Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2015

Posts in "Campus"

August 28, 2015

Will The Supreme Court Become ‘First Amendment-Free Zone?’

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that protesters at the Supreme Court of the United States are confined to the sidewalk, which was disappointing news to those who argued that restricting demonstrations on the court’s plaza violated the First Amendment.

“The Constitution guarantees the right to peaceably assemble … [It] doesn’t say just to petition Congress or the president, but the government. And the Supreme Court is one of the three branches of government,” attorney Jeffrey Light, who argued that a ban on demonstrations was unconstitutional, said in a phone interview. “The court has essentially created a First Amendment-free zone on the plaza of the Supreme Court.” Full story

August 21, 2015

Labor Group Sees ‘Pattern of Retaliation’ Against Capitol Workers

Forty Capitol workers went on strike in July to call for higher wages and a union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forty Capitol workers went on strike in July. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Less than a week after the Senate food vendor settled a dispute regarding retaliation against workers who went on strike, a supervisor allegedly reprimanded a worker who spoke out against her wages.

Kim, a worker in the Dirksen Senate Office Building who asked not to be identified with her last name, detailed in an Aug. 6 piece for The Guardian how she could not make ends meet with $10.33-an-hour wages and resorted to dancing in a strip club for extra money. Full story

August 11, 2015

Sodexo Takes Over the House

(CQ Roll Call File Photo).

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In one House cafeteria, closed doors and cardboard boxes. In another, red, white and blue balloons.

Sodexo, an international food vendor, officially took over the House dining services Monday, causing a number of areas to close for construction while posting new signs and decorations in the cafeterias that remained open. Full story

August 10, 2015

House Chamber Closed as AOC Investigates Unknown Material (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Testing material found in the chamber could take up to eight hours. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:35 p.m. | The House chamber was closed Monday morning after Architect of the Capitol workers discovered a potentially hazardous substance during ongoing restoration work.

Behind wall fabric, workers found an unknown material that is being tested for asbestos. The chamber was closed “in an abundance of caution,” House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving said in a brief memo. Full story

August 5, 2015

Senate Democrats Call for Higher Wages for Capitol Food Workers

 Brown led the effort to circulate the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brown led the effort to circulate the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly all members of the Senate Democratic Conference are calling for Capitol food service workers to receive higher wages and improved working conditions, according to a letter obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“It is important that all Senate cafeteria and catering workers are able to do their jobs in a positive and supportive work environment,” the senators wrote in a letter that’s expected to be sent to the Senate Rules Committee by the end of the week. “If Restaurant Associates is unable to treat and compensate its employees appropriately, we urge you to terminate the contract and find a different vendor.” Full story

August 4, 2015

Marine Corps Fellow Arrested for Having Gun on Capitol Grounds

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:35 p.m. | Capitol Police arrested a member of the Marine Corps congressional fellowship program Tuesday afternoon for having a loaded gun on congressional property.

Gunnery Sergeant Peter Boby was arrested after officers discovered loaded .45 caliber handgun in his vehicle during a routine vehicle inspection outside of the Rayburn House Office Building. USCP spokesperson Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider said in a statement, “At approximately 2:00 pm today at Washington Avenue and C Street, SW, USCP officers were conducting administrative security screening required for entry into the secure perimeter.  Officers discovered a loaded .45 caliber handgun in a vehicle.” Full story

NLRB Finds Retaliation After Capitol Food Worker Strike

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Labor Relations Board has found that the Capitol’s food-service vendor likely violated labor laws when supervisors retaliated against workers who went on strike. Full story

Second Hill Langar Raises Awareness About Sikh Faith

(Photo by Les Talusan/SALDEF)

(Courtesy Les Talusan/SALDEF)

For the second time on Capitol Hill, staffers, lawmakers and citizens gathered in the Rayburn foyer, removed their shoes, donned orange head scarves and participated in a centuries-old Sikh tradition.

The second “Langar on the Hill” recently drew roughly 350 people for the tradition centered around equality, in which attendees sit on the floor and share a meal regardless of racial or socioeconomic barriers. Attendees covered their heads with orange scarves and removed their shoes, reflecting practices for entering a Sikh temple, also known as a gurdwara.

Full story

July 31, 2015

Driver in Barricade Crash Identified as Pennsylvania Man

(Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

(Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

The man who crashed his red sedan Friday morning into a barricade about 150 yards south of the Capitol appears to have a history of criminal activity related to automobiles.

Police in Pennsylvania arrested Antonio Pierorazio, 50, in April 2014 following a spate of vandalism at car dealership lots near Reading. In three separate incidents, Pierorazio is alleged to have scratched 21 vehicles, causing more than $29,000 worth of damage. Full story

July 30, 2015

Congressional Couches Test Positive for Toxic Retardant

Pallone said he was not surprised some couches tested positive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pallone said he was not surprised some congressional couches tested positive for toxic flame-retardant chemicals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress considers an overhaul of toxic chemical regulations, a new analysis has brought the issue close to home — perhaps a little too close for comfort.

The Environmental Defense Fund recently analyzed six couches from each of the congressional office buildings and found three contained a toxic flame-retardant chemical known as TDCPP. The chemical can be found on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s list of carcinogens. Full story

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