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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:

Former Senate Commerce Staffer Indicted for Defrauding Vulnerable Women

May 28, 2015

Known as a fixture on Capitol Hill until his January 2010 retirement, longtime Senate staffer Robert Lee Foster is now making headlines for his alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud vulnerable women for approximately $500,000.

Hastert Indictment Details Hush-Money Scheme | Updated

May 28, 2015

Updated: 9:28 p.m. | The Justice Department’s indictment of former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert details a sordid tale of the Illinois Republican paying $3.5 million of hush money in small increments to cover up “his past misconduct” and seeking to conceal the acts, including lying to federal agents.

DOJ Opposes Moving Menendez Trial to D.C.

May 27, 2015

Justice Department lawyers filed their response Tuesday to Sen. Robert Menendez’s request to move his federal corruption trial from Newark, N.J., to Washington, D.C., arguing the New Jersey Democrat “ignores” the indictment’s allegations he accepted things of value in his home state and demonstrates a “lack of seriousness” about the charges he faces.

Blimps Over Capitol: Just Hot Air?

May 27, 2015

Coming soon to a Capitol skyline near you: Giant blimps at 10,000 feet?

Food Truck Man Owned Pressure Cooker Destroyed by Police

May 26, 2015

The Arlington, Va., man who triggered a bomb scare Sunday near the National Mall apologized and explained the pressure cooker that Capitol Police exploded was used for his food truck business, NBC4 reported on Monday.

Police Evacuate Capitol, CVC After Fire Alarm Goes Off

May 26, 2015

Updated 1:24 p.m. | Police evacuated the Capitol Tuesday after a fire alarm went off in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Capitol Police Explode Pressure Cooker in 'Suspicious' Vehicle Near National Mall

May 25, 2015

A Capitol Police bomb squad safely exploded a pressure cooker in a parked car near the National Mall Sunday evening, the department said in a statement. They acted out of an abundance of caution, during the annual Memorial Day concert that draws thousands to the Capitol grounds, but later found nothing hazardous about the vehicle.

Senate at Work Won't Stop Memorial Day Concert

May 21, 2015

Despite the impending weekend Senate session, the 26th Annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol will go on — and that means some inconvenience for congressional staffers and thousands of dollars worth of overtime work for Capitol Police.

Doug Hughes: Congress Must Honor Vows to 'We the People'

May 21, 2015

Florida mailman Douglas Hughes got a hero’s welcome when he returned to Washington Thursday to face six charges related to his April 15 landing on the West Front of the Capitol.

Gyrocopter Pilot Indicted on Six Charges

May 20, 2015

The Florida man who landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn in April has been indicted by a federal grand jury and faces a maximum of nine-and-a-half years in prison.

Cops Who Lost Guns Still Protecting GOP Leaders (Video)

May 20, 2015

As part of their biannual weapons qualification, Capitol Police will receive new weapons safety training to reinforce proper handling, i.e., what to do with your gun when you go to the potty, Chief Kim C. Dine told lawmakers Wednesday.

Politics of a Pay Raise for Congress: Still Toxic (Video)

May 19, 2015

When the doors slid shut on Capitol Hill’s private, members-only elevators last spring, colleagues started to tell then-Rep. James P. Moran their honest opinion of his proposed housing stipend: Congress desperately needs a raise.

Lawmaker: Members of Congress Need a Pay Raise

May 18, 2015

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings made the politically tone-deaf case for raising salaries for members of Congress Monday, pointing to the high cost of living in the District of Columbia.

“Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution,” the Florida Democrat said at a Rules Committee meeting, referring to the average member’s $174,000 annual salary. “We aren’t being paid properly,” he later added.

The committee was considering the fiscal 2016 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, which sets the spending levels for Congress and legislative branch agencies. The bill includes a freeze on member pay, continuing one that has been in place since 2010 — and last year drew the ire of then-Rep. James P. Moran.

With Menendez Trial, Is It Location, Location, Location?

May 18, 2015

The August 2009 guilty verdict against former Rep. William J. Jefferson was a striking win for the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section following its botched prosecution of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. The trial venue might have been a key factor, a fact that is not lost on the attorneys gearing up for the corruption case of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Hastings: Members of Congress Need a Pay Raise (Video)

May 18, 2015

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings made the politically tone-deaf case for raising salaries for members of Congress Monday, pointing to the high cost of living in the District of Columbia.

Embattled Guinta Not Backing Down, Despite Calls for Resignation

May 18, 2015

It’s been a rough few days for Rep. Frank Guinta, capped Monday with Sen. Kelly Ayotte calling on her fellow New Hampshire Republican to step down amid a campaign finance scandal. But the embattled congressman is not backing down.

House Panel Calling Capitol Police Chief to the Hot Seat

May 15, 2015

The House Administration Committee has an exclusive witness list of one for an upcoming hearing: Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.

Pedestrian Struck By Train in Northeast D.C.

May 14, 2015

A train struck a pedestrian Thursday morning in Northeast D.C., about three miles northeast of Union Station on a line of tracks shared by Amtrack, MARC and CSX.

Sam Graves' Office Gains Former Teen Pop Singer

May 13, 2015

Four years ago, Katelynne Goldie Sue Cox was singing about not leaving it up to “politicians” to change the world. Now she works for Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., on Capitol Hill.

Heart Attack Survivor Meets Capitol Cop Who Saved His Life

May 12, 2015

Twelve months after Gary Langston collapsed outside the Hart Senate Office Building, the Indianapolis man got to shake hands with the Capitol Police officer who saved his life.

Senate's Military Vets Weigh In on Capitol Police's Lost Guns

May 12, 2015

As a West Point graduate and former infantry platoon leader, Sen. Jack Reed knows the weighty responsibility that comes with being routinely armed on duty and the necessity of strict accounting for weapons.

Fallen Capitol Police Sergeant Remembered as 'Gentle Giant'

May 11, 2015

Standing before the Henry J. Daly Metropolitan Police Headquarters — so named for a slain officer — police officers remembered another one of their own Monday, Sgt. Clinton Holtz, a 6-foot-11-inch Capitol Police sergeant, a colleague with a lot of friends and a lot of nicknames.

Charlie Rangel Loses Latest Legal Battle to Clear His Name

May 8, 2015

The 2010 censure by the House Ethics Committee will continue to haunt Rep. Charles B. Rangel, despite the New York Democrat’s legal battle for a clean slate.

WWII Air Parade to Fly Over National Mall (Updated)

May 8, 2015

Updated 11:01 a.m. | Look toward the National Mall around noon Friday to catch some unusual activity in the restricted airspace above the National Mall. No, the Capital region is not expecting another gyrocopter. This time it’s an air parade, featuring World War II bombers and fighters, such as Lockheed’s historic P-38 Lightening.

Gyrocopter Pilot Back in Court; Questions Not Over for Capitol Police (Updated)

May 6, 2015

Updated 10:58 a.m. | Doug Hughes returns to the District of Columbia later this month for a preliminary hearing on charges related to his April 15 landing on the West Front of the Capitol, an event that provoked tough questions from members of Congress about how safe Washington is from aerial attacks.

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