Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 7, 2015

Posts in "Members of Congress"

October 6, 2015

Bridging Technology and Policy, One Fellow at a Time


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When National Security Agency surveillance became a top issue on Capitol Hill, Travis Moore realized he didn’t have the knowledge base to understand the technology — and neither did anyone else in Congress. Now he’s working to change that.

In conjunction with the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, Moore launched a new technology fellowship for Congress on Oct. 1 known as “TechCongress,” which is designed to bring technology experts to Capitol Hill to bridge the technology-policy divide. Full story

October 5, 2015

Cotton Blocks Nominees After Secret Service Chaffetz Probe

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced Monday he would place a hold on three ambassadorial nominations until there are consequences — and a criminal investigation — for Secret Service agents who allegedly accessed a congressman’s private records.

Cotton took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon to chastise the agency for, in his view, attempting to intimidate House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, as he conducted oversight of the Secret Service. Full story

John Boehner Introduces D.C. Vouchers Bill (Updated)

Boehner has championed the DC vouchers program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner has championed the DC vouchers program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:31 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner is poised to end his speakership the way he started it, by introducing a measure to reauthorize the District of Columbia school voucher program.

On Monday, the Ohio Republican introduced the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act to reauthorize the vouchers, also known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, for five years. The program was the first bill Boehner introduced after he became speaker of the House in the 112th Congress. Full story

Inspector General Reopens Secret Service Probe of Chaffetz Leak

Chaffetz talks with John Mica during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Sept. 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz talks with John Mica on Sept. 29 during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s office reopened its investigation Monday into allegations that Secret Service agents circulated embarrassing personal information about House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy’s revised account of what he knew and when he knew it prompted the watchdog office to take a fresh look at the investigation. Clancy acknowledged late last week he heard rumors on March 25 that agents were discussing Chaffetz’s records, a week earlier than his previous timeline. Full story

October 2, 2015

Committee to Consider D.C. School Voucher Measure

Boehner has championed the DC school voucher program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner has championed the D.C. school voucher program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans will work to to cement a part of Speaker John A. Boehner’s legacy next week by taking up a measure aimed at reauthorizing one of his pet projects.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee members were notified Friday that their panel would be marking up a measure that would involve a five-year reauthorization of the D.C. school voucher program on Oct. 7, one day before House GOP leadership elections. Full story

Secret Service Targeting of Chaffetz Alarms Lawmakers

ry Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, conduct a news conference in the Capitol introducing the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights Enhancement Act of 2015," June 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secret Service behavior “threatens” Congress’ oversight of law enforcement, Grassley stated. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Secret Service official’s allegedly deliberate decision to embarrass Rep. Jason Chaffetz could “give pause” to other lawmakers who have applied for federal jobs, cautioned former House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

The inappropriate intrusion into Privacy Act-protected information, acknowledged in a report by the agency’s inspector general, could have a chilling effect, Sensenbrenner told CQ Roll Call Thursday — and he thinks someone “should be fired over it.”

Full story

October 1, 2015

9/11 Health Program Expires Amid Funding Showdown

Jon Stewart lobbied lawmakers in September to extend the health care program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jon Stewart lobbied lawmakers in September to extend the health care program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress averted a government shutdown Wednesday, but allowed another funding deadline to pass unfulfilled.

Authorization for a health care program for first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks expired, but lawmakers are optimistic the program will be reauthorized. Full story

September 30, 2015

Secret Service Criticism Made Chaffetz a Target (Video)

Ranking member Cummings, left, and Chairman Chaffetz, right, head the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cummings, left, wants the agency to apologize to Chaffetz, right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forceful questioning of then-Secret Service Director Julia Pierson helped Rep. Jason Chaffetz earn the notice he needed to grab the House Oversight and Government Reform gavel in the 114th Congress.

The Utah Republican’s fierce criticism of the agency also sent scores of Secret Service employees on a mission to discredit the congressman, a report by the Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General revealed Wednesday. Full story

September 28, 2015

Office of Congressional Ethics Dismisses Sexual Harassment Claims Against Farenthold

blake farenthold

Farenthold remains confident the House Ethics Committee will dismiss the case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ethics investigators struck a blow Monday to an ex-House staffer’s sexual harassment claims against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, nine months after the fired communications director filed suit in District of Columbia court.

The Office of Congressional Ethics did not find substantial reason to believe Farenthold, 53, sexually harassed Lauren Greene, discriminated against her on the basis of her gender, or retaliated against her for complaining about the alleged unlawful treatment. In accordance with public disclosure rules, the House Ethics Committee shared the OCE’s findings and announced it had not yet completed its own review of the matter. Full story

Plea Negotiations Underway in Hastert Case

 (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawyers for former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert are talking to federal prosecutors about a possible plea deal in the Illinois Republican’s hush-money case, according to several media reports.

Both sides told a federal judge negotiations were underway during a Monday hearing in Chicago. The judge was set to rule on a second request by Hastert to delay a deadline for pre-trial motions in the criminal case. Full story

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