Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 23, 2015

Posts in "Legislative Branch Funding"

May 20, 2015

Congress Concerned by Capitol Police Conduct With Protesters

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: U.S. Capitol Police honor guard members salute during the Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial Service outside of DC Police headquarters on Monday May 11, 2015. The event held by the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary DC Lodge honored deceased local law enforcement officers, including U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Clinton J Holz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Concern about inconsistent treatment of protesters  by officers sparked a letter to Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has been critical of the Capitol Police this year when it comes to the department’s handling of protesters. Now, one member is demanding to see the department’s policies on removing demonstrators from House and Senate hearings.

It started in January, when Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain called one of the protesters who disrupted a panel hearing “low-life scum,” and later vowed he would be “raising hell” over their behavior toward 91-year-old former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Full story

May 19, 2015

Politics of a Pay Raise for Congress: Still Toxic (Video)

Hastings says Congress needs a raise. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hastings says Congress needs a raise. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the doors slid shut on Capitol Hill’s private, members-only elevators last spring, colleagues started to tell then-Rep. James P. Moran their honest opinion of his proposed housing stipend: Congress desperately needs a raise.

“You’re a real sport for taking it on, Jim,” the retired Virginia Democrat said he heard from members, once they were out of the earshot of reporters. Speaking from his desk at McDermott Will & Emery’s Government Strategies Practice Group Tuesday, the congressman-turned-lobbyist lamented the lack of political courage on the Hill from lawmakers who “learned how to tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to know.”

Florida Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ argument that members of Congress need a pay raise may have garnered support from a top House Democrat, but other members who would likely benefit from a salary increase are not falling in line on the politically toxic issue. Full story

Hoyer Supports Pay Raise for Lawmakers

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., agreed Tuesday morning that congressional salaries should increase.

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., made the case for a lawmaker pay raise during a Rules Committee meeting Monday night, arguing that the high cost of living in the District of Columbia will lead to a situation where only wealthy people can afford to serve in Congress. Full story

May 18, 2015

Hastings: Members of Congress Need a Pay Raise (Video)

Hastings argued members of Congress need a pay raise. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Hastings argued members of Congress need a pay raise. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings made the politically tone-deaf case for raising salaries for members of Congress Monday, pointing to the high cost of living in the District of Columbia.

“Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution,” the Florida Democrat said at a Rules Committee meeting, referring to the average member’s $174,000 annual salary. “We aren’t being paid properly,” he later added. Full story

GPO Parking Lot Development Moves Forward

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing an ever-shrinking budget, the Government Publishing Office is moving forward with a plan to develop an employee parking lot for commercial real estate. But the real estate firm in charge of the plan faces questions about its management capabilities.

The GPO began requesting information about developing the space last July, and the legislative branch agency announced on May 14 it had awarded a consulting services contract to CBRE, a global real estate firm. Full story

May 11, 2015

McCain Takes Swipe at Cannon Refurbishment

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers discusses the Cannon House Office Building renewal project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayers discusses the Cannon project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As crews refurbish the Cannon House Office Building, Sen. John McCain says the project is wasting taxpayer money.

As part of his “America’s Most Wasted” series, the Arizona Republican listed the Cannon Renewal Project as one of 10 examples of unnecessary spending. The $752.7 million, 10-year project will revitalize the oldest congressional office building, but McCain said the price is concerning. Full story

May 7, 2015

Lawmakers Push for Lower CVC Food Prices

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Amid complaints about wages for restaurant workers and allegations about retaliation against workers who went on strike, the Capitol Visitor Center is facing questions on another front: food prices.

The disparity between CVC food prices and those in other Capitol cafeterias has spurred constituent complaints, and House appropriators are taking action. Tucked into the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee report is a provision zeroing in on food prices at the CVC. Full story

May 4, 2015

Congress Is for Hackers

Thune checks out augmented reality glasses after speaking at a "hack-a-thon" hosted at Google's office in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thune tries out augmented reality glasses after speaking at a “hack-a-thon” hosted at Google’s office in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In fewer than two days last week, more than 100 hackers — coders, business analysts, former congressional staffers and grass-roots advocacy specialists — developed 11 projects aimed at helping Congress function more effectively and transparently.

It’s the kind of efficiency the legislators who spoke to those assembled at Google’s Washington, D.C., office can only dream of.

The winning project was something called “Coalition Builder,” which stemmed from Sen. Cory Booker’s challenge to develop a program to make it easier to find potential legislative partners.

Full story

April 30, 2015

Members Urge Capitol Police to Allow Sledding

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Through an amendment to a spending bill, lawmakers are urging the Capitol Police to allow D.C. residents to sled on Capitol Hill.

The ban on Hill sledding garnered attention this past winter, as families were turned away, sleds in hand, from sliding down the snowy hill with the Capitol in the background. Capitol Police reportedly told one hopeful sledder that a congressional appropriator insisted the ban be enforced. Full story

Graves Brings Conservative Focus to Legislative Branch Funding

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., chairs the subcommittee in charge of legislative branch funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graves chairs the subcommittee in charge of legislative branch funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Rep. Tom Graves, his role as chairman of the subcommittee that doles out funds for the legislative branch is an opportunity to put his fiscal conservative principles into practice. Full story

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