Thomas McKinless

To Combat California Fires, Some Lawmakers Calling For Additional Federal Aid
 

California lawmakers have urged the Trump administration to declare additional parts of the state as "major disaster" areas in hopes of sending more federal funds to combat the blazing wildfires. The issue of how to fund continued fire suppression efforts could come to Congress in the coming weeks and months, especially if the September and October fire season (usually Calif...
Summer Book Review: Angus King's Instagram Photos Are Now in Print
 

Maine Sen. Angus King’s Instagram isn’t run by his staff.  Since New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker “badgered” him into joining the social media app back in 2014, King has posted nearly 600 photos of New England landscapes, senatorial behind-the-scenes access and snowy Maine winters, amassing almost 15,000 followers. Just in time for all of D.C. to hit the beach this summer, King has released a new photo book of the greatest hits of his Insta-photography.

‘Kavanautical Miles,’ the Chuck E. Cheese Model and TMZ: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 30, 2018

While the House ditched Washington for their August recess last week, the Senate stuck around the Capitol debating the scourge of almond milk, gifting personalized Coke bottles and discussing how many “Kavanautical miles” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s requested documentation would stretch over the Earth.

Dad Jokes, Mic Troubles and Congress for Dummies: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 23, 2018

The House has left Washington for the summer, but both chambers had a week of attempted comedy, struggles with technology and thoughts of eating crickets for lunch.

Mr. Hawkings’ Opus: 5 Reasons Why Congress Is Broken
 

Roll Call senior editor David Hawkings has been covering Congress for three decades, and he’s convinced that the legislative branch is more broken now than at any other point in his career. Here’s why.

Below is a transcript of the video.

Podcast: The Capitol Shooting That Changed Everything
Political Theater, Episode 29

July 24, 1998 changed everything on Capitol Hill. The shooting and ensuing deaths of two Capitol Police officers left a scar on the close-knit community and began a ramping up of hardened security around the legislative branch that continues today. Roll Call Senior Editor David Hawkings covered the event, and Roll Call multimedia reporter Thomas McKinless produced a documentary about the episode with fresh eyes. They discuss what they remembered, and what they learned on the latest Political Theater Podcast. 

Listen here: 

Shooting of Capitol Police Officers Was Turning Point for Department
20 years later, department has seen budget nearly quadruple as concerns rose

It has been 20 years since a man with a gun walked into the U.S. Capitol and went on a shooting rampage that killed two Capitol Police personnel and set off two decades of hardening security around Capitol Hill.

Security protocols have ramped up everywhere from airports to museums, and much of the change is attributed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. But on Capitol Hill, the deaths of Detective John M. Gibson and Officer Jacob J. Chestnut on July 24, 1998, prompted big changes even before the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

The ‘Hell’ in Helsinki, Fist Bumps and Chickens in Alaska: Congressional Hits and Misses
 

“That was strange,” President Donald Trump said after the lights went out during his statement to a group of reporters and lawmakers that he had full faith in U.S. intelligence agencies. This was a day after Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland, which Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin said “put the hell back in Helsinki.” See that and more from members of Congress in this week’s Hits and Misses.

20 Years Ago, a Deadly Shooting in the Capitol Changed Life on the Hill Forever
 

On July 24, 1998, a schizophrenic man with a gun walked into the U.S. Capitol. The ensuing rampage resulted in the deaths of two Capitol police officers, Detective John M. Gibson and Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, who saved the lives of Majority Whip Tom DeLay, his staff and countless others. The incident changed the Capitol community forever, boosting momentum for construction of the Capitol Visitors Center and much of the security we experience today.

Roll Call looked back at that tragic day, speaking to lawmakers, law enforcement and journalists who covered the story.

Ryan Doubles Down on Anti-Putin Message After Helsinki
 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan told reporters Tuesday he stands by the United States’ NATO allies and “all those countries facing Russian aggression.”

Texts, Baseball Bombshells and Snapper Fish: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 9, 2017

It was a busy couple of days on Capitol Hill this week, with the blitz to get to know Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in full swing, plus a House hearing on the 2016 texts of embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok and Speaker Paul D. Ryan talking about his car getting eaten by woodchucks.