Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 31, 2015

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March 26, 2015

Mendelson to Lankford: D.C. Bills Don’t Violate Religious Freedom

Mendelson, left, sent a letter to Lankford arguing the bills do not violate religious freedom. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mendelson, left, sent a letter to Lankford arguing the bills do not violate religious freedom. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced resolutions of disapproval to block two District of Columbia bills from becoming law, the D.C. Council chairman took his argument in support of the bills directly to Lankford.

“There is no intent on our part to violate the rights of others, such as freedom of religion,” Council Chairman Phil Mendelson wrote in a two-page letter sent to Lankford on March 20. Full story

March 24, 2015

Secret Service Director: ‘We Are Not a Perfect Agency’ (Video)

For the third time in a week, U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy faced pointed questions from members of Congress about officer misconduct and a lack of accountability for rank-and-file agents, but defended his beleaguered organization.

“The president, the White House, the first family is safe. Absolutely. I’ve protected four presidents. Four presidents who apparently respect the work that I’ve done,” Clancy told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a three-and-a-half hour hearing Tuesday. “I know what it takes to protect presidents and their families. And I know that we are not a perfect agency. … We know what we’re doing. But do we make mistakes? Yes we do. We make mistakes and we follow up on them.” Full story

March 18, 2015

Cruz, Lankford Move to Block D.C. Bills

Cruz moved to block a D.C. law Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz moved to block a D.C. law Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced resolutions of disapproval Wednesday to strike down two D.C. bills they say violate religious freedom.

The resolutions target the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which the D.C. government approved in January. Full story

March 5, 2015

Sled On! Residents Defy Ban and Sled Down Capitol Hill

Catie Guire and Will Weedon, both 8, of Capitol Hill, sled on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol Thursday during a snow storm.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Catie Guire and Will Weedon, both 8, of Capitol Hill, sled on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol Thursday during a snow storm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s snowing! School is cancelled, you grab your saucer and go sledding with your friends — just like any other snow day — except for the throngs of reporters and cameras waiting for you at the bottom of the hill.

District of Columbia residents who took a stand against a ban on sledding on Capitol Hill drew dozens of reporters to the West Lawn Thursday afternoon as snow blanketed the Capitol grounds. But for the kids and parents, this wasn’t exactly major news. They just wanted to enjoy the rare inches of snow in the nation’s capital. Full story

February 6, 2015

Congress Extends NFL Season, at Least in Washington

Capitol Hill once welcomed Redskins cheerleaders, but leaders are now threatening the franchise. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Is Capitol Hill becoming less welcoming to the NFL? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has once again jumped into the National Football League controversy over the Washington Redskins’ team name, with one member introducing a bill to formally declare the name a derogatory term that cannot be trademarked, and other members questioning why the league should continue as a non-profit, tax-exempt institution. Full story

January 27, 2015

Bowser Talks Marijuana, Statehood With Boehner

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss local  issues with lawmakers, including Speaker John A. Boehner.

Bowser said her goal was to introduce herself to the lawmakers and foster communication between Capitol Hill and the mayor’s office. Full story

Cannon Parking Garage Now for Members Only (Updated)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:15 p.m.| New parking rules adopted Tuesday dictate that only members of Congress will be allowed to park in the Cannon House Office Building parking garage.

“Due to the Cannon construction, only members with a Cannon-designated member plate can now park in the Cannon garage, which is new this year,” House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., said at the committee’s organizational meeting Tuesday morning, where the new rules were adopted. Full story

January 23, 2015

U.S. Conference of Mayors Moving Past Congressional Gridlock

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mayors from across the nation have a message for Congress: Gridlock means mayors have had to pick up the slack.

Nearly 300 mayors from across the country, and from both parties, descended on the District of Columbia following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address for the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting. Up for discussion in particular were new ways federal and local governments can get things done. Full story

January 13, 2015

D.C. Marijuana Initiative Transmitted to Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Day one of the standoff between the District of Columbia and Congress over marijuana legalization in D.C. kicked off Tuesday, as the initiative legalizing possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana was transmitted to Congress for review.

The office of the secretary to the D.C. Council confirmed Tuesday that the initiative was sent to Congress. Under the Home Rule Act, Congress has 30 days to review District laws, during which time Congress can reject the law by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. Full story

January 8, 2015

Pollster Thomas Riehle Dies at 58

Thomas Riehle, an admired Democratic pollster, died unexpectedly on Jan. 3 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 58.

While the cause of his death is unclear, Riehle’s friend and fellow community activist Janice Gordon said in a phone interview that Riehle’s wife, Barbara, said her husband was not feeling well and was tired the day he died. Riehle was also grieving his only son, Peter, who died at age 22 in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 2, the day before Riehle’s death. Full story

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