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

Posts in "Around Washington"

July 27, 2015

D.C. Drawn Into Sanctuary Cities Debate

Gohmert introduced "The Safer DC Act" Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gohmert introduced “The Safer DC Act” Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House has voted to limit funding for so-called sanctuary cities, but one lawmaker is pushing to take further action in the District of Columbia, dictating specific policies for law enforcement.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, has introduced “The Safer D.C. Act” declaring the District is a “sanctuary city,” or a jurisdiction with policies that shelter undocumented immigrants. “The Constitution explicitly vests Congress with exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia — and we should take action,” Gohmert said. “Therefore, at the very least, Congress must use our explicit Constitutional power to ensure that at least the District of Columbia is not a sanctuary city.” Full story

July 22, 2015

National Security or First Amendment? Gyrocopter Case Proceeds

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes wants to argue a “necessity defense” for his gyrocopter flight. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The airspace security concerns Congress has harped on since the April 15 gyrocopter stunt on the West Front continue to delay Douglas Hughes from a federal trial, but the Florida mailman has dreamed up his own defense strategy.

Hughes presented his “necessity defense” to reporters Wednesday, after a status hearing in the federal courthouse mere blocks from the Capitol. Full story

July 21, 2015

WWI Group Asks Congress to Help Commemorate War

Rep. Ted Poe discusses commemorating WWI. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Poe discusses commemorating WWI. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Braving the stifling humidity, a handful of members from the Marine Corps re-enactors unit donned their “doughboy” uniforms at the Capitol to bring attention to the commemoration of World War I.

The “doughboys,” the term used for American soldiers in WWI, stood at attention Tuesday morning on the East Front as part of the WWI Centennial Commission’s event to raise awareness about the its plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American involvement in the Great War. Full story

July 15, 2015

Capitol Bike Accident Reveals Cyclists’ Challenges in D.C.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Emily Estus’ daily bicycle route to work includes a stretch along the Capitol grounds, but her commute took a turn for the worse one day in April.

As the 23-year-old D.C. resident rode on the north side of the Capitol through the parking area along Constitution Avenue, a regular pathway for cyclists, she collided with a car as it turned into a parking spot. Full story

July 13, 2015

White House Area Closures Prompt Access, Safety Concerns

Norton is concerned about bicyclist and pedestrian access around the White House. (Photo courtesy of Norton's office)

Norton is concerned about bicyclist and pedestrian access around the White House. (Photo courtesy of Norton’s office)

The White House is undergoing some security changes to deter fence jumpers, but one member of Congress is concerned the construction is restricting bicyclists and pedestrians who traverse the area.

The fence construction and other security concerns have prompted closures of areas surrounding the White House, particularly barring bicyclists from portions of the Pennsylvania Avenue plaza. A recent false alarm about a shooter at the Washington Navy Yard also led to the temporary closure of Lafayette Park north of the complex. The closures prompted Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., to raise concerns with the National Park Service and the Secret Service, and request a meeting to discuss what can be done. Full story

July 9, 2015

D.C.-Area Leaders Protest Donald Trump Hotel

Donald Trump

Trump’s new D.C. hotel attracted protesters Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Local leaders from around the nation’s capital gathered Thursday on Pennsylvania Avenue to protest at the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion, which Donald Trump is converting into a luxury hotel.

Their message was simple: “Dump Trump!” Full story

More Than 22 Million Affected by OPM Hack

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the number of people affected by recent data breaches at the agency is more than 22 million people.

Roughly 4.2 million federal employees were affected by the first data breach, and more than 3.6 million of those employees were also affected by a second data breach of background investigation information, along with 17.9 million other current, former and prospective employees.
Full story

July 1, 2015

Donald Trump Is Coming to D.C., One Way or Another

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One way or another, Trump will be able to take residence on Pennsylvania Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The current controversy surrounding businessman and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is not having an effect on at least one of his business ventures  redevelopment of the Old Post Office Pavilion. Full story

June 30, 2015

Vatican Releases Schedule for Pope Francis U.S. Visit

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Vatican on Tuesday released Pope Francis’ schedule for his September visit to the United States, where he will spend five days and address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24.

“It is with humility and deep gratitude that we will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol in September for a Joint Meeting of Congress,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “His visit to the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented, and it is with open ears and hearts that we will welcome his address to the Congress.” Full story

June 26, 2015

SCOTUS Scene Contrasts With Quiet Capitol

UNITED STATES - JUNE 26: Madeleine Troup, of Houston, wipes tears of joy away after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide on Friday, June 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Madeleine Troup, of Houston, wipes tears of joy away Friday after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Except for some reporters and cameras on the East Front, the Capitol grounds were fairly quiet Friday morning, standing in stark contrast to the electric crowds across the street.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing in the majority opinion that same-sex couples “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” Full story

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