Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

Posts in "Members of Congress"

December 18, 2014

Capitol Police Investigating Threat Against Rep. Bill Johnson

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Capitol Police are investigating a threat against Johnson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Threats against Ohio Republican Rep. Bill Johnson have Capitol Police and the FBI searching for a suspect along with local law enforcement in Salem, Ohio.

Johnson’s field representative and security director contacted police in the eastern Ohio town at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to report a call to the Salem office from a screaming man who swore at a staffer and made threats toward the congressman, according to local news outlet WYTV. According to the report, the suspect resides outside the community. Full story

December 16, 2014

Fired Staffer Sues Farenthold, Alleging Sexually Charged Workplace

farenthold 146 042413 440x301 Fired Staffer Sues Farenthold, Alleging Sexually Charged Workplace

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Blake Farenthold is being accused of discussing “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about a former staffer with one of his employees in a lawsuit that alleges the Texas Republican created a hostile work environment on Capitol Hill.

The complaint filed on Dec. 12 in District of Columbia court by Lauren Greene, who was fired from her position as Farenthold’s communications director in July, was first reported Tuesday by the National Law Journal. Greene claims the two-term congressman regularly drank to excess, and “because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red-head patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.” Full story

Rep. Jeb Hensarling Mourns Loss of His Father

hensarling121614 440x292 Rep. Jeb Hensarling Mourns Loss of His Father

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling is mourning his father, Charles “Chase” Hensarling, who died Sunday at the age of 86.

Hensarling’s spokesperson sent an email with the news Tuesday morning, explaining that the Texas Republican had to unexpectedly return home last week due to the family emergency. The Financial Services chairman was absent during the vote on the year-end spending package on Dec. 11. Full story

Bipartisan Bedfellows Push Overhaul of Prison, Sentencing Systems

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Booker, left, wants to continue working on prison overhaul. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Republicans set to have control of both chambers of Congress, there has been no shortage of talk of leaving the dysfunction of the 113th Congress behind and focusing on areas of compromise in the coming year.

One possible area (which is off most political radars) is overhauling the prison and sentencing systems, an issue on which Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, agree. They’ll all still be around in the 114th Congress. Full story

December 15, 2014

CRS Report Details Perks for Outgoing Members of Congress

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Sen. Mark Begich can still return to the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even though lawmakers who will not be returning to Congress in January might feel downtrodden, they can find solace in the fact that they retain some congressional perks.

Those perks, ranging from floor access to permanent identification cards, were outlined in the Congressional Research Service’s Dec. 5 report titled “Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress.” CRS American National Government specialist R. Eric Peterson wrote in the report, “Some [privileges] are derived from law and chamber rules, but others are courtesies that have been extended as a matter of custom.” Full story

December 12, 2014

D.C. Activists Make Last-Ditch Senate Lobbying Effort

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Activists are making a final lobbying push Friday to rally senators to oppose a rider targeting marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia that was attached to the year-end spending package “cromnibus.”

“As the attention moves to the Senate, it is important that supporters of D.C. democracy let senators know that we will not accept an act by Congress that reverses the will of the people,” DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry wrote in an email to supporters. Perry was referring to a rider that could block an initiative passed by nearly two-thirds of D.C. voters in November, which legalizes possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana. Full story

December 11, 2014

Hill Staffers Demonstrate in Wake Of Garner, Brown Protests

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Cummings and Black join Hill staffers in a demonstration on the steps of the Capitol. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

Hill staffers gathered on the steps of the Capitol Thursday for a demonstration of solidarity with those rallying over the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black began the proceedings by reading a specially prepared prayer. “Today, as people throughout the nation protest for justice throughout the land, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves,” Black said, a reference to Garner’s last words of “I can’t breathe,” also now used as a rallying cry among protesters. Full story

December 10, 2014

Campaign Finance Provisions Causing ‘Cromnibus’ Heartburn

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McConnell has long opposed limits on campaign finance practices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite backlash from Democrats, good government groups think the language in the year-end spending bill that alters campaign finance law benefits both parties’ pocketbooks too much for it to be carved out.

The watchdogs were among the first to criticize provisions buried deep in the “cromnibus” released Tuesday night that would dramatically ease spending limits on individual contributions to national political party committees. Full story

December 9, 2014

Washington 2024 Olympic Campaign Features Capitol Hill Cast

The team behind Washington’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is trying to spin D.C.’s “this town” reputation to its advantage with a new video featuring some of Capitol Hill’s most recognizable personalities.

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., both make cameos in the bipartisan promotional campaign that went live Tuesday. Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine were also cast members to boost the region’s bid, as was Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., though Maryland’s delegation is notably absent.

“We have our spats and quarrels,” Warner acknowledged in the 2-minute clip.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis then told the camera: “But we find unity when it really matters.”

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Washington Wizards guard John Wall are among the other locals in the video reclaiming the “this town” moniker.

The 2024 bid created is also forming a bond between two of the fiercest partisans in the 2012 presidential campaign. Jim Messina, who managed President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and Mitt Romney veteran Matt Rhoades are both working to win Washington the world’s most prestigious sporting event.

Related:

Summer Olympics 2024: D.C. Throws Its Hat in the Ring

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

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Gutiérrez Recalls Racial Profiling Incident at Capitol

Gutierrez 230 010113 440x290 Gutiérrez Recalls Racial Profiling Incident at Capitol

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the state of civil rights Tuesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez revisited a 1996 exchange that raised the issue of racial profiling in Capitol security.

A few minutes into his testimony on police practices, the Illinois Democrat recounted, “when I was stopped and refused admission to this very Capitol complex earlier in my career because, as the Capitol Hill police officer said, ‘I didn’t look like a congressman.’ Full story

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