Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2015

Posts in "Potpourri"

July 27, 2015

What Robert Byrd Thought of Calling Colleagues Liars

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The decorum in the Senate has deteriorated, and political partisanship has run rife, and when the American people see and hear such intellectual pemmican as was spewed forth on this floor last Friday, no wonder there is such a growing disrespect for Congress throughout the country.”

No, that wasn’t a statement in response to last week’s startling floor speech from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had lied about renewing the Export-Import Bank. But it did bring back memories of one of the most memorable speeches in Senate history, nearly 20 years ago, another time accusations of lawmaker lying flew in the chamber.

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July 15, 2015

FIFA Called Out as a Crime Syndicate at Senate Hearing (Video)

Blumenthal said that calling FIFA "mafia-syle" could be unfair to the mob. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Blumenthal said that calling FIFA “mafia-syle” could be unfair to the mob. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seldom do you hear people described as “dirty slimebags” at a Senate hearing.

But, such was the case Wednesday afternoon when investigative writer Andrew Jennings testified before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, with several others about the longstanding scandal that’s enveloped senior leaders at FIFA, the international soccer organization.

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Watch Live: Senate Holds Hearing on FIFA Scandal

The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security holds a hearing on FIFA, soccer’s international governing authority, which has faced recent criticism for human-rights abuses ahead of the 2022 men’s World Cup and is under federal investigation for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

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By JM Rieger Posted at 12:56 p.m.
Potpourri, Videos

July 10, 2015

Sanders, Warren Want Cable TV Price Probe

Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Cable TV Price Probe

Sanders and Warren are pressing the FCC on the cost of cable TV. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perhaps Sen. Bernard Sanders should adapt a line from a former New York gubernatorial candidate and declare he thinks the cost of cable television is too damn high.

Four senators led by Sanders, the independent from Vermont seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, want the Federal Communications Commission to probe high prices for satellite and cable TV services, as well as broadband Internet.

“We need healthy competition to foster innovation and ensure fair prices for consumers. At the very least, Americans should be able to understand the prices of the product they are buying and what their neighbors are paying for the same service,” they wrote in a letter.

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July 9, 2015

FIFA Scandal Getting the Senate’s Attention Next Week

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The soccer community’s attention will shift next week from the pitch in Vancouver to a hearing room in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is following through on his plan to hold a hearing on FIFA, soccer’s scandal-rocked international governing authority, which is scheduled for July 15 at 2:30 p.m, CQ Roll Call has learned.

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July 7, 2015

McCain Awards Service Medal to World War II POW

john mccain

McCain, Pedevillano and Spencer attended Tuesday’s ceremony in the Russell Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From one military pilot prisoner of war to another.

Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., awarded a distinguished service medal to a World War II veteran, 2nd Lt. John Pedevillano, at a small ceremony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

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July 1, 2015

McConnell Once Wanted Reagan on $10 Bill, Now Says Replacing Hamilton Is ‘Terrible Idea’

McConnell says taking Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill is a "terrible idea."(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says taking Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill to make way for a woman is a “terrible idea.” In 2004, he talked up doing the same to make room for Ronald Reagan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Ronald Reagan died, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proposed replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with the Republican president.

But McConnell slammed the Treasury Department’s plan to replace Hamilton to make room for a woman when asked about it Tuesday.

“A really bad idea, which is not to say that some woman or women in American history shouldn’t be honored, but the last person who ought to be removed from currency is the person who basically founded the American banking system and created the financial system for the United States, Alexander Hamilton,” McConnell said in a local TV interview.

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June 24, 2015

Mississippi Senators Defend Jefferson Davis

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mississippi’s two senators are ready to change the state flag, but they still honor and defend Jefferson Davis, the man who served as the president of the Confederacy and whose statue stands prominently in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tossed Jefferson Davis under the proverbial bus Tuesday — calling for the Davis statue in Kentucky’s Capitol to be moved to a museum — part of a wave of efforts across the nation to roll back Confederate symbols after images emerged of Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine in a racially motivated massacre in Charleston, S.C., posing with the Confederate battle flag. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 7:08 p.m.
Potpourri

Confederate Flag Aside, Other Symbols Are Everywhere

The Mississippi state flag, which includes the Confederate battle flag as part of its design, hangs in the U.S. Capitol along the Senate subway. The state's two senators called for changing the flag design Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Mississippi state flag, which includes the Confederate battle flag as part of its design, hangs in along the Senate Subway tunnel. The state’s two senators called for changing the flag design Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confederate flags in South Carolina and Mississippi have garnered much of the public’s attention following the murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, but they aren’t the only symbols forcing politicians to judge the line between heritage, history and intimidation.

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By Matthew Fleming Posted at 4:05 p.m.
Potpourri

June 23, 2015

McConnell: Move Kentucky’s Jefferson Davis Statue to a Museum (Video)

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rather than wait for outside pressure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the statue of Jefferson Davis prominently displayed in Kentucky’s state capitol should be moved to a museum — but he wasn’t quite ready to propose moving the Jefferson Davis statue out of the U.S. Capitol.

The Kentucky Republican noted Davis’ sole link to the Bluegrass State is he was born there, but then moved to Mississippi and went on to become the president of the Confederate States of America.

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June 4, 2015

Senate Adopts Plan to Halt Pentagon’s ‘Paid-for Patriotism’ (Updated)

pentagon spending

McCain and Flake are teaming up to stop the Pentagon from spending money to honor troops at sporting events. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:22 p.m. | A trio of senators, including the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, have won the support of their colleagues to block the Pentagon from spending taxpayer dollars to honor troops at sporting events.

The proposal would bar the use of federal contracts to have members of the armed services honored at sporting events. The practice came to light when Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., highlighted an agreement between the NFL’s New York Jets and the New Jersey National Guard.

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June 3, 2015

Senate Subcommittee Planning Hearing on FIFA Scandal

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moran is the subcommittee chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the wake of the scandal that’s rocked FIFA, the international soccer governing body, a Senate subcommittee is getting ready for a hearing on human rights in Qatar.

Qatar has been criticized for human-rights abuses in connection with the migrant laborers helping build the World Cup facilities, and aides to Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., brought to his attention an ESPN E:60 report on the conditions associated with the construction.

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May 31, 2015

Leahy Recalls Seeing Beau Biden in Iraq (Video)

Beau Biden ran into Leahy during a tour of duty in Iraq. (Courtesy John Tracy/Office of Sen. Leahy)

Beau Biden ran into Leahy during a tour of duty in Iraq. (Courtesy John Tracy/Office of Sen. Leahy)

The Senate’s rare Sunday session convened on a somber note, mourning the loss of a son of the chamber’s president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., each opened with condolences for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., on the death of his son Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, Saturday night.

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May 27, 2015

Menendez, McCain Sent Letter to FIFA Just Before Indictments

McCain says Obama's "shameful" decision to pull troops from Iraq years ago led to the loss of Ramadi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCain joined with Menendez in sending a letter to FIFA on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Well, this timing was prescient.

On Tuesday afternoon, Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and John McCain, R-Ariz., fired off a letter to the FIFA Congress encouraging the international soccer governing body to reconsider granting a fifth term at the helm to President Sepp Blatter.

The election had been scheduled for later this week at a meeting in Switzerland, but that plan may have to change after Swiss law enforcement agents swept through a hotel where top FIFA authorities gathered to round up officials on criminal charges in the United States, as The New York Times reported from Zurich.

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May 19, 2015

Mike Lee Takes Town Halls to YouTube, Ustream

Mike Lee has turned video town halls into monthly events. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee has tstreamrned video town halls into regular events. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About once a month, Sen. Mike Lee’s Capitol Hill office turns into a television studio.

Since February of 2013, the Utah Republican has convened regular video town halls, with professional quality broadcast equipment that’s been put to regular use.

And now that Lee and his staff have moved into more spacious quarters on the third floor of the Russell Senate Office Building, there’s even a fireplace. A Lee aide said it’s the only such regular video session in the Senate, though it seems more are sure to follow as lawmakers are always looking for new ways to reach constituents.

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