Jason Dick

How to Change Senate Rules, Slowly, With the 'Book of Spells'
Undercover Capitol takes you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., made history when she brought her newborn daughter to the Senate floor to cast a vote. Changing the rule to allow that to happen took a Senate vote that set a precedent — and (eventually) a new entry in Riddick's Senate Procedure, the parliamentarian's road map for getting things done correctly....
Congress’ Ch-Ch-Changes
Retirements, resignations and deaths around the Capitol

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Congress is going through one of those times when everything seems to be changing, especially the personnel, and that’s not even counting the mounting pile of retirements and resignations among lawmakers. 

Podcast: Tending to the Congressional Mind, Body and Spirit
Political Theater, Episode 15

Members of Congress are the players we see on stage, but the production that is politics would go nowhere without the backstage people making up the staff, the chaplains, sergeants-at-arms, chiefs of staff and more who make sure the show goes on. Ed Pesce, the editor of CQ Senate and a former congressional staffer himself, talks about those dynamics. ...
Conor Lamb Sworn In as House Member
Democrat fills Western Pennsylvania seat previously held by Republican

Democrat Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania took his oath of office as a member of the House a little after 5:30 p.m., on Thursday.

“The essential truth of our situation is, we are all in this together. We need solidarity with each other. We need universal programs and aspirations. And we need to honor the service of our fellow citizens. I will do my level best to reach out, to find common ground, and to help this great American institution deliver the results we need and deserve,” Lamb said on the floor after being sworn in. 

Help Wanted: Must Lead GOP, Raise Money, Give Up Life
Paul Ryan knew a speaker’s job is never done, and time was short

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

When the going gets tough, the tough … head back to Wisconsin to spend time with their kids in non-weekend situations.

Manchin Munchin': The Pepperoni Roll Explained
West Virginia delicacy makes its way to nation's capital -- at last

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III decamped Capitol Hill on Wednesday in search of a little slice of home, and he found it in far Northwest D.C., in the form of pepperoni rolls. But what are pepperoni rolls?

“Mmm-hmm. It’s the real thing,” the Democrat said as he bit into his state’s signature dish at Pepperoni Chic, the pop-up restaurant at 5111 Georgia Ave. NW, north of the Petworth neighborhood, as duly noted on social media. 

Daniel Akaka, Long-Serving Hawaii Senator, Dead at 93
Genial Democrat carried himself with mellow presence throughout career

For C-SPAN junkies, his was the first name called by the clerk at every Senate roll call for years: “Mr. Akaka.”

Mr. Akaka — that is, Sen. Daniel Akaka, Democrat of Hawaii — died Thursday, April 5 in the Aloha State, according to local media reports and the office of Sen. Brian Schatz

Podcast: Trump Makes a Run for the Border
Political Theater, Episode 13

President Donald Trump's desire to have the National Guard help patrol the Southern border is not all that different from actions taken by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but that does not mean there are not areas of concern about the action. 

On the latest Political Theater Podcast, Megan Scully, national security editor at CQ, breaks down the history of such border deployments and why the United States has laws preventing the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in Images
50 years since his death, the visual influence of the civil rights leader

As the country marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader’s legacy is one spread throughout the nation, from the monument to King on Independence Avenue in D.C., to quieter marks of his influence throughout the country.

D.C. Residents and Visitors Remember MLK Jr. 50 Years Later

Where to Find a Mountain Inside a Senate Office Building
Undercover Capitol takes you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time 

Famed sculptor Alexander Calder’s last artwork can be found inside the huge atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. “Mountains and Clouds” is an impressive work, even if the “Clouds” are currently on hiatus....
The Former Members Club
Roll Call drops by the place where currents and formers kibitz

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Who thinks members of Congress who sleep in their offices attract mice? Or is proposing a supermajority necessary to elect a speaker? The U.S. Associations of Former Members of Congress is a good place for currents and formers to kibitz and exchange ideas on things like this. Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski dropped by their recent gathering and has the goods on who said what on the latest Political Theater Podcast:

Podcast: Looking Forward to Being a Former Member of Congress
Political Theater, Episode 12

Wondering what former members of Congress do after leaving Capitol Hill? Perhaps that's why the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress was formed, to keep tabs.  Roll Call's own Niels Lesniewski attended the Association's recent Statesmanship Awards Dinner, where current and former members exchanged some fairly interesting ideas about Congress, and even gossiped a bit about the people who sleep in their offices.

Listen to our discussion on the latest Political Theater Podcast:

Who Is Cecil Andrus?
How the late Idaho governor almost derailed the omnibus

Cecil who?

The spirit of the late Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus graced the political stage this week when a provision in the omnibus spending package naming the Gem State’s White Clouds Wilderness after the Democrat snarled progress on the legislation, which was needed to fund the government past Friday.

Zell Miller, Longtime Georgia Political Fixture and Senator, Dead at 86
Democrat made waves in Senate when he endorsed George W. Bush

Zell Miller, a longtime fixture of Georgia politics who came to symbolize the strange position conservative Democrats found themselves in as their party moved leftward nationally, has died. He was 86.

“My grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family,” Bryan Miller, the former senator and governor’s grandson, said in a statement released Friday. “The people of Georgia have lost one of our state’s finest public servants.”

Waiting for an Omnibus to Arrive
Lawmakers show off their acumen for theater on the floor

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

The slow-rolling public health disaster that is the opioid epidemic is finally getting Washington’s attention. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump trekked to New Hampshire to tout his plan to address the crisis and the omnibus spending bill slogging through Congress puts some real money into plans to help those in need. 

Louise Slaughter Dead at 88 After More Than Three Trailblazing Decades in Congress
New York Democrat fell and suffered concussion at D.C. residence last week

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, died early Friday after falling at her Washington home last week. She was 88 years old.

Her office said the New York Democrat died at George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treated. The 16-term lawmaker was the oldest sitting member of Congress.

An Environmental Film Festival That Aims for a Big Tent
26th annual confab pitches itself as both mission-driven and entertaining

Maryanne G. Culpepper, executive director of the Environmental Film Festival in the nation’s capital, has a long-standing heads-up for filmmakers who arrive at screenings to talk about their movies. 

“People are going to challenge you with questions. Be sure that you really know your stuff, and don’t try to bluff your way through an answer, because they’ll call you on it,” she says. 

In Like a Conor Lamb
Democrats are over the Moon (Township) over the returns in Pennsylvania

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s podcast and newsletter on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

As Democrat Conor Lamb zeroed in on an unlikely victory in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, his likely future colleagues back in Washington could hardly contain their glee.