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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:

House Side of U.S. Capitol Reopens After Asbestos Spill

July 10, 2014

The House side of the U.S. Capitol reopened at 9 a.m. after being briefly closed this morning so that Capitol Police and a hazardous materials team could address an asbestos spill that had occurred overnight. Portions of the building, though, will remain closed throughout the day. House leaders decided not to convene morning hour at 10 a.m. due to the accident, but were expected to go ahead with legislative business at noon.

No Criminal Charges in Miriam Carey Shooting at Capitol

July 10, 2014

No federal criminal civil rights or local charges will be filed against Capitol Police and Secret Service officers who were involved in a fatal shooting just blocks from the Capitol, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced Thursday.

GPO Might Turn Employee Parking Lot Into Commercial Development

July 10, 2014

In addition to plans to trim 100 workers from its ranks, the Government Printing Office is considering commercial development of an employee parking lot about a block west of Union Station.

Activists Ready to Fight Rand Paul's D.C. Gun Amendment in Senate (Updated)

July 9, 2014

Updated 3:12 p.m. | Activists on the national and local level are gearing up for the ensuing gun fight surrounding amendments to the Senate’s bipartisan hunting and fishing legislation, especially a proposal related to firearm control in the District of Columbia.

House Subcommittee Votes to Eliminate Funds for Eisenhower Memorial

July 9, 2014

Funding for the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial would be eliminated in fiscal 2015 under a bill advanced Wednesday by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment.

Embezzlement Charges Against Capitol Police Officer Stir Up Criticism of Department Hiring

July 9, 2014

A guilty plea to embezzlement charges from the head of the Capitol Police’s Office of Diversity provoked U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Richard J. Leon to exclaim, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 12 years here.”

Health Insurance for Congress and Staff: It's Complicated

July 8, 2014

As members of Congress and their staffs head into their second year of enrollment in D.C.’s health exchange, they’ll decide among plans that range from a double-digit increase to a double-digit percent decrease in premiums, even as providers go in different directions that will result in fewer overall plans to choose from.

Volkswagen Helps Clean Up Fourth of July Debris on National Mall

July 7, 2014

One of Europe’s largest carmakers helped America take out the trash after its 238th birthday.

House Appropriations Investigators Probing Eisenhower Memorial Commission

July 1, 2014

House Appropriations Committee investigators are probing the troubled Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, a long-delayed project nearly 15 years in the making that appears to have significant fundraising problems.

GPO Wants to Offer Buyouts to 100 Workers

July 1, 2014

As the need for paper copies of government documents continues to decline, the Government Printing Office plans to trim 100 positions by the end of 2014.

Body Recovered in Lower Senate Park (Updated)

June 27, 2014

Updated 3:58 p.m. | The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner removed a body from Lower Senate Park on Friday afternoon, following an investigation by Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

David Catania Storms Office of Andy Harris to Talk D.C. Pot Decriminalization

June 27, 2014

Tensions ran a little high in Rep. Andy Harris’ office on Friday morning when D.C. Councilmember and mayoral hopeful David Catania showed up demanding to talk about the Maryland Republican’s attempt to halt the District’s marijuana decriminalization legislation.

Cornyn: More to SCOTUSblog Credentials Than I Initially Believed

June 26, 2014

The lone member of Congress to publicly question the decision to deny SCOTUSblog congressional press credentials recanted his criticism on Thursday.

Capitol Police Pull Internal Magazine for Slur

June 26, 2014

A racist slur printed in the June 2014 issue of the Capitol Police’s internal journal caused the department to pull the publication from circulation.

Norton Challenger Thinks a Transformed District Deserves a New Delegate

June 26, 2014

While Washington’s streetscape, city government and demographics have changed dramatically over the past quarter-century, its representation in Congress has stayed constant over roughly the same period of time.

House GOP Moves to Kill 'Poorly Done' D.C. Marijuana Decriminalization Law

June 25, 2014

The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee is using the power of the purse to block the District from implementing a local law to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Self-Proclaimed 'Senate Comedian' Shows His 'Caucasian Skills' (Audio)

June 25, 2014

Scanning the crowd in the back room of a downtown D.C. sports bar, Senate doorkeeper Scott Muschett, the self-proclaimed “Senate Comedian,” decided the script for his five minutes at the mic was all wrong.

Andy Harris Ready to Treat 'D.C. and Maryland Differently' on Marijuana Policy

June 24, 2014

Maryland Rep. Andy Harris plans to use his power as an appropriator to try to stop the District of Columbia from moving forward with decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

D.C.'s Yoga Tax Lives, Despite Catania's Attempt to Kill It

June 24, 2014

To the outrage of many yoga and fitness buffs around Capitol Hill, a new 5.75 percent tax on health club services, including gym memberships, survived a D.C. Council vote on Tuesday.

SCOTUSBlog Wants Senate Rules Committee to Interpret 'Editorial Independence'

June 23, 2014

After a second rejection in its quest for Capitol Hill press credentials, SCOTUSblog is appealing to the Senate Rules Committee.

Standing Committee of Correspondents: SCOTUSblog Fails to Demonstrate Editorial Independence

June 23, 2014

The journalists in charge of Capitol Hill press credentials for daily publications are standing firm on their decision to deny SCOTUSblog’s application, stating that the publisher fails the “fundamental test of editorial independence,” primarily because he and his law firm argue cases before the high court.

The Self-Proclaimed 'Senate Comedian' Shows His 'Caucasian Skills'

June 23, 2014

Scanning the crowd in the back room of downtown D.C. sportsbar, Senate doorkeeper Scott Muschett, the self-proclaimed "Senate Comedian," decided the script for his five minutes at the mic was all wrong.

Muschett claims his "Caucasian Skills" routine -- promoted to friends and acquaintances on Capitol Hill via flyers, his website and his @SenateComedian Twitter presence -- was dubbed by comedian Dave Chappelle. Quick-talking and deprecating, Muschett is sometimes likened to Rodney Dangerfield, but he's got an overtly political angle.

"I do this basically as a Democrat with a spine to eviscerate political correctness," Muschett told CQ Roll Call prior to taking the stage. "That is the torch that I carry."

Advocates Fired Up as D.C. Marijuana Decriminalization Avoids Appropriations Rider

June 18, 2014

The House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee advanced a familiar slate of social policy riders for the District’s budget on Wednesday, but one of the city’s latest local policy initiatives appears safe in fiscal 2015.

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