Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2015

Posts in "House Admin"

April 20, 2015

Congressman Can’t Use Franked Mail to ‘Thank a Veteran’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The folks in charge of franked mail in the House refuse to allow members of Congress to send official mail for the sole purpose of encouraging their constituents to “thank a veteran,” a policy one Illinois Democrat calls “a disservice to the brave men and women who sacrifice so much for this country.”

Rep. Bill Foster found out about the prohibition in February, when a Valentine’s Day message his office submitted for review by the House Franking Commission ran afoul of the bipartisan, six-member panel’s proverbial red pen. Full story

Another Schock Staffer Served Grand Jury Subpoena

Schock resigned on March 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schock resigned on March 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another staffer for ex-Rep. Aaron Schock has been served with a grand jury subpoena to testify as part of the investigation into the Illinois Republican’s spending.

Shea Ledford formally notified Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, of the subpoena Monday afternoon as the House gaveled into its pro forma session. According to the Legistorm database, Ledford has served as a “district special assistant” since April 2014. Full story

April 17, 2015

Congress Wants Answers From Capitol Police on Gyrocopter (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress say they received no warning that the West Front went into lockdown Wednesday afternoon, prompting concerns about how Capitol Police would handle a more menacing threat to the secure airspace surrounding the Dome.

Among those demanding accountability from Capitol Police over the gyrocopter incident are appropriators who write the Capitol Police budget. Full story

March 27, 2015

After Schock: House to Review Spending Rules

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Committee on House Administration announced Friday it is reviewing regulations governing lawmaker spending. The announcement comes in the wake of Illinois Republican Aaron Schock’s resignation due to improper spending of his congressional funds.

House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., said in a statement that the committee “will review current House regulations and explore ways to strengthen the regulations governing official expenses, as well as ways to enhance the training and educational opportunities available to assist each office with compliance.” Full story

March 25, 2015

House Officials Not Impressed With Vitter’s Obamacare Probe

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vitter is investigating congressional health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As part of his ongoing investigation into congressional enrollment in Obamacare, Sen. David Vitter is taking on the House of Representatives, asking Speaker John A. Boehner to push House officials to comply with his inquiry. But neither the speaker’s office nor other House officers seem likely to do so.

“I am writing to advise you of my efforts and also to request any assistance that you or your office can offer in obtaining the cooperation of the House of Representatives in this important investigation,” the Louisiana Republican wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Boehner. Full story

March 24, 2015

Bipartisan Pair Volunteers to Get Schooled on House Ethics

Cicilline, right, said he wants to set an example for other lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cicilline, right, teamed up with Rigell to attend an ethics training workshop. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the heels of Rep. Aaron Schock’s resignation announcement, two of the Illinois Republican’s House colleagues paid a timely visit to the congressional ethics police.

Reps. Scott Rigell, R-Va., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., made a Monday afternoon appointment with House Ethics Committee staff to get schooled on congressional ethics, taking advantage of what Cicilline described as a “natural time” to think about the rules governing the behavior of members and how those rules are enforced. Full story

March 18, 2015

Schock Fallout: Rules Subject to Interpretation

Schock is a member of the committee that governs how offices can spend funds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schock is a member of the committee that governs how offices can spend funds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Aaron Schock’s downfall marks another high-profile lawmaker felled by ethics troubles. But don’t expect Congress to ramp up efforts at self-policing.

Some say interpretation of right and wrong when it comes to office expenditures is pretty basic.

“I think the rules are clear enough for people to interpret those on their own,” said Rep. Gregg Harper, who serves with the Illinois Republican on the House Administration Committee, the panel responsible for divvying up the annual appropriations each lawmaker receives.

“Rules are pretty simple to follow,” added Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Fla.

Full story

March 4, 2015

Craigslist for Congress? Farr Makes Far-Fetched Pitches

Farr, right, wants to streamline tour booking for staff assistants. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Farr, right, wants to streamline tour booking for staff assistants. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trying to find housing near the Capitol? Selling a bike? Need to locate lost jewelry?

Right now, cork bulletin boards outside the Hill’s cafeterias serve as the only official space for staffers to post such notices. But Rep. Sam Farr wants the House to follow the lead of other large employers by creating an online system to make such transactions simpler.

Full story

February 11, 2015

Phone Scammers Target Congressional Offices

Congressional offices have been warned of fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional offices have been warned about fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Security officials are warning Capitol Hill employees to be alert for telephone scams targeting congressional offices, a reminder that Internet-calling technology makes phone calls as big a threat to Congress as cyberattacks.

On Monday, the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms sent out a notice about illegal phone phishing incidents, involving callers trying to elicit sensitive information about the Senate network, including IP addresses, files present on Senate computers and how to obtain remote access. Full story

February 10, 2015

After Years of Cuts or Freezes, Committee Leaders Hope to Bolster Budgets

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte is among the committee chairmen asking for more funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Goodlatte is among the committee chairmen asking for more funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After several years of budget cuts, congressional committees are looking to rebuild in the 114th Congress, and have been making their case over the past week for more funds.

The House Administration Committee held a day-long hearing on Feb. 4 and will hold another Wednesday to discuss committee budgets. Each committee’s chairman and ranking member will present budget requests, with many asking for increases and others pleading for no further cuts. Full story

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