Jason Dick

Lessons of a "Shattered" Campaign
The Big Story, Episode 55

Democrats heading into the 2018 mid-term elections should pay attention to the party hubris that likely contributed to Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss, says Jonathan Allen, CQ Roll Call columnist and co-author of the best-selling book “Shattered."

Show Notes:

Having Fun With the Health Care Bill Holdup
Hoyer needles McCarthy about delay in sending House bill to Senate

House Minority Leader Steny H. Hoyer had a little fun with his Republican colleagues’ delay in transmitting their health care overhaul legislation to the Senate.

“You can imagine my shock, chagrin and surprise when I learned yesterday that bill has not gone to the Senate. Apparently it’s gone from one chair to the other chair in the desks before me,” the Maryland Democrat needled House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in their colloquy on the floor Friday. He asked McCarthy if there would need to be another vote on the bill and when it will be sent to the Senate.

Special Elections in the Time of Trump
The Big Story, Episode 54

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Mitch McConnell, Still Playing the Long Game
Trump revelations, FBI director search, don't rattle majority leader

BY JASON DICK AND JOE WILLIAMS, CQ ROLL CALL

It’s difficult to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to play anything but “The Long Game,” the Kentucky Republican’s political strategy, encapsulated by his 2016 memoir of the same name.

The Art of the Spending Deal
The Big Story, Episode 52

Congress struck a deal on a long-overdue spending bill, and all hell broke loose. CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick, Niels Lesniewski and Walter Shapiro discuss how Washington’s dynamics prevent even a small victory party from breaking out.

With End in Sight for Omnibus, Dissonance Takes Over
Sore feelings take hold even as deal heads to passage

On a day Congress could have spent singing the praises of a bipartisan agreement to wrap up the long-overdue fiscal 2017 spending process, seemingly everyone — from Capitol Hill to the White House — found a way to hit dissonant notes. 

“They’re walking around acting like they pulled a fast one on the president, and I just won’t stand for it,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday afternoon at the third of three press briefings he conducted in a 24-hour period after congressional Democrats started effusively praising the omnibus spending deal as a win for their priorities.

Podcast: Trump’s Empty Seats
Ep. 48: Senate could become ‘full-time confirmation machine,’ squeezing time needed for legislation

The Senate is waiting for hundreds of high-profile nominations to lead the federal government and the U.S. court system, but it might be a long time before any of those people settle into their new jobs, says CQ Roll Call’s Senior Legislative Analyst Ed Pesce. Many must wade through the Senate’s approval process and that could turn the chamber into a "full-time confirmation machine,'' squeezing time needed for legislation.

Show Notes:

Q&A: Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the Government Publishing Office
First female and first African-American head discusses GPO’s history and mission

Davita Vance-Cooks is the 27th public printer of the United States, the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post. She spoke with Roll Call recently about the Government Publishing Office’s purpose and place in documenting the government’s wide range of activity and how it fits into a rapidly expanding digital-first world. 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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....