Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 27, 2015

Posts in "Campus"

March 26, 2015

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

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

New Head of LGBT Congressional Staff Association Seeks Diversity for Group | Hill Climbers

Rivard is the leader of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rivard is the leader of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mitchell Rivard, the new president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Congressional Staff Association, said he and the group’s board have a plan to broaden their organization.

“The three pillars we’re working on are more Republicans, more women and more people of color,” said Rivard, who started in January.

They’re off to a good start. The group has bipartisan sponsorship in Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R–Fla., and Jared Polis, D–Colo. And though the majority of the members are Democrats they have expanded outreach efforts, such as bringing in the president of the Log Cabin Republicans to speak to the group. 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

A Gold Medal for the Golden Bear

The Golden Bear was honored Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Golden Bear was honored Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An emotional Jack Nicklaus received the Congressional Gold Medal Tuesday, honoring his achievements on and off the golf course.

“I played the greatest game of all and somehow, over the course of 65 years of playing, I ended up here today,” the golf legend told the crowd of family members, lawmakers and staffers gathered in the Rotunda. Full story

March 19, 2015

New CVC Exhibit Highlights Congressional Investigations

The Watergate burglar's address book that linked the White House to the break-in. (Photo courtesy of  Records of District Courts of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration).

The Watergate burglar’s address book that linked the White House to the break-in. (Courtesy
Records of District Courts of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration)

In the Capitol Visitor Center, behind the replica of the Statue of Freedom, a small address book sits in a glass case.

Under the name “HH” are two phone numbers: one for “home” and the other listed as “WH,” aka the White House.

The address book belonged to Watergate burglar Bernard Barker, and the HH stood for E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA officer who worked in the White House during President Richard M. Nixon’s administration.

Hunt directed the infamous break-in, and this small blue book helped link the burglary to the White House, ultimately leading to Nixon’s political demise.

It’s one of a number of artifacts on display in the CVC as part of a new “Congress Investigates” exhibit, highlighting congressional investigations spanning nearly 200 years. Every six months, the CVC displays documents in Exhibition Hall around a central theme and last week, latest display was unveiled.

“Investigations are a fascinating topic, and many of the investigations highlighted in the exhibit focused on important issues that are still relevant today,” CVC spokeswoman Sharon Gang wrote in an email. Gang said the exhibits “help illustrate the role of Congress in defining and helping to realize national goals and aspirations.”

Though the investigation into the Watergate break-in is one of the more high-profile probes in the exhibit, the documents on display highlight 18 different investigations that fall under general topics: exploration, common defense, unity, general welfare and knowledge. Each topic is tied to a congressional power dictated in the Constitution.

In a glass case for the exploration section sits S Res 283, dated April 17, 1912, which authorized an investigation into the Titanic disaster. In the next case is a handwritten House resolution dating back to 1792, which authorized the first congressional investigation into the executive branch. That probe delved into the defeat of Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair during a battle with American Indians.

Other investigations highlighted in the exhibit included the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the 1929 stock market crash, Union Army defeats in the Civil War and cheating on TV game shows.

Gang said the artifacts, which range from resolutions and committee reports to newspaper articles and photographs, are on loan from the Library of Congress and the National Archives. CVC exhibit staff worked to develop the exhibit along with staff at Library of Congress, the National Archives and the House and Senate Historians’ offices.

In addition to displaying the documents, the exhibit also explains how the investigations sparked new policies. During the 1950s, Congress investigated how comic books were affecting a “dramatic rise in juvenile delinquency” and conducted televised hearings on the subject. After the hearings, comic book publishers revamped their content standards, though likely to the disappointment of a 14-year-old from Pennsylvania, whose letter displayed in the exhibit argued that comic books deter crime.

“The person or persons committing the crime always gets caught. The fear of this stops crime and stops juvenile delinquency,” the teen wrote in his June 1954 letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. “In fact there is not a sufficient number of the comic books on the book stands.”

The final display explores limits to Congress’ investigative powers, highlighting a Supreme Court case in 1954 when labor organizer John Thomas Watkins questioned the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

“The Bill of Rights is applicable to congressional investigations, as it is to all forms of governmental action,” wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1957 opinion displayed in the exhibit.

Visitors to the Capitol can see these artifacts for themselves now until Congress Investigates closes on Sept. 12.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 5 a.m.
Campus, CVC

March 11, 2015

Capito Steps Into Legislative Branch Chairmanship

Capito is the new chairwoman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capito is the new chairwoman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., stepped into the limelight Tuesday, highlighting her new role as head of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Capitol complex and introducing herself on the floor with her maiden speech.

“This is our first run at the show,” Capito said at the start of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, referring to herself and new ranking member Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. “And I speak for myself, and I think I speak for the senator, that really we’re excited about having this responsibility. ” Full story

March 5, 2015

Sled On! Residents Defy Ban and Sled Down Capitol Hill

Catie Guire and Will Weedon, both 8, of Capitol Hill, sled on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol Thursday during a snow storm.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Catie Guire and Will Weedon, both 8, of Capitol Hill, sled on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol Thursday during a snow storm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s snowing! School is cancelled, you grab your saucer and go sledding with your friends — just like any other snow day — except for the throngs of reporters and cameras waiting for you at the bottom of the hill.

District of Columbia residents who took a stand against a ban on sledding on Capitol Hill drew dozens of reporters to the West Lawn Thursday afternoon as snow blanketed the Capitol grounds. But for the kids and parents, this wasn’t exactly major news. They just wanted to enjoy the rare inches of snow in the nation’s capital. 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

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