April 29, 2014, 12:02 p.m.
During the Congressional Black Caucus' special order hour on the House floor last night, Rep. Charles B. Rangel hammered the tea party not only for embracing the Confederate flag, but also for hating President Barack Obama "as much as their [Dixiecrat] predecessors probably hated Abe Lincoln." "[In] some parts of the United States of America, they don't believe that the Union won. The reason I come to that conclusion is that ... I have never seen so many Confederate flags that represent groups that are proud of the fact that they call themselves the Tea Party," the New York Democrat said during his 10-minute floor speech, referring to an event he attended with President Ulysses S. Grant's great-great-grandson. "They're from that part of the country that the states owned slaves."
April 28, 2014, 5:04 p.m.
Jim Ready publicly chides "Compared to What" directors Michael Chandler and Sheila Canavan for dredging up retired Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank's sordid past.
April 28, 2014, 5 p.m.
Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., talks about how coming out impacted his political career.
April 28, 2014, 3:33 p.m.
The people who make their lives in Washington exist in sometimes uneasy concert with the tourists who journey here year-round to see the nation’s capital and its attendant attractions: museums, monuments, government edifices. In places like the Capitol or the National Mall, these two tribes occupy the same space. But on ventures like the DC Ducks tour, never the twain shall meet. But what if they did?
April 11, 2014, 4:47 p.m.
Wisconsin Republican Tom Petri took to the House floor Thursday to issue a dire warning to grill tenders the world over: Europe is coming for our pork products.
April 11, 2014, 4:07 p.m.
Turns out not even the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee can avoid weighing in on whether members are "underpaid." At an appropriations markup Wednesday, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., laid into Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., after Moran's amendment to raise each member's pay by $2,800 was rejected by voice vote.
April 11, 2014, 12:08 p.m.
While senators explain their beef with cable TV and representatives talk about Big Macs, Majority Leader Harry Reid just cannot get enough Koch.
April 10, 2014, 7:10 p.m.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Thursday to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.
April 10, 2014, 3:08 p.m.
During his weekly press conference, which lasted for just more than 6 minutes, Boehner criticized former IRS official Lois Lerner, knocked Democrats for playing politics rather than working with Republicans to create jobs, and, most notably and vociferously, knocked the Obama administration for putting up roadblocks to answers on Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious and the IRS scandal.
April 10, 2014, 2:22 p.m.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that "race" is one reason Republicans are avoiding an immigration overhaul. During her weekly press conference, the California Democrat implied there were ulterior reasons Republicans weren't addressing immigration. "I think race has something to do with them not bringing up the immigration bill," Pelosi said. "I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, it would be easy.'"
April 10, 2014, 1:52 p.m.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Thursday to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. The vote, coming as Congress heads out of town for a two-week recess, is the latest chapter in a year-long probe that has sparked some of the fiercest partisan clashes among panel members in recent memory — from cutting off the ranking member’s microphone as he sought to speak to comparing the chairman to Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-Wis.
April 10, 2014, 1:26 p.m.
Speaker John A. Boehner doesn't seem to think the Senate passing an unemployment benefits extension has changed the political calculus for the House. Boehner said Thursday morning that he had made it clear to the president in December that an unemployment insurance extension would "have to be paid for and would have to include things that would help get our economy moving.
April 10, 2014, 12:34 p.m.
The Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform Thursday compared the committee's vote to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress to McCarthyism. "I cannot cast a vote that would place me on the same page of the history books as Senator Joseph McCarthy," Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., said. "I do not draw that comparison lightly."
April 9, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
When officials from Comcast and Time Warner Cable appeared at the Senate Judiciary Committee to push the case for their proposed $45 billion merger, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked questions that any ordinary American consumer might. The South Carolina Republican had service issues, with both cable and DirecTV. Before he switched to the satellite service, Graham said at the hearing that his cable TV "went out right in the fourth quarter of a ballgame."
April 9, 2014, 12:27 p.m.
Marijuana, accusations of perjury, election integrity and asparagus were the range of topics covered in Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing. Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the committee in a hearing designed for oversight on the Department of Justice. Holder and members of the committee had some tense exchanges as congressmen tried to nail down the attorney general on specific enforcement of laws.
April 8, 2014, 7:26 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an outspoken foe of many campaign finance restrictions, said Tuesday that he didn't think limits on individual contributions to candidates will disappear any time soon. "I think that's not likely to happen," the Kentucky Republican said when asked at a news conference about the possibility of the restrictions on individual contributions being thrown out.
April 8, 2014, 5:59 p.m.
Things got heated between Rep. Louie Gohmert and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department. Gohmert, who was questioning the attorney general about releasing documents relating to the Holy Land Foundation's 2008 conviction of providing financial assistance to Hamas, then suggested contempt was "not a big deal" to Holder. "You don't want to go there, buddy," Holder quickly shot back. "You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. ... Don't ever think that."
April 8, 2014, 4:25 p.m.
As states and cities move to liberalize marijuana laws, the administration looks at changes to federal policy and the No. 2 House Democrat reverses course on decriminalization, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. found himself in a charged congressional hearing on Tuesday. Pressed by members from both sides of the aisle to defend Justice Department practices in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, Holder insisted the Obama administration has not “retreated.” Holder also said the DOJ won’t scale back marijuana punishments by rescheduling the drug, as House Democrats have been pushing President Barack Obama to do, saying he was “satisfied” with what the department is doing.
April 8, 2014, 3:14 p.m.
Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration's foreign policy in a heated exchange at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Tuesday. "I must say, I think you're about to hit the trifecta," McCain told Kerry, citing the ongoing conflict in Syria, the seemingly stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the uncertain nuclear deal with Iran, which McCain predicted would collapse. McCain further lambasted Kerry, who was testifying on the administration's national security and foreign policy budget priorities, on failing to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, saying the failure to do so was "beyond logic."
April 8, 2014, 2:21 p.m.
The senior senator charged with overseeing the U.S. Agency for International Development budget unleashed scathing criticism on the department’s leader Tuesday over a “Cuban Twitter” program. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the longtime chairman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, pressed USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah over the U.S-run social media platform in Cuba that was reported last week by The Associated Press. Leahy wanted to know who was behind creation of the program, but Shah did not have a specific answer, saying it came before he started running the agency at the end of 2009.
April 8, 2014, 1:35 p.m.
During a Justice Department oversight hearing Tuesday, the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accused Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. of committing perjury during his Jan. 29 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said he believed Clapper's refusal to acknowledge whether warrantless searches of Americans' communications had been conducted was perjurious after conceding the point in a letter last week to Sen. Ron Wyden.
April 7, 2014, 2:03 p.m.
Rep. Steve King has been known to make, from time to time, some controversial remarks about immigration — and his floor speech on Friday was no exception. Speaking to a nearly empty chamber, the Iowa Republican said the result of an immigration overhaul would be more dead Americans.
April 7, 2014, 1:26 p.m.
Roll Call editors Christina Bellantoni and Jason Dick sit down with Mark Halperin, co-author of "Double Down: Game Change 2012," to discuss the 2014 midterm elections, the 2016 presidential election and the political climate in Washington.
April 4, 2014, 11:26 a.m.
Congressional hearing witnesses may start worrying about members not in the room, as opposed to those in the room. During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Dan Coats wandered in and began asking the Treasury Department's witness a series of questions, before a staffer informed him he was in the wrong place.
April 4, 2014, 11:04 a.m.
Rep. Robert A. Brady tells zookeepers how to dress, Rep. Mark Takano stages an "intervention" and Majority Leader Harry Reid says he is not afraid of the Koch brothers, again.
April 3, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Despite what constituents outside of Washington might think, members of Congress are underpaid, a House Legislative Branch appropriator suggested Thursday. Virginia Democrat James P. Moran said he plans to highlight the injustice by introducing an amendment to Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s spending blueprint next week. Moran made the comments while the bill that funds member’s $174,000 salaries was being marked up. Read more at http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/moran-members-cant-afford-to-live-decently-in-d-c/
April 3, 2014, 4:25 p.m.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is one of the most prolific fundraisers in congressional history. But that doesn’t mean she’s a fan of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the aggregate limit on campaign contributions. Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the court decision was “suffocating the voice of the many.” Read more at http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/pelosi-slams-mccutcheon-ruling/
April 3, 2014, 3:26 p.m.
Senate Republicans fired another warning shot Thursday in their ongoing battle against the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of conservative organizations. The latest came at the Finance Committee's markup of the broad "tax extenders" package, when GOP Sen. Pat Roberts floated an amendment to block, for one year, the IRS from making new rules governing political activity by social welfare groups under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code.
April 2, 2014, 1:25 p.m.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, hammered the CEO of General Motors Tuesday during a House hearing investigating deaths and injuries stemming from defective ignition switches, saying the company made representations of safety to induce customers to buy GM vehicles.
April 2, 2014, 1 p.m.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra's testimony Tuesday before a House oversight subcommittee had fairly low drama, despite the emotional subject matter. The hearing — titled "The GM Ignition Switch Recall: Why Did It Take So Long?" — was meant to investigate GM's culpability and response to faulty ignition switches in small cars. The ignition switches are believed to have resulted in injuries and deaths of several car owners.
April 2, 2014, 10:26 a.m.
Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of three Republicans looking to oust vulnerable freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., hit the airwaves Wednesday with his first advertisement of the cycle. The 30-second spot, which highlights his biography, will air on cable across the 7th District, an Ose aide confirmed.
April 1, 2014, 3:45 p.m.
Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tuesday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra vowed in her opening statement to "find out" why there was a long delay before the company announced a safety defect. "Sitting here today, I cannot tell you why it took so long for a safety defect to be announced for this program," Barra said. "But I can tell you we will find out."
March 28, 2014, 1:09 p.m.
Members returned this week explaining proper congressional dress code, discussing who is nastier and playing popular television game shows, all wrapped up in this week's Hits and Misses.
March 27, 2014, 2:12 p.m.
The House on Thursday passed a bill that did not have the votes to pass. It was clear that a bill ensuring doctors’ Medicare payments aren’t cut did not have enough support, so Republican leaders struck a closed-door agreement with Democrats to pass it by voice vote while members were not yet in the chamber, according to members and aides from both parties. The voice vote allowed members to avoid a tough roll call, which would have forced them to either vote for a bill they do not support or allow doctors who treat Medicare patients to take a pay cut, incensing powerful outside interests.
March 26, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
As part of an ongoing Roll Call political webinar series, our editors took a detailed look at upcoming House and Senate primaries. From the heated Democratic primary in Northern Virginia to questions of Republican conservatism up and down the ballot, the group gabbed about the races that ultimately will determine the makeup of the next Congress.
March 26, 2014, 1:28 p.m.
Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday backed for the first time the end of the National Security Agency's collection of bulk data, expressing support for a bipartisan bill that would reform the way the government engages in domestic surveillance. The Ohio Republican endorsed a bipartisan bill that would allow private companies to store the telephone metadata, rather than the government.
March 26, 2014, 12:54 p.m.
Speaker John A. Boehner lambasted the Obama administration again Wednesday over the Affordable Care Act, this time for extending the health care insurance enrollment period beyond March 31 for individuals who had begun, but not completed enrollment. "Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare," the Ohio Republican said at his weekly press conference. "Another deadline made meaningless. The administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this, a joke?"
March 25, 2014, 8:33 p.m.
Perhaps it was Rep. Jared Polis' recent affinity for bow ties or Janet Yellen's black-on-black threads, but Speaker John A. Boehner is not happy with members recent decorum on the House floor. The Ohio Republican reminded members Tuesday of proper "parliamentary practice" before moving on to the House dress code.
March 25, 2014, 7:04 p.m.
The former state Senate minority leader who is challenging Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., visited Roll Call on Tuesday, March 11.
March 17, 2014, 5:08 p.m.
The former West Virginia Democratic Chairman who is running for the open House seat in West Virginia's 2nd District, visited Roll Call on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
March 14, 2014, 12:48 p.m.
While members explain how to drive to Hawaii, put lipstick on a pig and which state has better ski resorts, Majority Leader Harry Reid still is not finished telling us about the Koch brothers.
March 13, 2014, 9:27 p.m.
Sen. John McCain hammered Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday for refusing to pass by unanimous consent a Senate Foreign Relation Committee bill which would provide economic aid while imposing sanctions on Russia. "What has happened? Where are our priorities? You can call yourself Republicans, that's fine, because that's your voter registration. Don't call yourself Reagan Republicans," the Arizona Republican said.
March 13, 2014, 7:38 p.m.
Republicans blocked Democrats' privileged resolution demanding that Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa publicly apologize to the House of Representatives for cutting off Rep. Elijah E. Cummings last week at an IRS hearing. The nearly party line vote shelving the resolution came after a theatrical display of protest on the House floor, with Democrats not about to give up on the issue. "This was not just a violation of Mr. Issa's treatment of Mr. Cummings," said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., a freshman lawmaker who introduced the resolution on Thursday. "My resolution was about Mr. Issa's offense against the House." "If we don't enforce the rules," Kildee said, "where do we go?" As Kildee and his Democratic colleagues offered the resolution, they defiantly held pictures of Issa making the throat-cutting motion, displaying the image on iPads, iPhones and paper. A floor procedure kerfuffle, in which a new House precedent may have been established, ensued.
March 13, 2014, 2:39 p.m.
Following Wednesday remarks from Speaker John A. Boehner saying IMF aid to Ukraine is unnecessary, Sen. Lindsey Graham personally offered assistance to Secretary of State John Kerry as the House and Senate began debating the appropriate response to the Ukrainian crisis. "Hey John good job," the South Carolina Republican said to the secretary of State. "Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner." Graham's remarks were caught on a hot mic following a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the State Department's fiscal 2015 budget. Kerry will travel to London Friday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Correction: 10:23 a.m.
An earlier version of this post misstated where Kerry is traveling Friday.
March 12, 2014, 6:50 p.m.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Wednesday responded to Chairman Dianne Feinstein's Tuesday speech, which alleged the CIA spied on the Senate committee. "We do not know the actual facts concerning the CIA's alleged actions or all of the specific details about the actions by the committee staff," the Georgia Republican said. "Both parties have made allegations against one another, and even speculated as to each others' actions, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that must be addressed."
March 12, 2014, 11:39 a.m.
House Republican leaders enjoyed some bragging rights at their Wednesday morning press conference after their candidate, David Jolly, won Tuesday’s hotly-contested special election in Florida to succeed the late Republican Rep. C. W. Bill Young. “I’ve stood here after losing some special elections,” said Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio. “I’ve tried to put lipstick on a pig, and it was still a pig. So you can bet they’ll try to put lipstick on it today but you all know what the facts are.” Boehner also addressed the Feinstein-CIA feud and whether IMF aid to Ukraine was needed.
March 11, 2014, 11:59 p.m.
The state representative who is challenging Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., for New Hampshire's 2nd District, visited Roll Call on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
March 11, 2014, 1:54 p.m.
Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday accused the CIA of spying on her committee’s computers without authorization — in possible violation of the law and the Constitution — and suggested the CIA may have also tried to engage in an effort to intimidate her staff.
March 11, 2014, 11:48 a.m.
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee torched the Central Intelligence Agency in a floor speech Tuesday morning, charging the agency with spying on her committee’s computers in a possibly illegal search that has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.
March 7, 2014, 1:57 p.m.
Just how nasty was the brouhaha between Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa and ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, anyway? And how did the resulting floor fight over a resolution to rap Issa on the knuckles compare to other partisan stunts? These are questions that came up Thursday morning in our editorial meeting as Congressional Black Caucus members put forth the measure, and once we got going, the stories started flying. Bill Thomas crying! Nancy Pelosi turning out the lights and locking the House chamber! The days when legislative spats were settled with fisticuffs! Sure, partisan rancor these days is bad, but things have definitely been worse.