capitol-hill

Merdon out at AOC, Thomas Carroll named new acting architect
Search continues for permanent Architect of the Capitol

Acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdon resigned, and Thomas J. Carroll has been named to lead the agency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Christine Merdon is out as acting Architect of the Capitol, and Thomas J. Carroll has been named to lead the agency on an acting basis as the search for a permanent AOC continues.

In an internal notice to AOC employees, Merdon said she had accepted a job outside of the agency.

Protesters rally outside Sen. McConnell’s home in Kentucky
Two bills to tighten background checks for firearm purchases have stalled in the Republican-led Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., makes his way to his office in the Capitol on Thursday August 1, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A group of protesters made some noise outside the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday night.

Demonstrators chanted, rang cowbells, banged pots and pans, and scraped a plastic shovel across the concrete sidewalk as they called for an end to white supremacy and gun violence in the Kentucky Republican’s Louisville district, WLKY reported

Ugly Gerry wants you to know the ‘ugly’ truth about gerrymandering
Two guys in Chicago are drawing their weapons in D.C. politics

Gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ben Doessel is “not a huge picture guy,” he told me when I asked if he had any photos with his creative partner — and the other guy behind Ugly Gerry — James Lee.

But pictures of oddly-shaped congressional districts? He has twenty-six of those.

Jamba smoothie chain coming to the House
Smoothie joint will join cafeteria options in the Longworth building

Photo courtesy of Jamba

A deal to bring the Jamba smoothie chain to the House side of the Capitol is “in the works,” according to the Office of the House Administrative Officer.

At an all-staff meeting Wednesday, Darnell Lee, deputy chief of human resources at the CAO, told the agency’s workforce that the smoothie chain would join the growing number of brand-name food offerings in the House.

Senate inches toward Wednesday budget deal vote
McConnell laid out the process for a series of get-out-of town votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves the Capitol on Tuesday for a Senate Republican’ policy lunch at the National Republican Senate Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders edged toward get-out-of-town votes on Wednesday, lining up a series of President Donald Trump’s nominees for confirmation either this week or shortly after the summer recess.

There was still the matter of voting on the two-year budget caps and debt limit suspension package, but clearing that measure for Trump’s signature appeared likely Wednesday. A notice from Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois said consideration of the budget measure was “expected to occur” Wednesday. 

Amtrak IG details Union Station security deficiencies
Report outlines car driving onto tracks, doors propped open, security guards not checking permits

Union Station has grave security vulnerabilities, according to a report by Amtrak’s inspector general. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Security shortcomings at Amtrak’s second busiest station, Washington Union Station, have allowed an unauthorized car to drive onto the tracks and continue to leave the transportation hub and its patrons at risk, according to a report by Amtrak’s inspector general.

The report found that an entrance to Union Station is vulnerable to trespassers; interior doors are not secure; video surveillance cameras are not operational; and the company’s incident reporting process and radio limitations hamper the Amtrak police force’s response to security incidents at the station that served more than 5 million riders in the 2018 fiscal year.

D.C. statehood hearing rescheduled for September
Hearing on bill introduced by Holmes Norton had been postponed to accommodate Mueller testimony

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser at a May 30 news conference to announce a hearing would be held on making the District of Columbia, which they represent, a state. Originally set for July, the hearing has been rescheduled for September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A hearing on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state has been rescheduled for September. 

A bill introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had been scheduled for July but was postponed to accommodate testimony from former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.  The hearing on Norton’s statehood bill — aptly named H.R. 51 — will be held by the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.

Rep. Kathleen Rice assists former Knicks player Enes Kanter
Kanter says he canceled youth summer camp in Long Island because of threats from Turkish consulate

New York Rep. Kathleen Rice is helping NBA player Enes Kanter find a new spot for his basketball camp. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, 4:45 p.m. | Former Knicks player Enes Kanter has moved his youth basketball camp to Island Garden Basketball, an indoor arena in New York, according to his manager

The new Boston Celtics center had canceled a free camp at the Islamic Center of Long Island ahead of this weekend after threats from the Turkish consulate in New York, Kanter said.

Fifth GPO inspector general in last year concerned with leadership instability
Michael P. Leary asks Senate committee for more funds, attention to publishing agency

Michael P. Leary, the inspector general of the Government Publishing Office, prepares to testify Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee (Chris Marqutte/CQ Roll Call).

Mueller shuns spotlight, but says probe didn’t ‘exonerate’ Trump
President has claimed investigation cleared him of obstruction of justice

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaves the witness table for a recess in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On a day House Democrats hoped Robert S. Mueller III’s televised testimony Wednesday would animate the special counsel’s 448-page report for the nation, the star witness eschewed the leading role with a muted performance with few soundbites during the first of two back-to-back hearings.

Mueller’s answers were concise. He often said simply, “True,” or “I rely on the language of the report.” The 74-year-old gray-haired Marine veteran and former FBI director frequently didn’t speak into the mic.