Kyle Trygstad

Hill Staffer Searches for Her Daughter's Cure

When Pope Francis looked down from the Speaker’s Balcony of the Capitol in September and blessed the children in the massive crowd on the West Lawn, 7-year-old Ellie McGinn was among those the pontiff called “the most important ones here.”  

Thanks to Emily Schillinger, a family friend working in then-Speaker John A. Boehner’s office, McGinn was gifted a ticket for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was just one of numerous examples of a bipartisan assortment of friends doing what they can to help a little girl living with a genetic and potentially terminal disease — one for which there is no cure.  

Fred Thompson Dies at 73

Updated 8:09 p.m. | Fred Thompson, a former Republican senator, presidential candidate and actor, died Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., from a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a statement from his family . He was 73.  

Six years out of law school at Vanderbilt University and a year after serving as campaign manager for Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn., Thompson first gained national notice after signing on in 1973 as the Republican counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, which investigated President Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate scandal. He would go on to work in the governor's office of now-Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., before serving as counsel to a pair of Senate committees.  

Larry David Plays Bernie Sanders on 'SNL'

The cold open of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" parodied last week's Democratic presidential debate, with guest stars taking a turn as a couple of the candidates with Senate experience — with the spoof of Sen. Bernard Sanders receiving the most attention.  

Sanders, the independent from Vermont receiving far more support than expected in early polling, was played by Larry David. Among a number of memorable moments, the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Seinfeld" creator's take included a rant on underwear. Alec Baldwin, an "SNL" regular, played former Sen. Jim Webb, the Virginia Democrat who continued to vocalize his displeasure with the number of questions he received during the debate.

The Congressman Who Broke the McCarthy News on Twitter

Congressional reporters are used to competing with each other to break news, but there is a new kid on the block with a distinct advantage.  

#tbt: Boehner Responds to Leadership Chaos...in 1998

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's decision Thursday to take himself out of the race for speaker immediately brought to mind the tumultuous end to 1998, when Speaker-elect Bob Livingston announced on the floor — as the House was considering resolutions of impeachment against President Bill Clinton — that he would be resigning.  

Roll Call's Ed Henry caught up with John A. Boehner in the immediate wake of those stunning turn of events at the Capitol in mid-December 1998. Overwhelming Events Overwhelm Everyone: Too Much News Makes for an Amazing Day in a Historic Year By Ed Henry, Dec. 21, 1998  

Boehner Will Stay On Until New Speaker Elected (Video)

After the surprise postponement of the Republicans' nomination vote for speaker, John A. Boehner reaffirmed he would stay in the job until a new speaker is elected.  

Boehner had previously announced he would resign from the House at the end of October and had set the House floor vote to replace him as speaker for Oct. 29. But at the GOP conference meeting Thursday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., delivered his stunning decision to take himself out of the running. "As I have said previously, I will serve as Speaker until the House votes to elect a new Speaker," Boehner said in a written statement early Thursday afternoon. " We will announce the date for this election at a later date, and I’m confident we will elect a new Speaker in the coming weeks.”  

Senate Control Up For Grabs Next Year

Ward Baker has a tough act to follow: his own. As the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s political director during the last election cycle, the former Marine helped orchestrate a stunning nine-seat GOP gain, seizing Senate control for the first time since 2006.

Scenes From a Speaker's Resignation

The hallmark moment of John A. Boehner’s nearly five-year run as speaker came Thursday, as the leader of the House Republican Conference, a Catholic, welcomed the pope to the Capitol. By the next morning, the embattled Boehner would announce his resignation to his colleagues in a closed-door meeting, sparking a whirlwind day on the Hill as his tumultuous reign over a fractured party had at last expired.  

“Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world — and I hope we will all heed his call to live by the Golden Rule. But last night, I started to think about this,” Boehner recounted at a 1 p.m. news conference Friday. “And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today's the day I'm going to do this.” The Ohio Republican made the announcement at a closed-door members meeting shortly after 9 a.m., one that was billed as “no staffers allowed” to avoid leaks to the press. But one by one, lawmakers emerged from the meeting room and into the dimly lit tunnels of the Capitol basement, confirming the rumors already making the rounds among reporters and aides.  

Scenes From a Speaker's Resignation

The hallmark moment of John A. Boehner’s nearly five-year run as speaker came Thursday, as the leader of the House Republican Conference, a Catholic, welcomed the pope to the Capitol. By the next morning, the embattled Boehner would announce his resignation to his colleagues in a closed-door meeting, sparking a whirlwind day on the Hill as his tumultuous reign over a fractured party had at last expired.

“Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world — and I hope we will all heed his call to live by the Golden Rule. But last night, I started to think about this,” Boehner recounted at a 1 p.m. news conference Friday. “And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this.”

Sudanese Refugee Is Not Your Average Summer Intern

An “awesome” hug with the vice president, seeing the president at Nationals Park, attending a Champions of Change event at the White House — it was all packed into a Senate internship this summer and came just a few months after Mohy Omer, a refugee from Sudan, had become a U.S. citizen.  

Now 27, Omer never dreamed about living in America, let alone the nation’s capital. He was placed in Fargo, N.D., in 2009, after fleeing his war-torn country. He didn’t know a soul or speak a lick of English. Within five years he was fluent in his adopted country's mother tongue, had earned a college degree and begun interning with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in her Fargo office. In the months that followed, he would become a citizen, continue a study of the integration of the growing New American community in Fargo and move to D.C. for an internship in Heitkamp’s Capitol Hill office.  

Sudanese Refugee Is Not Your Average Summer Intern

An “awesome” hug with the vice president, seeing the president at Nationals Park, attending a Champions of Change event at the White House — it was all packed into a Senate internship this summer and came just a few months after Mohy Omer, a refugee from Sudan, had become a U.S. citizen.

Now 27, Omer never dreamed about living in America, let alone the nation’s capital. He was placed in Fargo, N.D., in 2009, after fleeing his war-torn country. He didn’t know a soul or speak a lick of English.

Recovering Governors Take Senate One Day at a Time

Sen. Thomas R. Carper kicked off his Senate floor tribute to retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., in December by noting the two of them, along with presiding officer Joe Manchin III, were all “recovering governors.”  

“We’re sort of a support group for one another,” the Delaware Democrat said then. “Men and women who used to be somebody and be special.” Carper was kidding — mostly.  

Recovering Governors Take Senate One Day at a Time

Sen. Thomas R. Carper kicked off his Senate floor tribute to retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., in December by noting the two of them, along with presiding officer Joe Manchin III, were all “recovering governors.”

“We’re sort of a support group for one another,” the Delaware Democrat said then. “Men and women who used to be somebody and be special.”

#tbt: Donald Trump Spreads Political Donations

What are archives for? In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, Roll Call took a closer look at The Donald's political donations in a K Street Files column, published just a few months after the launch of Donald Trump's NBC reality series, "The Apprentice."  

As the real estate magnate and former United States Football League franchise owner runs for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, here is a glance back at all the money he had spread around to both parties by mid-2004, including cash to some current rivals for the GOP nod and with a little more than half of the money going to Democrats. Trump’s Money By Kara Rowland and Brody Mullins, July 12, 2004 Casinos and resorts aren’t the only investments real estate mogul Donald Trump is making these days.  

Pope's Address to Congress Will Be Broadcast on West Front

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Wednesday that Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress in September will be broadcast live to the public on the West Front of the Capitol.  

The public's expected demand to see the pope during his Sept. 24 visit to Capitol Hill prompted the speaker's decision. “The visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol is a historic moment for the country," Boehner said in a statement. "Given the unprecedented nature of his visit, Pope Francis’ address to a joint meeting of Congress will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol. In addition, Pope Francis has expressed an interest in making a brief appearance on the West Front. We look forward to welcoming Pope Francis and Americans from all walks of life to our Capitol on September 24.”  

Yielding Time in the Senate on the Presidential Trail

The senator hurries into the recording studio on the fourth floor of the Hart building, now 30 minutes behind after getting held up at votes.  

He sits down in front of the camera, glances at the monitor and swiftly combs his fingers through his straight, dark brown hair. Expressionless, he awaits direction. “OK, senator, we’re recording, so whenever you’re ready,” a studio staffer tells him over the intercom. The senator’s face lights up with a smile.  

Yielding Time in the Senate on the Presidential Trail

The senator hurries into the recording studio on the fourth floor of the Hart building, now 30 minutes behind after getting held up at votes.

He sits down in front of the camera, glances at the monitor and swiftly combs his fingers through his straight, dark brown hair. Expressionless, he awaits direction.

Obama Makes Surprise Appearance at Congressional Baseball Game, Democrats Win 5-2

Updated, 11 p.m. |  President Barack Obama emerged from the Democrats' dugout Thursday at Nationals Park in Southeast Washington to a standing ovation and boisterous cheers from the thousands of Democratic staffers in attendance at the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game .  

The Democrats ultimately prevailed for their seventh straight victory, 5-2, but when Obama stepped onto the field, it was the top of the 4th inning with Democrats up 2-1. While Democratic fans continued to cheer, Republican staffers in the stands on the first base line chanted "TPA!" — highlighting the contentious and complicated issue breaking down unique lines of both parties.  

A Democratic Consultant in the Middle of Baltimore's Recovery

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150) BALTIMORE — On a sunny Tuesday morning one week after riots and looting upended the city, Democratic media consultant Martha McKenna was feverishly typing on a laptop at her dining room table, which was half-covered in various printed lists and Maryland Food Bank invoices, with a cellphone balanced between her ear and shoulder.  

It’s the same table elected officials gathered around after the city’s curfew in the days following the riots to strategize how to deliver food and supplies to neighborhoods that had lost their already scarce shopping options to the destruction.