Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2015

Posts in "Senate Sergeant-at-Arms"

August 5, 2015

Capitol Police Board Aims to Replace Chief Quickly

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’s tenure was defined by big-ticket events and inter-departmental strife. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two former Secret Service agents and an architect walk into a board room. They’re charged with finding a replacement, and soon, for outgoing Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.

They have a lot of work to do, with Dine retiring in January but coordinating security for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, particularly the pontiff’s Sept. 24 address to a joint meeting of Congress and for the hundreds of thousands, perhaps more, expected on the West Front and National Mall for the papal visit.

Full story

August 3, 2015

Capitol Police Chief to Retire in January

Dine said there's "no excuse" for lost service weapons. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Dine will retire in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine plans to step down in January, capping a contentious three years as the Hill’s top cop.

Dine’s retirement plans were announced to department employees Monday in an internal email. The move follows a 90-day period of intense scrutiny from the Capitol Police Board. In April, the chief submitted a resignation letter to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving and Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers. Full story

July 10, 2015

Capitol Evaluates Own Cybersecurity After OPM Hack

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As news broke that data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management affected more than 22 million people, Senate staffers received a notice from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms about the chamber’s own cybersecurity.

“As a result of recent data breaches in other areas of government, a reassessment of our cybersecurity posture was implemented,” read the Thursday email obtained by CQ Roll Call. The message then described updates to logging into the Senate’s Web VPN service, or workers’ remote access to their Senate accounts. 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 30, 2015

Vatican Releases Schedule for Pope Francis U.S. Visit

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner invited Pope Francis to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Vatican on Tuesday released Pope Francis’ schedule for his September visit to the United States, where he will spend five days and address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24.

“It is with humility and deep gratitude that we will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol in September for a Joint Meeting of Congress,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “His visit to the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented, and it is with open ears and hearts that we will welcome his address to the Congress.” Full story

June 17, 2015

Demands for Resignations, More Answers Follow OPM Breach (Video)

Meadows called for Archuleta's resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows called for Archuleta’s resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers continue to look for answers about the recent Office of Personnel Management data breaches affecting millions of federal workers, with some House members calling for the director’s resignation.

“It is outrageous that after the biggest data breach in our nation’s history, OPM has yet to fire a single individual,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a statement Wednesday. “It is time that Director [Katherine] Archuleta step down and be replaced with someone prepared to immediately address cybersecurity vulnerabilities at the agency.”

Meadows chairs the Government Operations Oversight Subcommittee. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, also reportedly told the press after Tuesday’s hearing on the breach that he believed Archuleta should resign.

Full story

June 16, 2015

OPM Breach Includes Congressional Staffers (Video)

Connolly, left, said one of his staffers was affected by the breach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Connolly, left, said one of his staffers was affected by the OPM breach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As government officials answered questions about the recent Office of Personnel Management data breach, former and current congressional staffers processed the notices they are receiving from the agency that they, too, were affected by the breach.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., told CQ Roll Call Tuesday that his press secretary, George Burke, who has never worked for the executive branch, received a notice from the OPM saying his personal identifiable information may have been compromised. Connolly said he spoke with someone in the office of the House Chief Administrative Officer, and it appeared that congressional staffers who had a break in their service, activating their retirement status, were affected by the breach. Full story

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 10, 2015

Report: Congressional Websites Not Ready for Secure Connection

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Go to any congressional website and you’re sure to find a form for constituents to contact their lawmakers. But a recent analysis found most congressional websites are not equipped to protect that data as it is transmitted.

The Sunlight Foundation, a group that advocates for government transparency, recently published an analysis of congressional websites that revealed only 15 percent of sites are ready to implement a secure browsing connection, known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This code is visible at the beginning of a Web address and usually appears with a padlock next to it. Full story

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