Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Posts in "Senate Rules and Administration"

August 5, 2015

Senate Democrats Call for Higher Wages for Capitol Food Workers

 Brown led the effort to circulate the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brown led the effort to circulate the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly all members of the Senate Democratic Conference are calling for Capitol food service workers to receive higher wages and improved working conditions, according to a letter obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“It is important that all Senate cafeteria and catering workers are able to do their jobs in a positive and supportive work environment,” the senators wrote in a letter that’s expected to be sent to the Senate Rules Committee by the end of the week. “If Restaurant Associates is unable to treat and compensate its employees appropriately, we urge you to terminate the contract and find a different vendor.” Full story

July 29, 2015

On Unattended Guns, Questions Linger for Capitol Police

UNITED STATES - MAY 20: U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine testifies during the House Administration Committee hearing on the U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Dine is nearing the end of a 90-day probationary period with the Capitol Police Board. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Called before Congress for an oversight hearing after a tumultuous few weeks of reports of loaded service weapons left in problematic places around the Capitol and an ongoing hunt for employees who may have leaked internal information, Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine promised the acts would be dealt with “firmly and effectively.”

But 10 weeks after that hearing, and six months after the first incident, only one of the officers who left a weapon unattended has been disciplined. Full story

July 22, 2015

Capitol Food Workers Bring Income Inequality to Congress’ Front Step

A protester at Wednesday's rally. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Workers called for higher wages and a union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

For the third time in the past eight months, food-service workers at the Capitol have gone on strike to push for higher wages and union representation, a rare example of a national issue — income inequality — hitting close to home for Congress.

Forty Capitol workers, the highest number so far, joined roughly 650 federal contract workers from across the District of Columbia Wednesday who went on strike and rallied in Upper Senate Park. Full story

July 14, 2015

Should Congressional Research Service Reports Be Public?

apitol Hill Club on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lance says the information in CRS reports belongs to the American people. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The walls between members of the public and Capitol Hill’s exclusive division of policy and legal analysts are too tall, according to transparency advocates both inside and outside of Congress.

Such sentiment is prompting their calls to lawmakers with jurisdiction over the Library of Congress and the House clerk’s office to examine making public the highly regarded work of the Congressional Research Service. Full story

July 8, 2015

Lawmakers Disturbed by Suspension of Suspected Capitol Police Whistleblower

Blunt wonders whether Capitol Police are being forthcoming. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Blunt wonders whether Capitol Police are being forthcoming. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a matter of policy, members of Congress usually refrain from commenting on personnel issues related to the force of 1,775 officers sworn to protect them. But when it comes to fallout for bodyguards who protect top GOP leaders leaving their guns in publicly accessible bathrooms, some lawmakers are criticizing Capitol Police’s top brass.

“We need to do everything we can to protect whistleblowers,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah., reacting to CQ Roll Call’s report that Capitol Police have suspended a sergeant in the Capitol division, allegedly in retribution for a suspected leak. Full story

July 7, 2015

Capitol Police Sergeant Suspended in Gun-in-Bathroom Probe

On Jan. 29, this gun was left in a bathroom stall inside the Senate office portion of the Capitol VIsitor Center. (Photo courtesy of CQ Roll Call Tipster)

This photo has caused a firestorm within the agency. (Photo provided to CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police have suspended a sergeant in the Capitol division, allegedly in retribution for a leak related to Roll Call’s May 1 report of three incidents in which officers left loaded guns in problematic places, such as the bathroom.

The sergeant was one of two senior officials ordered on June 22 to speak with internal affairs investigators in the Office of Professional Responsibility, according to sources within the department. Those sources did not want to speak on the record about disciplinary matters for fear of retribution. Only one returned to work, the sources said, while the sergeant has not been back on duty since. Full story

June 16, 2015

Capitol Police Encouraged Not to Go to Press With Problems

efore a Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on FY2016 budget requests for the Secretary of the Senate, Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the U.S. Capitol Police, March 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Larkin, left, has recently been attending Capitol Police roll calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Within the institutional hierarchy of Capitol Hill, stepping outside the chain of command to tell your boss’s boss what’s on your mind might seem like a risky idea. But that’s exactly what Capitol Police sources say they have been encouraged to do recently — better that than go to the media. Full story

June 15, 2015

Senators Working to Address Food Service Worker Issue

Schatz called for higher wages for Senate workers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schatz called for higher wages for Senate workers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

More than six weeks after reports of low-paid Senate food-service workers shocked lawmakers, senators are in the process of finding the best avenue to address the situation.

At a June 11 markup for the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, the senators in charge of the subcommittee of jurisdiction said they will continue to work on the issue while the Senate’s food service contract is in flux.

Full story

June 8, 2015

Return to Sender? House Rules May Thwart Delivery of Doug Hughes’ Letter

rthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional rules may stop the latest attempt to get Hughes’ letter to members of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Connecticut man who wants to redress his grievances about campaign finance with a letter to Congress has learned security measures make it impossible to hand-deliver individually addressed mail to House members. In the Senate, he’ll need an armed escort. Full story

June 1, 2015

Rand Paul Campaign Video Taken Down (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign videos that appeared to violate Senate rules has been taken down. But a new campaign video seems to be taking advantage of a gray area in the rule.

A video titled, “Rand Paul: Filibuster for the Fourth Amendment,” posted online last week used video footage and audio from the Kentucky Republican’s marathon Senate speech about government surveillance, seemingly violating the Senate rule that prohibits the use of footage of Senate proceedings for campaign purposes. The video is no longer online, after the Senate Rules Committee took action Monday. Full story

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