Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

Posts in "Members of Congress"

May 27, 2015

Blimps Over Capitol: Just Hot Air?

The Office of Naval Research worked with Science & Technology International  to develop blimps for the war on terrorism. (Alex Wong/Getty Images File Photo)

The Office of Naval Research worked with Science & Technology International in 2003 to test blimps for the war on terrorism. (Alex Wong/Getty Images File Photo)

Coming soon to a Capitol skyline near you: Giant blimps at 10,000 feet?

The woman at the helm of the House Administration Committee thinks the Capitol needs eyes in the sky, after authorities failed to detect Florida mailman Douglas Hughes’ April 15 gyrocopter flight.

Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., visited U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ground stations along the Southern border in January and was amazed at the clarity of the Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS. She is suggesting the “sophisticated technology” might suit the Capitol. Full story

May 21, 2015

Foster Youth Shadow Day Shows Power of Personal Stories

Briana Smith, 19, of Los Angeles, talks with Bass about her experience in three foster care. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Briana Smith, 19, of Los Angeles, talks with Bass about her experience in three foster care homes. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Karen Bass took to the House floor Wednesday for a one-minute speech, standing next to a picture of a smiling young woman. That same young woman sat in the gallery above as Bass told her story.

“Briana became an open case with child services at the age of 15 due to abuse by her father,” the California Democrat said. “Multiple placements, neglect and instability defined her foster care experience.” Full story

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

Embattled Guinta Not Backing Down, Despite Calls for Resignation

Guinta has come under fire from a fellow home-state Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Guinta has come under fire from a fellow home-state Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been a rough few days for Rep. Frank Guinta, capped Monday with Sen. Kelly Ayotte calling on her fellow New Hampshire Republican to step down amid a campaign finance scandal. But the embattled congressman is not backing down.

After five years of denying allegations of wrongdoing related to his 2010 campaign, Guinta was found by the Federal Election Commission to have violated campaign finance laws by accepting $355,000 in illegal contributions from his parents. Full story

May 15, 2015

Obama Honors Fallen Officers at Capitol Memorial

Hundreds of officers and their families gathered at the memorial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Officers and their families attended the memorial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hundreds of law enforcement officers and their families from every corner of the country gathered at the Capitol Friday to honor their fallen brethren.

At the 34th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, the local, state and federal officers, dressed in full uniforms, gathered on the West Front lawn for the solemn ceremony, which included remarks from President Barack Obama.

“Your jobs are inherently dangerous; the reminders are too common,” Obama said. “We cannot erase every darkness or danger from the duty you’ve chosen. We can offer you the support that you need to be safer.” Full story

Lawmakers Take D.C. Vouchers Debate to Local High School

Cummings and Chaffetz held a field hearing on D.C. vouchers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cummings and Chaffetz held a field hearing on D.C. vouchers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Federal lawmakers used the backdrop of a private D.C. high school to delve into the D.C. school voucher program and found themselves amid debate about the propriety of Congress’ role in local affairs.

The chime of school bells occasionally interrupted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s May 14 field hearing at Archbishop Carroll High School in Northeast D.C. to examine the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program’s authorization expires this year, and a partisan divide over education funds threatens its future. Full story

May 13, 2015

House Panel Approves Bill to Cut WMATA Funding

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two days after thousands of Metro riders were stranded due to reports of smoke in a tunnel, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cut a third of Washington Metro Area Transit Authority funding.

In a 30-21 vote, the committee approved the Transportation-HUD spending bill Wednesday, granting WMATA $100 million in 2016 — two-thirds of the typical allotment. The bill originally cut funding in half, prompting a backlash from lawmakers in the District of Columbia and surrounding regions. Full story

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