Jason Dick

Senate Needs All Hands, Including Vice President, on Measure to Restrict Health Funds
Johnny Isakson, Mike Pence allow Senate to consider joint resolution

The Senate needed a senator just returning from back surgery and the vice president to break a tie just to proceed to a measure that would allow states to restrict funding to health care providers that provide abortion.

With Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voting against proceeding to the joint resolution, the chamber had to wait for Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson to return to the floor with the aid of a walker just to get to 50-50.

Over the Years, Capitol Shootings
Without access to open records, timing is unclear about particulars of incidents

By JASON DICK and GILLIAN ROBERTS

It was a jarring beginning to the workday when Capitol Police walkie talkies started blaring “shots fired” shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A Woman’s History Month Talk With the First Female GPO Director
 

Davita Vance-Cooks became the Government Publishing Office’s first female and first African American executive director in 2013. Vance-Cooks sat down with Roll Call to discuss the importance of women’s work at the GPO and her own “humbling” place in the agency’s history....
Ep. 46: As Kentucky and Mitch McConnell Go, So Goes the Nation?
The Big Story

CQ Roll Call's senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski leads us through a fascinating conversation on how the Senate leader's political machine wields power in ways that could have an impact on issues from health care to the Supreme Court.

Show Notes:

Joe Biden Returns to Defend His BFD
Former vice president rallies with fellow Democrats at Capitol to preserve 2010 health law

 Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returned to the Capitol Wednesday to save what once he famously described as a “big f***ing deal.”

Appearing with fellow Democrats and supporters of the 2010 health care law on the Capitol steps, the man from Delaware who spent virtually his entire adult life in the Senate or White House said “I ain’t going anywhere. This is not going to pass,” Biden said of the House Republican legislation to gut his former boss Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Appreciation | Jimmy Breslin and the Art of Describing Washington
Book by New York newspaperman is an invaluable portrayal of Capitol Hill

Jimmy Breslin will always be remembered as a New York newspaperman. But he also made an indelible contribution to documenting the Watergate scandal and in doing so, breathed life into some of Capitol Hill’s most influential characters. 

The hard-boiled columnist, who died March 19 at the age of 88, brought the full force of his observational skills to his 1975 book “How the Good Guys Finally Won.” Breslin made a career out of focusing on big stories through the perspective of working stiffs, so it’s no surprise he latched on to two methodical House Democrats who took on President Richard Nixon, fresh off a landslide 1972 re-election victory and whose team seemed to be brushing off the Watergate break-in.

A Week Full of Big-Ticket Items
GOP health plan, Gorsuch hearings, intelligence briefings mix together

Congress will have its hands full this week with several big-ticket political and policy debates, starting on Monday and reaching deep into the week.

The Senate won’t return for floor action until Tuesday, but the chamber will start the week off Monday at 11 a.m. with the Judiciary Committee’s hearing to consider the nomination of federal judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch and senators will make opening statements on Monday. Senators are scheduled to question the high court nominee on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, the Judiciary panel is scheduled to hear from outside witnesses.

CBO Score Will Ring in Another Round of House Fight
House GOP health plan enters another stage

All eyes this week are off the floor as Capitol Hill awaits a Congressional Budget Office score for House Republicans’ health care plan and the House Budget Committee prepares to mark up the plan.

While a CBO estimate on how much the plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law will cost and what effect it would have on those with insurance is expected as soon as Monday, the Budget Committee has scheduled its markup of the legislation for Wednesday morning.

GOP Leaders Think Health Plan Hits ‘Sweet Spot’
House leadership pushes forward, despite internal static

Despite increasingly loud calls to slow down the legislative push on health care, House Republican leaders are bullish that their legislation to partially dismantle the 2010 health care law and replace it with a plan that enjoys little stakeholder support is just right.

“Yes, there’s going to be questions on both sides of the aisle,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Friday. “But sometimes when you have pushback on one side and the other side from a political spectrum, you might have found the sweet spot.”

Ep. 44: Republicans Grab Health Care’s Third Rail
The Big Story

CQ Roll Call's leadership editor Jason Dick and senior political reporter Bridget Bowman explain the bumpy road ahead for Republican leaders as they try to sell their health care bill to their own members and the public.

Show Notes:

GOP Leaders Brought Big League Policy Differences to Trump Speech
Health care, spending top issues in dispute

Hours before President Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, Republican leaders went about the normal business of the congressional workweek, keeping their scheduled media availabilities and playing down differences among their own members and the administration on big-ticket policy items like health care and government spending levels. 

“I feel at the end of the day, when we get everything done and right, we’re going to be unified on this,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday morning. The Wisconsin Republican was responding to questions about two top conservatives — House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker — who announced the previous day they could not support a draft GOP leadership plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

Black History Month: Cummings Doesn’t Want a Month, but an Intertwining of all American History
 

Roll Call’s Black History Month series talks with lawmakers and Hill figures to explore the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself....
In First Addresses, Presidents Can Frame Debate
While not technically a ‘State of the Union,’ the speeches still matter

In recent years, a newly elected president’s first address to Congress has taken a strange turn, losing its status as a “State of the Union” in favor of some other designation, such as “administration goals” or “budget message.” 

The thinking here is that someone new to office isn’t in a position to outline what’s going on in the country.

Black History Month: Cummings on Obama’s Biggest Contribution
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings has spent more than two decades on Capitol Hill, representing Maryland’s 7th District. Now the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cummings talked to Roll Call about what former President Barack Obama meant to the country, why Black History Month continues to matter and why he values having a diverse staff. 

Watch more interviews with other lawmakers and Hill figures, and the video “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month.  

Black History Month: Rep. Elijah Cummings on Barack Obama’s Legacy

Roll Call’s Black History Month series talks with lawmakers and Hill figures to explore the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself....
Ep. 42: Democrats, Finally, Select a Chairman
The Big Story

For four long months, Democrats have debated what to do to get out of the political wilderness. This weekend, the Democratic National Committee votes on who will be its next chairman, putting that person in a position to weigh in on the party's next move.

Show Notes:

Black History Month: Carla Hayden on Being the First Black Librarian of Congress
 

Roll Call’s Black History Month series talks with lawmakers and Hill figures to explore the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself....
Black History Month: Librarian of Congress on her Trailblazing Role
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

The first African-American and first woman to hold the position of librarian of Congress says she is partly in her role thanks to the inspiration of Frederick Douglass. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year, discusses with Roll Call the significance of Black History Month, her own place in it and how African-American culture and history is integral to American culture and history. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month

Black History Month: Sen. Tim Scott on Black Leaders Who Inspire Him
 

Roll Call’s Black History Month series talks with lawmakers and Hill figures to explore the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself....
Puzder Is First Trump Nominee Spiked by GOP
Votes just weren’t there for fast-food tycoon

The withdrawal of Andrew Puzder’s nomination to be Labor secretary represents a milestone in the nascent Trump administration: the first time congressional Republicans played a significant part in spiking a Donald Trump Cabinet pick. 

The nomination of the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, had been plagued by scandal, including revelations he had employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper and failed to pay taxes on her, as well as the fallout from a 1987 divorce that brought up allegations of domestic violence against him.