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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:

Jenkins Intern Faces up to 5 Years in Prison for Gun Charges (Updated)

June 2, 2015

Updated 5:43 p.m. | Joshua Wheeler, the 25-year-old House intern who Capitol Police say tried to bring an unloaded 9mm handgun into the Longworth House Office Building, was released from jail Tuesday on felony firearms charges.

Intern to Police: 'I Didn't Think That Was in There'

June 2, 2015

The intern arrested for bringing an unloaded 9mm handgun to work allegedly told Capitol Police, “I didn’t think that was in there,” after officers discovered the semi-automatic weapon in his bag Monday.

Mayor of Capitol Hill Convenes Oversight Hearing With House Officers

June 2, 2015

As part of her informal role as mayor of the chamber, House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is ramping up oversight of some of the daily operations of the institution.

Police Stop Intern From Bringing Gun Into House Office Building (Updated) (Video)

June 1, 2015

Updated 6:37 p.m. | Capitol Police arrested a 25-year-old intern Monday who carried an unloaded handgun into the Longworth House Office Building.

'Catfish' Subject Indicted for Metro, SOTU Threats

May 29, 2015

A 20-year-old D.C. man allegedly called Metro Transit Police on the night of State of the Union, claiming people “from France” told him they planned to ambush President Barack Obama’s motorcade and assassinate the president that night.

Sexual Allegations Follow 'Sparse' Indictment of Hastert

May 29, 2015

At least one man allegedly told the FBI a decades-old story of being inappropriately touched by former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, The New York Times reported Friday afternoon, one of a flurry of leaks from anonymous sources familiar with the investigation of the Illinois Republican.

Internet Squatter Trolls Capitol Police (Updated)

May 29, 2015

Updated: 8:20 a.m. | Typing CapitolPolice.us into a Web browser reveals a toxic takedown of Congress’ own law enforcement agency that appears to have been created by someone who wears — or recently wore — a Capitol Police badge.

Investigators Raid Home of Chris Collins' Chief of Staff

May 29, 2015

Investigators probing the campaign and fundraising activities of Western New York political operatives on Thursday raided the home of the chief of staff for Republican Rep. Chris Collins, local new outlets reported.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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