses the dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John Hoeven discusses the dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With frigid winds whipping around the 288 foot-tall Capitol Dome, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said the next phase of the nearly $60 million restoration project has begun.

Ayers told reporters gathered on the roof of the Capitol Tuesday that the scaffolding surrounding the Dome was complete, which he said was “a significant milestone.”

“The purpose of the scaffold is a very practical one,” said Ayers. “With its completion, workers are now able to access the Dome freely and can use the equipment necessary to begin the restoration work in earnest.” And those workers will be spotted on the 25 levels of scaffolding throughout the winter months, according to restoration construction manager Joseph Abriatis. Full story

November 12, 2014

Pack Up Your Troubles: Members Begin Moving Out

Aides to retiring Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Rebekah Eskandani, left, Danny Weiss, right, Aimee Wall, and David Uhlich from the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, check out posters while packing up Miller's office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eskandani, left, Weiss, right, Aimee Wall and David Uhlich from the Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley, check out posters while packing up Miller’s office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What does one do with 24 golden bulldogs?

“I’m trying to find homes for these things,” said Ed McDonald, chief of staff for retiring Rep. Howard Coble, describing the fiscal conservative awards the North Carolina Republican has acquired over the years. McDonald is packing up 30 years worth of memorabilia and documents before a different lawmaker moves into the Rayburn office.

While members of Congress who lost on Election Day are faced with the unpleasant task of packing up their belongings and moving out, other staffers who work for retiring members, and members who lost their primaries, have been packing up their offices for months. Full story

September 15, 2014

Capitol Hill Employees Concerned About July 10 Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos was also a concern in 2007, as shown by Scott Smith, U.S. Capitol Power Plant worker, during a House Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing on "Capitol Power Plant Utility Tunnels." (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Asbestos was also a concern in 2007, as shown by Scott Smith, U.S. Capitol Power Plant worker, during a House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing on “Capitol Power Plant Utility Tunnels.” (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The asbestos emergency that temporarily closed the House side of the Capitol was a scary ordeal for Architect of the Capitol and Capitol Police employees working the overnight shift.

Union officials representing workers at both agencies told CQ Roll Call they are concerned about potential exposure to the human carcinogen, which can cause chronic lung disease as well as cancer. The Office of Compliance, an agency created by Congress to ensure safety in the legislative branch workplace, has been asked to inspect the incident for an alleged violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Asbestos fibers and other debris were released into the air around 2:30 a.m. or 3 a.m., when AOC contractors removing insulation containing asbestos from pipes and valves on the Capitol’s fourth floor had an accident above the East Grand Staircase. Most of Capitol Hill learned about the incident hours later, when doors to the House side of the Capitol were closed as engineers and certified industrial hygienists evaluated the scene. Full story

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