Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Posts in "Congressional Affairs"

July 30, 2014

Bill Foster, the No. 1 Science Geek in Congress?

foster 203 032614 445x301 Bill Foster, the No. 1 Science Geek in Congress?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While it’s common for lawmakers to have had former careers as lawyers or business owners, having “physicist” on your employment history is pretty rare. Roll Call’s Jason Dick has a profile out this morning on Illinois Democrat Bill Foster, who was a physicist before being elected to Congress (according to CQ’s member profiles, he also previously owned a theater lighting company). Over the summer, the “entrepreneur/experimental physicist/politician has been playing the role of science guy,” Dick writes.

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July 28, 2014

Bitcoin Event Pulls In Jared Polis, Bob Goodlatte, Mick Mulvaney

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Polis uses a Robocoin machine to purchase bitcoins during a demonstration on Capitol Hill in April. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Jared Polis and two other House members who have shown a piqued interest in digital currency are hosting an event on the topic Tuesday evening in a House office building.

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July 15, 2014

Botnet Bill Potentially in the Works From Sheldon Whitehouse

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is looking to draft legislation on the issue of networks of computers infected with malware, known as botnets.

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DOJ/FTC Cybersecurity Antitrust Comments Good, Not Good Enough, Report Says

In April, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission teamed up to release a statement to businesses who might be worried about sharing cybersecurity information with competitors: The agencies wrote that they “do not believe that antitrust is – or should be – a roadblock to legitimate cybersecurity information sharing.”

A new report released today on the security of the electricity grid concludes that the statement was a good start to tackling one of the biggest impediments of business-to-business cyber threat info sharing. It just isn’t good enough. Full story

July 8, 2014

Postmortem on the ‘Patent Troll’ Bill: Leahy Says Reid Killed It

reid 072 0601114 445x296 Postmortem on the Patent Troll Bill: Leahy Says Reid Killed It

Reid (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Sen. Patrick J. Leahy abruptly shelved legislation targeted at companies that file abusive patent infringement lawsuits back in May, the Vermont Democrat said it was because of a lack of consensus from stakeholders. But in an an interview with a home-state newspaper Leahy said he was “furious” that  Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively shelved the bill.

“We worked so hard to get a coalition,” the Burlington Free Press recently quotes Leahy as saying.  “Harry Reid and a couple of others said, ‘We won’t let it come to the floor.’ I think that’s wrong, but I’m not going to give up.”

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June 18, 2014

On Internet Taxes, Democrats and Republicans Seemingly Switch Sides

When it comes to talking about a permanent moratorium on Internet taxes, the familiar Republican argument about the federal government violating states’ rights isn’t coming from the GOP – it’s coming from Democrats.

At least that’s what happened at the House Judiciary Committee today, when lawmakers debated a bill that would make the existing temporary moratorium on taxing Internet access permanent.

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May 28, 2014

Ralph Hall’s Loss Will Leave a Hole on Science Panel

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Hall at a hearing in 2002. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, lost his re-election bid last night, and so when the 114th Congress convenes next year, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will be without a long-time fixture.

The 91 year-old, known for his sense of humor deployed with a Southern drawl, has held a seat on the committee since the start of his tenure in the House more than three decades ago. He was chairman in 2011 and 2012.

Your Technocrat blogger contributed to CQ’s 2013 profile on Hall, who represents a portion of the Dallas exurbs in the northeastern part of the state. Here’s an excerpt: Full story

May 22, 2014

Paul, McMorris Rodgers Tapped for Tech Conference

rodgers 059 091013 445x296 Paul, McMorris Rodgers Tapped for Tech Conference

McMorris Rodgers (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lincoln Labs, a conservative-leaning, West Coast tech policy organization, has booked two prominent Republican lawmakers as the keynoters for its inaugural Reboot conference July 18-20 in San Francisco.

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May 9, 2014

Jared Polis Will Take Your Bitcoins

The Federal Election Commission has voted to allow bitcoin contributions to political action committees, and it wasn’t long before Rep. Jared Polis announced he’d take those contributions for his re-election campaign.

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April 29, 2014

Despite Some Stars, Congressional Websites Generally ‘Still Weak,’ Report Says

Hannah Hess at Roll Call’s Hill Blotter blog highlights Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., as some of the individual members who received Gold Mouse Awards for the 113th Congress from the Congressional Management Foundation for exemplary websites or social media activity.

The foundation doesn’t just hand out awards, it also reports on best practices for Congress’ online communications. The report describes individual lawmakers’ websites as “still weak,” but says they’ve improved, with an “increasing number providing basic legislative and casework information and links.”

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