Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Posts in "Uncategorized"

October 22, 2014

Capitol Police Monitoring Canadian Parliament Shooting (Updated)

911ceremony 082 091113 440x295 Capitol Police Monitoring Canadian Parliament Shooting (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Capitol Police say they are monitoring the Wednesday morning shooting inside the Canadian Parliament, but have not taken any “significant” steps to heighten security around Congress.

Canada’s legislature was locked down after a gunman shot a soldier at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa and was then chased by police into the main parliament building. Witnesses said 20 to 30 shots were fired there, according to a CBC News, report posted at 10:02 a.m.

Police and tactical teams have converged on the area, and Canadian armed forces bases across country are being closed to public as part of the response.

Lt. Kimberly Schneider said in an 11:39 a.m. email that Capitol Police are tracking the event.

“As of this writing, no modification to our security posture — still at our post-9/11 heightened state of alertness,” Schneider said.

At 12:45 p.m., Schneider added to the earlier comment, telling CQ Roll Call there had been no “significant” changes to security.

“The department “remains at a post-9/11 heightened level of awareness, with no significant modification to our security posture,” she said. “The USCP continues to monitor and track the Canadian event.”

The Canadian Embassy in D.C. is on lockdown, according to multiple reports. The complex is located only a few blocks from the Capitol at 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

On Tuesday, Canada raised its domestic terror threat level from low to medium after a man attacked two Canadian soldiers in Quebec.

Related:

Former Top Cop Suggest Capitol Complex Is Too Open

Second Capitol Gun Case Ends With Plea Deal

Capitol Hill Staffer Arrested on Gun Charge Returns to Work

Pork Executive Was Carrying ‘Fully Functional’ Pistol, Police Say

U.S. Attorney Offers Plea Deals in Capitol Hill Gun Cases

Capitol Police Stop Another Gun From Entering Cannon Building (Updated)

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Hannah Hess Posted at 12:13 p.m.
Uncategorized

October 15, 2014

Obamacare Lawsuit Challenges Congress’ ‘Small Business’ Status

senatehealth 025 120513 440x287 Obamacare Lawsuit Challenges Congress Small Business Status

DC Health Link enrollment under attack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that members of Congress and congressional staffers who enrolled in health care via the D.C. small business exchange did so illegally.

At a press conference at the National Press Club Wednesday, Judicial Watch claimed the House and Senate should not have been classified as small businesses in the health care exchange. The group said the classification violated D.C. law, which characterizes small businesses as those with fewer than 50 employees.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton pointed to documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, showing House and Senate applications to the D.C. Exchange Authority categorized the institutions as small businesses with 45 employees.

“The documents we obtained from D.C. Health Exchange show that every member of Congress who has enrolled in Obamacare has obtained their insurance coverage — and any taxpayer subsidies — through fraud,” Fitton said Wednesday.

When asked for a comment on the lawsuit’s charges, a spokesperson for the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority said, “We cannot comment on pending litigation.” Full story

September 30, 2014

Omar Gonzalez Charged in White House Breach

secretservice 346 093014 440x310 Omar Gonzalez Charged in White House Breach

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testified before Congress on Tuesday about the breach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Omar J. Gonzalez could spend 15 years in prison following his White House intrusion, which has raised  serious questions about the Secret Service.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted Gonzalez, 42, formerly of Copperas Cove, Texas, on one federal charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, and two violations of D.C. law: carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or place of business, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Kathy A. Michalko, a special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Washington field office, announced the charges against Gonzalez, who has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 19. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 5:15 p.m.
Uncategorized

September 19, 2014

Construction Underway at D.C. Ukrainian Memorial

 Construction Underway at D.C. Ukrainian Memorial

Construction on the memorial began two weeks ago. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of Congress Thursday to ask for more U.S. military aid in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. Less than a mile away, construction workers were busy building a memorial to victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America attempted to bring Poroshenko to the memorial site on the triangle of grass where North Capitol, Massachusetts Avenue and F Street meet next to Union Station.

However, Michael Sawkiw, the director of UCCA’s Washington office, said the president’s schedule did not have room for a visit to the area, but he told CQ Roll Call in a Friday phone interview that Poroshenko is scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony when the memorial is complete.

“We’re moving full steam ahead and we’re looking forward for a dedication sometime next year,” Sawkiw said. Weather permitting, the memorial will open in the late spring or early summer of 2015. Full story

Treaties Exhibit Ushers in 10 Years of American Indian Museum

keystone 244 042214 440x285 Treaties Exhibit Ushers in 10 Years of American Indian Museum

Indigenous leaders from the Cowboy and Indian Alliance participate in a Capitol Hill protest in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Museum of the American Indian will open its first exhibit exploring the contentious issue of treaties between the U.S. government and Indian nations next week.

“This exhibit is a tangible reminder of the federal government’s relationship with sovereign tribal nations of this country,” Senate Indian Affairs Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., said Thursday. “It’s also a reminder of the moral and legal obligations that the United States has to honor and uphold our treaties with Indian country.”

Tester addressed a group gathered at a day-long symposium at the museum discussing the exhibit. “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations” opened on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the opening of the museum. The exhibit will continue until the fall of 2018.

Museum Director Kevin Gover said during a preview Tuesday the display was years in the making and came at the request of a number of tribes and members of Congress. Full story

September 18, 2014

Hill Staffers Hear Advice for Hiring Veterans

graham 11 042710 440x292 Hill Staffers Hear Advice for Hiring Veterans

Sen. Lindsey Graham greets wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center as they arrive for a lunch in the Senate in April 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two representatives from the Wounded Warrior Project addressed a group of Capitol Hill staffers in Dirksen Senate Office Building Thursday to offer suggestions for hiring wounded veterans and accommodating those veterans in the workplace.

Brett Sheets and Brian Nichols, veterans of the Army and Navy respectively, work for WWP’s Warriors to Work program, which provides career advice to wounded post-9/11 veterans transitioning to civilian life.

The two WWP representatives offered a number of recommendations for offices looking to hire veterans. Full story

September 17, 2014

Press Galleries Pushing McCarthy for ‘Pen and Pad’ Briefings

mccarthy 080 061114 440x289 Press Galleries Pushing McCarthy for Pen and Pad Briefings

McCarthy has expressed interest in reinstating the briefings. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of the Capitol Hill press corps are pushing for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to reinstate weekly “pen and pad” briefings to discuss the agenda, a tradition that ended with former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

The chairmen of the Periodical, Daily and Radio-TV press galleries submitted a letter to McCarthy Tuesday evening, urging him to bring back the weekly meetings and set a date for his first briefing in November, when Congress returns.

McCarthy spokesman Mike Long wrote in an email, “We’re reviewing the letter.” He did not know when the leader will respond to the request.

In their letter, Heather Rothman of Bloomberg BNA, Siobhan Hughes of The Wall Street Journal, and Frank Thorp V of NBC News pointed out that McCarthy has expressed interest in holding the briefings.

McCarthy told a group of reporters Monday that he is interested in holding pen-and-pad briefings but he has yet to formally respond to the media’s request for the meetings.

“These meetings are crucial to our ability to follow the agenda of the majority party of the House,” they wrote in the letter, which was shared with CQ Roll Call.

The leaders of the press corps also appealed to McCarthy’s own desire for transparency.

“You have listed ‘transparency in government’ as an ideal you strive to achieve,” they wrote, “and we believe interfacing regularly with the Capitol Hill Press Corps is an important step toward this goal.”

Cantor put an end to the weekly briefings in 2011. Since Cantor lost his primary and resigned, the press has been pushing to reinstate the briefings. In addition to the letter sent Tuesday, the chairmen issued a similar letter in July and also met with McCarthy’s staff to discuss the issue in August.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

September 12, 2014

CBO Announces YouTube Channel

cbo005 030414 440x293 CBO Announces YouTube Channel

Elemndorf announced the YouTube channel in a blog post. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Can’t get enough of budget hearings? The Congressional Budget Office has you covered.

The CBO announced Friday that it is launching its own YouTube channel, which will showcase videos of congressional testimonies, media briefings and more.

“We consider the transparency and accessibility of our work to be basic values of the agency,” CBO Director Doug Elmendorf wrote in a blog post announcing the channel.

As of 4:30 p.m., the YouTube channel had 30 subscribers and had posted 15 videos posted, which all are of Elmendorf testifying to Congress about the budget outlook.

The YouTube channel is not the only social media platform for the CBO. The budget organization also has a Twitter account that lists more than 5,000 followers. The CBO also has a SlideShare account, which showcases documents regarding forecasts and press briefings, with more than 13,600 followers.

 

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

September 4, 2014

Former Hill Aide, Assistant U.S. Attorney to Lead MLB Investigations Unit

clemens004 0213082 440x294 Former Hill Aide, Assistant U.S. Attorney to Lead MLB Investigations Unit

Roger Clemens, a former MLB pitcher, testifies at a 2008 congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Bryan Seeley, a former assistant U.S. attorney in D.C., joined a different team Thursday. Seeley will now lead Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations as MLB’s vice president of investigations and deputy general counsel.

Seeley, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, will oversee the division, which focuses on investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs and other charges of MLB rules violations.

“Major League Baseball set out to reposition the scope, capabilities and efficiency of its Department of Investigations as its needs have evolved,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement announcing the hire. “Bryan’s multifaceted experience as an Assistant U.S. Attorney will make him an invaluable resource for our game.”

Seeley worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. for the past eight years, most recently prosecuting white-collar crime in the Fraud and Public Corruption section. The litigator also has ties to Capitol Hill. Full story

August 13, 2014

Capitol Hill Gun Case Delayed in Wake of D.C. Ruling

photo 4 247x330 Capitol Hill Gun Case Delayed in Wake of D.C. Ruling

Attorneys for Prestage are negotiating with government officials in his Capitol Hill gun case. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

For the second time in less than a week, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers have agreed to delay a case involving a man carrying a gun to Capitol Hill.

Ronald Prestage — the South Carolina pork executive arrested by Capitol Police when they found a loaded semi-automatic pistol and magazine in his briefcase — was expected to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. But the 11 a.m. hearing was not held.

Court documents state the government and defense are continuing negotiations, suggesting a plea deal might be possible. A federal ruling on D.C.’s gun policy may impact charges in the case.

On July 23, Capitol Police spotted a handgun in Prestage’s briefcase during an administrative search at the Rotunda door of the Cannon House Office Building. Police say the weapon, concealed in a black ankle holster, appeared to be “fully functional” and “capable of being fired by a single hand.” According to charging documents, Prestage told police at the time of the arrest that he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Carolina. He does not have a permit to carry in D.C.

Prestage, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, has been charged with a single count of possessing a gun outside a home or office, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...