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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:

Planes Flying Over D.C. for Aerospace Defense Tests

Aug. 19, 2014

Look skyward Tuesday and you might see some low-flying military aircraft over the District of Columbia.

Norton Questions Mostly White Ferguson Government

Aug. 19, 2014

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is characterizing the nearly all-white elected leadership and police force in majority-black Ferguson, Mo., as “poison.”

In Wake of Recent Arrests, Security Tightens at House Garages

Aug. 18, 2014

Law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill are making it harder for people without congressional identification badges to avoid security checks in the wake of recent arrests for carrying handguns.

Folger Shakespeare Library Staff Mourns Death of Cataloger

Aug. 18, 2014

Next to the guest log at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Monday sat a manilla folder containing a sympathy card for the family of an employee killed on Aug. 15 in a tragic traffic crash.

Break Room Fire Causes Evacuation at Capitol Power Plant

Aug. 15, 2014

The Capitol Power Plant was briefly evacuated Friday afternoon, as firefighters responded to a small fire in the break room.

Statehood Push: Take Over D.C. Prisons, Save Money

Aug. 14, 2014

Coming up with a practical plan for management of the Washington, D.C.’s courts and prisons could be a great way to sell GOP deficit hawks on making it the 51st state, advocates pitching statehood for D.C. believe.

Capitol Hill Gets First Openly Transgender Staffer of 113th Congress

Aug. 14, 2014

Capitol Hill is getting its sole transgender staff member, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute announced Thursday.

Hill Staffers Learn to Save Lives to the Tune of 'Stayin' Alive'

Aug. 13, 2014

Striking a falsetto register, Steve Traverso belted out the chorus of The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” on Wednesday morning in a tiny first-floor Rayburn reception room.

Capitol Hill Gun Case Delayed in Wake of D.C. Ruling

Aug. 13, 2014

For the second time in less than a week, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers have agreed to delay a case involving a man carrying a gun to Capitol Hill.

Democrats Target Health Care Used by Congress

Aug. 12, 2014

The latest challenge to Office of Personnel Management rules on congressional health benefits comes from President Barack Obama’s own party.

Capitol Dome Restoration Work Picks Up Pace During August Recess

Aug. 11, 2014

August recess is peak construction season for the nearly $60 million restoration of the Capitol Dome.

'House of Cards' Film Crew Hits National Mall on Saturday

Aug. 8, 2014

“House of Cards” is filming around the National Mall on Saturday, according to the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

Ryan Shucard Hopes Gun Charges Are Dismissed, Wants to Return to Marino's Office

Aug. 7, 2014

The Capitol Hill staffer who brought a 9 mm handgun to work on July 18 is working with his attorney to get the felony charges dismissed, in light of a federal judge’s ruling that D.C.’s law against carrying handguns outside the home is unconstitutional, along with other factors.

Norton Vows to Defend D.C.'s Pot Legalization Initiative From Congress

Aug. 6, 2014

As pro-marijuana advocates had hoped, the D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday to put legalization on the November ballot.

D.C. Poised to Take Pot Legalization to Higher Level

Aug. 5, 2014

The District of Columbia will likely take a stride toward making pot legal this week, setting up a potent opportunity for Capitol Hill to weigh in.

C-SPAN Caller Tells Norton D.C. Belongs in Congress' Hands (Video)

Aug. 4, 2014

The District of Columbia’s “No Taxation Without Representation” license plates can apparently be quite jolting to tourists, but perhaps not in the way advocates hope.

D.C. Man Arrested After Punching Capitol Police Officers

Aug. 4, 2014

While the House was prepping its last votes before the August recess, Capitol Police were fending off a bizarre, shirtless attacker.

C-SPAN Caller: 'Liberalism' to Blame for DC Homeless Population, Alcoholism

Aug. 4, 2014

The District of Columbia's "No Taxation Without Representation" license places can apparently be quite jolting to tourists, but perhaps not in the way advocates hope.

An Oklahoma woman who identified herself as "Donna" called into C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program on Aug. 1, griping about a three-day family vacation to the District and the many things that "appalled" her family, including the license plates.

Donna told Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., that she saw alcoholics and people sleeping on the streets and said her family "couldn't find a park bench to sit on" because of the large homeless population.

Norton, a lawyer and civil rights activist in her 12th term representing the District, had a long list of positives about her hometown to rebuff the caller's claims.

Should D.C. Fine the House for Stocking Cafeterias With Styrofoam?

Aug. 4, 2014

Plastic foam food containers will be banned from use in the District of Columbia beginning in 2016, but the material still reigns supreme in House cafeterias.

Thomas Massie Says D.C. Should Look at New Hampshire or Pennsylvania Gun Laws

July 31, 2014

District officials have suggested Maryland’s restrictive handgun permit policy might provide the best model for their city, as they attempt to enact new gun control measures, but Rep. Thomas Massie thinks they should look to Pennsylvania or New Hampshire.

D.C. Officials Plotting New Course to Keep Gun Control Intact (Updated)

July 30, 2014

Updated 7:30 p.m. | Though they won’t yet say how far they are willing to take their fight, District of Columbia officials plan to do everything in their power to limit the carrying of handguns in the nation’s capital, arguing that despite a court’s ruling that paves the way for more permissive laws, Washington is a unique place with heightened security concerns.

Judge Stays D.C. Handgun Ruling for 90 Days (Updated)

July 29, 2014

Updated 7:02 p.m. | A federal judge on Tuesday put a hold on the ruling that overturned the District’s ban on carrying handguns in public, effectively giving D.C. police and law enforcement some space to figure out how to respond.

Maryland Delegation Muscling for FBI Headquarters

July 29, 2014

A District of Columbia site didn’t make the shortlist for the FBI’s new headquarters released Tuesday by the General Services Administration. But to the thrill of Maryland’s congressional delegation, possible locations included the Greenbelt Metro Station and Landover Mall, both located in Prince George’s County.

Protest Raises Questions About Contract Workers of Legislative Branch

July 29, 2014

Labor issues came to Capitol Hill Tuesday, as federal contractors protested wages at Union Station and members of Congress used the opportunity to discuss workers’ rights among contractors and employees in the legislative branch.

In D.C., Response to Judge's Handgun Ruling Is Mixed and Muddled (Updated)

July 28, 2014

Updated 6:01 p.m. | For all practical purposes, a federal judge’s weekend ruling that overturned local laws prohibiting District of Columbia residents from carrying guns outside of their homes has opened the door for non-residents to tote handguns into the city and has made it potentially easier for members and staffers to transport firearms across the District to the Capitol.

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