Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

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November 4, 2015

Senate Leaders Join Dining Boycott

Schumer and Brown pose with Senate workers. (Photo courtesy of Good Jobs Nation)

Schumer and Brown pose with Senate workers. (Photo courtesy Good Jobs Nation)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat, made a surprise appearance in a Senate cafeteria Wednesday afternoon to join a boycott of the Senate’s food service vendor. Full story

October 13, 2015

Panel Offers Historical Perspective on Prison Reform

The National History Center hosted a panel discussion in Rayburn on Oct. 9. (Hugh T. Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

The National History Center hosted a panel discussion in Rayburn on Oct. 9. (Hugh T. Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

A trio of criminal justice experts spoke on a panel last week on Capitol Hill with the hope that Congress will take their knowledge into account when crafting policy for an overhaul of the system.

The promise of a prison sentencing overhaul in the United States is gaining momentum, with bipartisan legislation introduced this month in the Senate. But while policy has been implemented to reduce incarceration rates — including the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s decision last year to lessen the punishment for federal drug offenders and President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions — the experts cited lingering concerns. Full story

October 9, 2015

Capitol Police Chief Sits Down With Louis Farrakhan’s Executive Team

Capitol Police

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What would it take to change the culture of the Capitol Police? It’s a question one member of Congress mulled as the agency drew criticism this week over an internal newsletter warning of potential “fireworks” during Saturday’s Million Man March rally.

Rep. Rich Nugent, a Florida Republican and former sheriff, suggested the problem lies in Congress’ antiquated oversight structure — and maybe the speaker. Full story

October 7, 2015

Candice Miller Helped Shape Boehner’s Legacy From Administration Committee

Candice Miller

Miller oversees administrative officials appointed by Boehner, and helps keep the House in order. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three months after Speaker John A. Boehner chose Candice S. Miller as the only Republican woman to head a standing committee, the House Administration Committee chairwoman faced a task in early 2013 that would make her “the most unpopular person” on Capitol Hill.

As part of Boehner’s mission to make good on Republicans’ promise to rein in the institution’s spending and do more with less, Miller shaved committee spending and cut congressional office budgets. Between reductions and sequester-imposed cuts imposed since Republicans took the majority in 2010, member allowances have slimmed by about 18 percent. Full story

Ethics Office Releases Report Detailing Lawmaker Travel to Azerbaijan

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Details of a congressional ethics case that has been referred to the Justice Department surfaced online Wednesday, exposing the nine lawmakers involved to fresh criticism.

On July 31, the House Ethics Committee announced it was closing a review of nine lawmakers who took an all-expenses-paid trip to Azerbaijan that might have been secretly funded by the country’s state-owned oil company. The panel cleared lawmakers of wrongdoing and, in an unprecedented step, stopped short of releasing the findings of the Office of Congressional Ethics’s probe into the matter. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 12:02 p.m.

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

September 30, 2015

Gridlock to Governing: Staffer Joins D.C. Council Office

Austin is excited about her move from Capitol Hill to D.C. government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Austin is excited about her move to D.C. government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keenan Austin’s work day now begins by climbing the steps of the John A. Wilson building, instead of the Cannon House Office Building.

Austin recently became the latest congressional staffer to depart the gridlocked institution for the District of Columbia government, joining At-Large Councilmember David Grosso’s office as his new chief of staff in September.

Full story

September 22, 2015

Capitol Workers Hope Pope Will Help Movement

Sanders addressed the striking workers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders addressed the striking workers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two blocks from the Capitol, hundreds of federal contract workers, including 60 Capitol workers, gathered Tuesday to welcome Pope Francis to the United States and pray his presence would push lawmakers to raise their wages and allow for union representation.

“Brothers and sisters, we are here to welcome the pope,” said Joseph Geevaraghese, deputy director of the Change to Win campaign. “We want to welcome him to the Capitol, which is also the capital of income inequality.” Full story

After Wednesday, California Will Have Its Own Saint in Capitol

The statue of Junipero Serra overlooks members of the press and members of Congress in Statuary Hall following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The statue of Junípero Serra overlooks members of Congress and the media in Statuary Hall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Battles over historic symbols can get heated, as Congress learned this summer in the Confederate battle flag fight. But a little controversy isn’t stopping Pope Francis from weighing in on the debate over one of California’s key historical figures — a frontier-era priest whose statue is prominently displayed in the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, the pope will canonize Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest — revered by Catholics and reviled by some Native Americans —  who founded nine of the state’s 21 missions in the 1700s and brought Catholicism to the new world. Full story

September 10, 2015

Capitol Workers Ask to Meet With Pope Francis

capitol workers

Charles Gladden, left, speaks with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, at an April strike. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 40 Capitol food service workers are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis when he visits the Hill on Sept. 24.

“We look forward to welcoming you to our workplace and request the opportunity to meet with you,” the workers wrote in a letter. “We want you to know that even though we serve the wealthy and the powerful in the Congress, we earn so little that we live in utter poverty.” Full story

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