Thomas McKinless

Trump: ‘I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be’
 

President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he “was never a fan of John McCain” after a series of recent tweets critiquing the Republican senator, who died in August. Trump said Tuesday that
Watch: McConnell gets choked up saying goodbye to longtime staffer Stew
 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a heartfelt tribute to his longtime deputy chief of staff Don Stewart, known on the Hill simply as Stew. Stewart is leaving McConnell’s office this week for a new role at Association of Global Automakers.

O’Halleran raises a Guinness to unity, St. Patrick’s parades and the Wild Rover
At the Table — where lawmakers show Roll Call their favorite place for a meal (or a drink) on the Hill

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Irish American Rep. Tom O’Halleran joined Roll Call for a pint of Guinness at the Dubliner, a famed Irish pub a few blocks from the Capitol. See the video for the Arizona Democrat’s favorite Irish writer and musician, plus his St. Paddy's toast to President Donald Trump.

Reactions to Senate GOP 2020 hype video: ‘I’m ready for the cycle’
 

They may not be trapped by mad scientists and forced to watch b-movies with their robot friends, but Roll Call's political wonks have spent their fair share of hours watching campaign Read more...
The irritating sounds of air horns and Nickelback: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of March 4, 2019

Look, it’s easy for us to pile on Nickelback. They’ve long been the go-to band for jokes about things that nobody likes. But while everyone else was laughing, Rep. Rodney Davis staunchly defended the Canadian rockers on the House floor following a bruising from Rep. Mark Pocan.

Beyond the musical back-and-forth, this week saw air horns blasted in committee, gags about the Green New Deal and a handful of tributes to the legendary Rep. Don Young, who is now the longest-serving Republican in the House.

Violence Against Women Act witness: Title IX is moot ‘because men can be women’
 

A House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act became a back-and-forth about gender identity politics on Thursday. Testimony from Julia Beck, former co-chair for the Baltimore City LGBTQ Commission, criticized protections for transgender women, saying that men can take advantage of these protections to harm women.

McConnell rips Green New Deal price tag: cheaper to buy every American a Ferrari
 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried out a few zingers during opening remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, panning the price tag of the Green New Deal supported by some Democrats.

“For the comparatively cheap price of just $66 trillion, I’m told the government could buy every American a Ferrari,” McConnell said.

Wait, there’s a Cannabis Caucus? Pot proponents on the Hill say it’s high time for serious policy debate
 

Since 2012, a total of 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana and support among the American public for legal pot has jumped to 66 percent. CQ Roll Call policy reporter Jennifer Shutt explains what that change means for the Cannabis Caucus, a bipartisan group of members who, alongside allies in the House and Senate, are hoping to hash out the differences between state and federal cannabis laws.

Longworth for sale, a pizza live hit and Cohen just wants to have fun: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Feb. 25, 2019

While Capitol Hill was abuzz with the testimony of President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen this week, some onlookers cared more about an epic young student photobombing a reporter’s on-air analysis while chomping on some pizza.

Plus, former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart offers kind words for the Trump administration, Rep. Elijah Cummings reveals his Oversight committee BFF, Rep. Tim Ryan muses about the sale of Longworth office building and Sens. Johnny Isakson and Chuck Grassley reflect on the ever-repeating nature of the Senate.

What you missed from Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony
 

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. Cohen lobbed explosive allegations against the president, but Republicans on the panel voiced doubts over his credibility. Roll Call reporter Griffin Connolly gives a breakdown of the key takeaways from the hearing.

Riggleman still slings whiskey at his wife’s Virginia distillery
At the Table — where lawmakers show Roll Call their favorite place for a meal (or a drink) on and off the Hill

“I think I’m the only distiller in Congress,” Rep. Denver Riggleman told Roll Call at Silverback Distillery, a Virginia distillery he owns with his wife, Christine.

“Actually, I’m a junior distiller, I work for a master,” Riggleman said in reference to his wife, who is the CEO and Master Distiller of the family-run operation. The GOP congressman now spends much of his time in Washington away from the business, but continues to pitch in when he’s home in his district.

Watch: Pence condemns Maduro, announces new sanctions on Venezuelan regime
 

Vice President Mike Pence spoke in Colombia on Monday decrying the actions of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Pence was joined by Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by the United States and a number of other allies.

What race ratings really mean and how we create them
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales

Each election cycle, race ratings are an integral part of the discussion about the fight for the House and Senate majorities. But where did they come from and how do they work? Elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales goes behind the scenes to take a look at what does, and does not, go into rating a race. And he manages to weave in some Swedish metal.

Valentine’s, sweets and a national emergency: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Feb. 11, 2019

Sen. Tom Udall gave Sen. Amy Klobuchar a cookie as a thank you gift and Sen. Thom Tillis repeated his Valentine’s Day stunt from last year by showing a pink-scribbled card for his wife on the Senate floor.

But it wasn’t all love in D.C. this week as Sen. Chuck Grassley groused about being interrupted for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that President Donald Trump would be declaring a national emergency, and Trump geared up for likely legal challenges to his wall-building aspirations.

Watch: Trump announces national emergency on border, despite likely legal challenge
 

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday to redirect $6.6 billion from the Defense and Treasury departments to fund the construction of a Southern Border wall.

Senate leaders interrupt Grassley speech to announce Trump’s support for deal, national emergency plans
 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell interrupted Sen. Charles E. Grassley in the middle of a floor speech Thursday to announce that President Donald Trump had agreed to sign a funding bill to keep the government open, and that Trump intends to declare a national emergency.

The White House confirmed those plans, saying Trump was "delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”

Grassley prays on Senate floor that Trump will sign bill to keep government open
 

Sen. Charles E. Grassley gave an addendum to the Senate opening prayer Thursday morning, calling for President Donald Trump to keep the government open.

“Let’s all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,” Grassley said, following the Senate prayer given by guest chaplain Rev. Eddie Edmonds.

Watch: Democrat Mark Pocan hands out ‘missing’ fliers for FOIA request outside ICE headquarters
 

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan posted up outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters Wednesday morning to hand out “missing” fliers for a Freedom of Information Act request he sent the agency in October. The FOIA inquiry was about ICE arrests in Wisconsin last year.

“Hi there, sir, is there a board inside for like lost cats and stuff?” Pocan asked a man walking into the ICE building as he attempted to hand him the “missing” flier.

Watch: Trump calls on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign
 

President Donald Trump called for the resignation of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday, following days of controversy over a tweet from the congresswoman that was panned as anti-Semitic by both Republicans and Democrats. Omar apologized for the tweet Monday.

“What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology … was just not appropriate,” Trump said at a cabinet meeting.

Watch: Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley join protest for immigrants in limbo
 

Freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna S. Pressley spoke at a rally outside the White House Tuesday afternoon to press for permanent residency for temporary protected status recipients. These immigrants have been in limbo since President Donald Trump ended TPS designation for a handful of countries in 2018.