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Hannah Hess


Hannah Hess covers the Capitol campus for Roll Call, reporting on legislative branch agencies, administration of the House and Senate, and Congress’ oversight of the District of Columbia.

Hannah’s political reporting experience includes two statehouse bureaus, and the early stages of the 2012 presidential campaign trail. Prior to joining CQ Roll Call, she covered the Virginia General Assembly, the campaign for the 2012 Iowa caucuses and the Illinois General Assembly. Her work has appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Washington Examiner and the Omaha World-Herald. She also interned for what is now CQ Roll Call in 2008, working for Roll Call’s GalleryWatch legislative tracking service that was integrated into CQ in 2009. Originally from Illinois, Hannah holds two degrees from the University of Illinois — a bachelor’s degree in media studies and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting.

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Stories by Hannah Hess:

Car Crashes at South Barricade, Police Arrest Driver (Updated)

July 31, 2015

Updated 10:31 a.m. | A red Nissan Altima with Florida license plates crashed into the South Barricade of the Capitol around 8:40 a.m. Friday.

Driver in Barricade Crash Identified as Pennsylvania Man

July 31, 2015

The man who crashed his red sedan Friday morning into a barricade about 150 yards south of the Capitol appears to have a history of criminal activity related to automobiles.

Fattah Steps Aside at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

July 30, 2015

Rep. Chaka Fattah has stepped aside from his chairmanship of the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

July 29, 2015

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Rep. Chaka Fattah Charged in 29-Count Indictment (Updated) (Video)

July 29, 2015

Updated 2:19 p.m. | Prosecutors charged Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Wednesday in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe into the 11-term congressman launched by the FBI and IRS in March 2013.

On Unattended Guns, Questions Linger for Capitol Police

July 29, 2015

Called before Congress for an oversight hearing after a tumultuous few weeks of reports of loaded service weapons left in problematic places around the Capitol and an ongoing hunt for employees who may have leaked internal information, Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine promised the acts would be dealt with “firmly and effectively.”

Capitol Police Stop Ex-Cop From Taking Loaded Revolver Into Library

July 24, 2015

Updated 5:33 p.m. | Capitol Police stopped a 55-year-old Virginia man who claimed to be a local cop from carrying a loaded revolver into the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building Tuesday.

Capitol Marks 17 Years Since Fatal Shooting

July 24, 2015

On a day when Louisiana lawmakers and other members of Congress mourned a fatal shooting in a Lafayette movie theater, Capitol Hill also honored two Capitol Police officers killed by a gunman who charged into the Capitol exactly 17 years ago.

Ike Memorial Panel Adds Ex-NRA Leader

July 24, 2015

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission is bringing out the big guns.

Convicted Republicans Plead for Mandatory Minimums Changes

July 24, 2015

An ex-colleague of Jack Abramoff shared an anecdote from his stint in prison with a room full of conservatives Thursday. After the one-time Hill climber explained to a fellow inmate that a dog was going to get neutered, the inmate asked the longtime Republican aide, “How long does it take for them to grow back?”

Tom Brokaw Joins Ike Memorial Board

July 22, 2015

The group planning a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced Wednesday that NBC News’ Tom Brokaw has joined its advisory committee.

National Security or First Amendment? Gyrocopter Case Proceeds

July 22, 2015

The airspace security concerns Congress has harped on since the April 15 gyrocopter stunt on the West Front continue to delay Douglas Hughes from a federal trial, but the Florida mailman has dreamed up his own defense strategy.

With Blagojevich, Court Seems OK With 'Political Logroll'

July 21, 2015

A federal appeals court on Tuesday vacated five convictions against former Illinois Gov. and Rep. Rod Blagojevich, who received a 14-year prison sentence in 2011 for his scheme to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-President Barack Obama.

Graham Cellphone Debacle Might Be Hassle for Senate Tech Team

July 21, 2015

Because the cellphone number Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced to the world Tuesday was issued to Sen. Lindsey Graham by the Senate, Trump’s stunt has likely caused some extra work for the institution’s tech support team.

House Phone System Malfunctions During Maintenance

July 21, 2015

The phone system in the House went down for roughly one hour Tuesday morning, causing some lawmakers to direct phone calls to their district offices.

Capitol Police Search Powers Provoke Constitutional Concerns

July 21, 2015

The trio of congressional officials who have exclusive control over traffic rules on the Capitol grounds are ordering a change that would enhance Capitol Police’s authority to search backpacks, suitcases and other personal belongings carried onto the 290-acre property.

Menendez Defense Team Comes Out Blazing

July 20, 2015

With a bolstered defense team, Sen. Robert Menendez is pushing back against corruption charges filed by the Justice Department, arguing much of his conduct is shielded from prosecutors under the Constitution and alleging false testimony from an FBI agent.

Ethics Investigators Reviewing Mike Honda (Updated)

July 20, 2015

Updated 4:34 p.m. | Investigators with the Office of Congressional Ethics are looking into allegations against Rep. Michael M. Honda, the Democrat who has represented California’s South Bay since 2000.

Sheila Jackson Lee at Center of Capitol Police Collision Questions (Video)

July 16, 2015

A recent Capitol Hill collision drove a confrontation between Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Capitol Police.

Campaigning in the Capitol Is Tricky Business (Video)

July 16, 2015

Let’s say you’re running for president. Your opinion on a major policy issue is sought after by journalists and voters alike. As a senator, you can step in front of one of the Capitol’s many microphones at pretty much any point and command an audience. But now that you’re seeking the presidential nomination, things get a little trickier.

Taiwan Likes Ike, but Congress Withholds Memorial Support

July 15, 2015

Taiwan is pledging $1 million toward construction of a memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, a project that hasn’t received any construction funds from Congress since fiscal 2012.

Should Congressional Research Service Reports Be Public?

July 14, 2015

The walls between members of the public and Capitol Hill’s exclusive division of policy and legal analysts are too tall, according to transparency advocates both inside and outside of Congress.

Boehner Bartender Found Not Guilty

July 13, 2015

The Ohio bartender accused of threatening to kill Speaker John A. Boehner by poisoning his wine was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Group Files FEC Complaint Against Ron Johnson

July 10, 2015

A top Democratic political operative has signed off on a Federal Election Commission complaint against Sen. Ron Johnson, alleging a $10 million payout that the Wisconsin Republican received from his former employer actually functioned as an undisclosed corporate contribution to his 2010 campaign.

Former Cochran Staffer Hopes for Plea Deal in Sex-for-Drugs Case

July 10, 2015

A federal judge on Friday granted attorneys more time for the case of a 49-year-old man who spent decades working for Sen. Thad Cochran, starting with a stint as the Mississippi Republican’s page, before serious drug charges related to methamphetamine and date rape drugs cost him his career.

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