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March 30, 2015

Posts in "Around Washington"

March 26, 2015

Former Staffer Is Off the Hill, but Still On the Grind

(Courtesy Robert McAlister)

(Courtesy Robert McAlister)

Robert McAlister didn’t know anything about the coffee business. But he knew he enjoyed drinking coffee.

“People from New Orleans, and Louisiana in general, tend to really be coffee lovers, so I already was. And I had an interest in it and just really wanted to know more about the coffee industry,” McAlister said, explaining his move from Capitol Hill to become head of wholesale sales for a burgeoning coffee company. Full story

March 24, 2015

Secret Service Director: ‘We Are Not a Perfect Agency’ (Video)

For the third time in a week, U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy faced pointed questions from members of Congress about officer misconduct and a lack of accountability for rank-and-file agents, but defended his beleaguered organization.

“The president, the White House, the first family is safe. Absolutely. I’ve protected four presidents. Four presidents who apparently respect the work that I’ve done,” Clancy told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a three-and-a-half hour hearing Tuesday. “I know what it takes to protect presidents and their families. And I know that we are not a perfect agency. … We know what we’re doing. But do we make mistakes? Yes we do. We make mistakes and we follow up on them.” Full story

March 23, 2015

Finding Nick Ryan: The Case of the Mysterious Email

Who sent the Nick Ryan email?

Who sent the Nick Ryan email? (Screenshot)

The email landing in Capitol Hill inboxes was simple enough — a personalized note thanking congressional staffers for their service.

What wasn’t clear was where it came from.

Full story

March 16, 2015

U.S. Attorney Who Investigated D.C. Corruption Steps Down (Updated)

Updated 2:01 p.m. | U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced Monday that he will step down on April 1 and return to private practice. Machen’s investigation into a former D.C. mayor’s campaign will likely continue after his departure, though that probe drew some criticism from members of Congress.

Machen will leave his post after more than five years, becoming the longest-serving U.S. attorney for D.C. in 35 years. After Machen leaves, Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr., a D.C. native, will become acting U.S. attorney. Full story

March 12, 2015

Capitol Expecting ‘Mass of Humanity’ for Pope Visit

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin (left) said he has experience protecting the pope. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Larkin, left, said he has experience protecting the pope. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The officials in charge of Capitol security are preparing for Pope Francis’ address to Congress in September, and the masses of people that are expected to descend upon the District of Columbia to get a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church.

“The papal visit will be significant in planning and scope. Almost similar, literally, to an inauguration. But perhaps even surpassing that,” Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine said Thursday at a Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. “We anticipate very, very large crowds all during that day, much earlier than even before the Pope coming to the Capitol, lining all of the streets. It’s a huge and very significant event.” Full story

March 11, 2015

Paul Ryan and Chief of Staff Sued After Fender-Bender

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

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

Two men from the D.C. area are suing Rep. Paul Ryan and his chief of staff for $100,000, alleging negligent driving caused Ryan’s top aide to rear-end their car while he was driving his boss’ vehicle.

Santos Perez, the driver, and Adan Bamaca Cajas, a passenger in Perez’s vehicle, claim they sustained concussions and spinal damage in the Feb. 25, 2014, collision on northbound Interstate 395. Their lawsuit contends that Kevin Seifert was acting in the course and scope of his duties as the Wisconsin Republican’s chief of staff that morning, while he was behind the wheel of Ryan’s vehicle. Ryan was not in the car at the time of the incident. Full story

March 6, 2015

City Leaders to Descend on Capitol Hill

City leaders count Enzi, a former mayor, as a key congressional ally. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National League of Cities counts Enzi, a former mayor, as a key congressional ally. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Representatives from cities around the country will descend on the District of Columbia next week to conduct more than 100 meetings on Capitol Hill, and stress areas where they can work with Congress to get things done.

More than 1,000 elected and appointed leaders from the nation’s cities are expected to attend the National League of Cities’ 50th Congressional City Conference, which President Barack Obama will address Monday. The conference will focus on lobbying Congress on their three main legislative priorities: modernizing transportation and infrastructure; addressing an online sales tax loophole, and defending municipal bonds. Full story

March 4, 2015

Ban on Capitol Hill Sledding Continues

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Police Board opted not to allow sledding on Capitol Hill, despite pleas from the District of Columbia’s representative to temporarily lift the ban as D.C. awaits a major winter storm promising several inches of snow.

“If the forecast holds true, there are many families who will want to enjoy the snow tomorrow,” Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, chairman of the Capitol Police Board, said in a statement Wednesday evening. “Although, for security reasons, the Capitol grounds are not your typical neighborhood hill or playground. Full story

Norton: Let My People Sled (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:50 p.m. | Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has asked for a waiver on the Capitol Hill sledding ban for the coming weekend, ahead of expected snowfall in the District of Columbia.

“This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years,” Norton said in a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, chairman of the Capitol Police Board. The capital region is expected to receive 4 to 8 inches of snow during a storm stretching from Wednesday evening to Thursday. Norton is asking that the ban be waived from March 5 to March 8. Full story

March 2, 2015

Hill East Redevelopment Moves Forward With Land Agreement

D.C. General Hospital, located in Hill East, now serves as a shelter for the homeless. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C. General Hospital, located in Hill East, now serves as a shelter for the homeless. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an agreement Monday launching the redevelopment of the Hill East District, with construction expected to begin next year on a project that includes additional apartments, a public village square and green space.

“Today is a big day for Reservation 13, the Hill East neighborhood, and the entire city,” Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen said in a statement. “It’s an important step toward realizing the vision for and full potential of this corner of the city, as well as finally delivering on promises made to the Hill East community.” Full story

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