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

Posts in "Senate Rules and Administration"

May 4, 2015

Glock Photo Sparks Firestorm on Capitol Hill

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)

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

A firestorm sparked by CQ Roll Call’s May 1 report on three instances of Capitol Police leaving loaded guns in problematic places has put top law enforcement officials on edge, launched a hunt for the source behind the photo of one unattended Glock and drawn fresh scrutiny from Congress.

“It’s unacceptable that firearms were left unattended by Capitol Police officers,” Rep. Tom Graves, the Georgia Republican who wields the gavel on the House Appropriations panel with jurisdiction over the agency, said in a Monday email. “While each of these incidents is under investigation by the Capitol Police’s Inspector General, the Subcommittee will take an active role in oversight efforts to help ensure similar incidents don’t happen in the future.” Full story

April 27, 2015

Senators Call for Higher Wages for Senate Workers

Elections 2016

Sanders speaks during a rally with striking federal workers on the East Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A group of senators are pushing for Senate contract workers to be paid a “living wage” following reports of workers barely getting by.

“The U.S. Congress should be working to improve the economic security of middle class families across the country.  We should start right here in the U.S. Senate,” nine senators wrote in a letter sent Monday to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Full story

April 22, 2015

As Campaigns Heat Up, Candidates Mind Senate Rules

Paul's campaign video raised questions about a Senate rule governing floor footage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul’s campaign video raised questions about a Senate rule governing floor footage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Juggling a grueling campaign schedule and work as a U.S. senator can be a daunting task for the ones running for president, but as election season picks up, they’ll also have to be mindful of the Senate rules for campaigning.

For example, speaking on the prestigious Senate floor about policies affecting the nation would be prime fodder for a campaign video, but the candidates are not allowed to use floor footage in videos — or are they? Full story

Senate Contractors to Join Federal Workers Strike at Capitol

Reginald Lewis (center), a CVC food services worker, goes on strike for higher wages in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reginald Lewis (center), a CVC food services worker, goes on strike for higher wages in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Contract workers in the U.S. Senate will walk off their jobs Wednesday to join contractors from across the District of Columbia in a strike calling for preference to be given to contractors who offer better wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights.

The Senate janitors and food service workers will join workers from the Capitol Visitor Center, the Pentagon, Union Station, the National Zoo and Smithsonian Institution at the rally on the West Front of the Capitol Wednesday morning.   Full story

April 20, 2015

Congressman Can’t Use Franked Mail to ‘Thank a Veteran’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The folks in charge of franked mail in the House refuse to allow members of Congress to send official mail for the sole purpose of encouraging their constituents to “thank a veteran,” a policy one Illinois Democrat calls “a disservice to the brave men and women who sacrifice so much for this country.”

Rep. Bill Foster found out about the prohibition in February, when a Valentine’s Day message his office submitted for review by the House Franking Commission ran afoul of the bipartisan, six-member panel’s proverbial red pen. Full story

April 1, 2015

Booker, McCaskill: Senate Needs to Be More Digital Friendly

y Booker, D-N.J., left, takes a selfie with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in the Capitol's Senate Reception Room after the senate luncheons, June 10, 2014. Booker plans to post a selfie of himself and all 99 senators on Instagram. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Booker, left, takes a selfie with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., last summer. Booker wants the Senate to get more digital friendly. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Claire McCaskill of Missouri are calling for an update of Senate technology policies to make better use of digital technology.

“New technology is changing the way we all live and work, and we have exciting opportunities to harness new tools in the Senate to improve our work with constituents,” the senators wrote in a letter to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee Wednesday. “Innovation in government is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; it is an American issue.” Full story

March 26, 2015

Congress Not Pushing Back on July Fourth Security Crackdown

Oh, say will you still be able to see from the Capitol? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oh, say will you still be able to see from the Capitol? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hill staffers would be the people most affected if Capitol law enforcement cracks down on Memorial Day and Fourth of July parties. That might be why members of Congress do not seem to be pushing back on a March 12 letter from the Capitol Police Board.

While lawmakers dismissed past proposals to limit access to the so-called “people’s house,” such as building a fence around the 276-acre complex, as former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer recently suggested, this most recent recommendation might prove more popular. Full story

February 12, 2015

Senate Committee Cuts a Reversal of Trend

Sen. Roy Blunt heads the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Sen. Roy Blunt heads the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

As the House Administration Committee deliberated committee funding over the past week, its counterpart across the Dome, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee adopted its funding resolution in a two-minute markup Thursday morning.

The resolution allocates more than $198 million from March 1, 2015, to Feb. 28, 2017, to the Senate committees. The figure is a slight decrease from committee funding for the 113th Congress, which amounted $201 million. The Rules Committee quickly dispensed with the duty of committee funding, with Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., noting the process was completed earlier than usual due to strong staff work. But the Senate did receive some criticism from the other chamber for a lack of cuts over the past few years. Full story

February 9, 2015

New House Cybersecurity Policies Show Ongoing Threat

Miller has announced new cybersecurity procedures. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Miller’s panel has announced new cybersecurity policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the wake of recent cyberattacks, the House has instituted new policies to strengthen cybersecurity, but some lawmakers acknowledge more must be done to address the ever-changing threat.

The Committee on House Administration sent an electronic “Dear Colleague” letter to congressional offices recently, detailing the new policies aimed at bolstering staff cybersecurity training and centralizing the security structure. Full story

November 12, 2014

Pack Up Your Troubles: Members Begin Moving Out

Aides to retiring Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Rebekah Eskandani, left, Danny Weiss, right, Aimee Wall, and David Uhlich from the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, check out posters while packing up Miller's office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eskandani, left, Weiss, right, Aimee Wall and David Uhlich from the Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley, check out posters while packing up Miller’s office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What does one do with 24 golden bulldogs?

“I’m trying to find homes for these things,” said Ed McDonald, chief of staff for retiring Rep. Howard Coble, describing the fiscal conservative awards the North Carolina Republican has acquired over the years. McDonald is packing up 30 years worth of memorabilia and documents before a different lawmaker moves into the Rayburn office.

While members of Congress who lost on Election Day are faced with the unpleasant task of packing up their belongings and moving out, other staffers who work for retiring members, and members who lost their primaries, have been packing up their offices for months. Full story

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