Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 2, 2015

Posts in "Senate Rules and Administration"

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

October 30, 2014

No Changes at Capitol Following Jeh Johnson’s Security Upgrade

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The recent order to beef up security at federal buildings does not appear to have resulted in any changes for the men and women guarding Congress. On Wednesday, a day after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered enhanced protection against the threat of terrorism for government buildings in Washington and across the country, it was business as usual on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Police stood guard around campus, patrol cars circled the perimeter and typical screening procedures stayed in place.

When asked about Capitol Police response, spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider told CQ Roll Call that the department “remains at a post-9/11 heightened level of awareness [and] continues to monitor and track global events.”

One cop on a mountain bike playfully kicked the seat of another officer’s bike as they wheeled around the Peace Circle at noon. Around 1 p.m. inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building, police patted down a man outfitted wearing a white turban and robe who declined to remove garments for the metal detectors.

Down the hall from the first floor entrance, staffers were learning how to respond to an active shooter incident. The Senate sergeant-at-arms developed the hour-long training in coordination with the Capitol Police in 2011. It is one of the highest-attended courses the SAA offers.

The attacks on Canadian Parliament last week prompted no significant changes to security around the grounds, Capitol Police said at the time. Johnson cited that violence and other world events in his announcement of new directions for the Federal Protective Service.

Members of Congress with jurisdiction over day-to-day operations, including Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Charles E. Schumer, did not indicate they were aware of any changes in protocol.

House Administration Chairman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is kept up-to-date on the status of security of our Capitol facilities, a spokesperson for the committee responded, when asked if there had been any briefings related to the DHS announcement.


Terrorism Threat Prompts Jeh Johnson to Order Security Upgrade at Federal Buildings

Capitol Police Monitoring Canadian Parliament Shooting (Updated)

Former Top Cop Suggest Capitol Complex Is Too Open

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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July 11, 2014

Ex-Senate Staff Director Debuts New Drama at Capital Fringe Festival

As staff director of the Senate Rules Committee, Jean Parvin Bordewich played a major role in staging the 2013 presidential inaugural ceremonies.

While on vacation from Capitol Hill in August of last year, Bordewich penned her own production. In New York’s Hudson Valley she finished the first draft of “Marriage, Lizards and Love,” a play that tells the tale of a young couple’s fracturing marriage premiering at this summer’s Capital Fringe Festival.

Bordewich, who retired at the end of May after more than 20 years as a congressional staffer, said in recent interview that despite the many parallels, she was at first shy about sharing her creative venture with her Capitol Hill colleagues. Full story

June 6, 2014

Capitol Police Say They Won’t Enforce Bike Permit Rules on Public … Yet

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Traffic rules that went into effect on June 1 prohibit anyone without a permit from the House or Senate from parking a bike on Capitol grounds.

That would effectively ban lobbyists, tourists and the thousands of other people visiting Congress from using the 40 or so outdoor bike racks previously available to the public.

Capitol Police say they don’t plan to enforce the law on the outdoor bike racks or impound bikes as long as they are parked appropriately. Full story

May 21, 2014

Koch Brothers Movie Saga Continues With Democrats Pointing to Precedent

The Capitol Hill premiere of a film about billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch sparked outrage from Republicans on Tuesday, but it wasn’t all that long ago that a movie co-produced by Citizens United was being screened in the Capitol Visitor Center.

In September 2009, Republicans hosted former Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and his wife, Callista, for an on-campus premiere of their documentary, “Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage.” A joint production of Gingrich Productions and Citizens United, the film explores the role of religion in early American history.

Full story

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