Rachael Bade

Appropriators Argue Over House Office Budgets, Defense of Marriage Act Case

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday endorsed the fiscal 2013 legislative branch spending bill after a heated debate over how lawmakers should spend their office budgets.

The panel approved the draft bill by voice vote. It would decrease funding for House operations by $34 million, about 1 percent below last year’s level. The $3.3 billion measure does not include Senate expenses, which will be added by that chamber later.

Majority Makers: Justin Amash Isn’t Afraid to Walk Own Path

Rep. Justin Amash knows how a battle-worn activist feels.

Trudging from House office to House office, and sometimes from seat to seat on the House floor, the freshman Republican from Michigan spent his free office hours last fall asking colleagues to support his baby — a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

GPO Chief Will Need to Step Down Soon

Just before Senators shipped out for the holiday season today, the chamber returned President Barack Obama's nomination of William Boarman to head the Government Printing Office.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor that new problems had arisen regarding Boarman's nomination. Boarman had been serving as the U.S. public printer, basically the CEO of the agency, since a recess appointment by Obama nearly one year ago.

Heard on the Hill: These Aren’t the Droids Hastings Is Looking for

Rep. Alcee Hastings is ready to sacrifice “Star Wars” droid R2-D2 for the good of American workers.

“We’re creating jobs for foreign robots instead of American workers?” the Florida Democrat asked while railing against an Arizona land-exchange bill Tuesday on the House floor. “No offense to R2-D2, but there are American workers who need help,” he continued in what seemed like another never-ending Hastings rant. (My good man, what, pray tell, did R2-D2 ever do to you?)

Choreographing Her Career
Aide Applies Lessons From Dance to Hill Job

As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fielded questions from the press corps last month, Megan Whittemore stood in a lax first position behind him.

The Virginia Republican’s deputy press secretary was totally clueless that her ballerina toes were turning slightly outward — a bun-head reflex that most professionally trained ballerinas never shake.

HOH's One-Minute Recess: Stealing Han Solo's Spotlight

Who knew Indiana Jones could be upstaged by a bunch of 20-somethings? Not us.

But that is exactly what happened at the nonprofit Conservation International’s annual fundraiser, hosted in Union Station’s East Hall on Thursday night.

Occupy DC Protesters Gather at Union Station to Condemn Walmart

About 100 Occupy DC protesters took their fight against financial inequality tonight to Union Station, where an environmental nonprofit was holding a dinner featuring representatives from the corporate world.

Walmart officials were among those scheduled to attend the Conservation International dinner in the East Hall, and the protesters filled Union Station with chants of “We can see your greedy side. Hey, Walmart, you can’t hide.”

Members Flock to Israel With Travel Loophole

Four years after Congress enacted new rules barring groups that lobby from paying for House Members to take long trips, dozens of lawmakers traveled to Israel this summer with staffers and family members for seven-day tours paid for by the nonprofit arm of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

The August trips, which cost about $10,000 a person and could total more than $1 million by the time the receipts are in, were all sponsored by a nonprofit organization so closely tied to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that the groups are almost indistinguishable.

Graff’s Book Paints History of FBI

There’s a reason an Atlanta-based women’s book club — which traditionally alternates between chick lit and nonfiction — grabbed Garrett Graff’s newest 600-page book, “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror” for a summer read.

There are no bulletproof vest-ripping, undercover-cop love scenes, but it’s a thriller nonetheless.

Documentary Explores Potential for Mormon Presidency

A new controversial documentary suggests Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman will have to defend more than their politics as they seek the White House — the former governors will have to answer for their Mormon faith.

Released Aug. 23, “A Mormon President” questions whether America is ready for a leader who worships with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And although director Adam Christing said his goal was to leave the question open-ended, an early video preview of the film suggests an answer in the negative.

Heard on the Hill: Treats for Timeliness

How are Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) like kindergartners?

They like to be rewarded with candy.

Beat the Heat With Cheap Seats
As Summer Approaches, D.C. Unveils Options For Free Outdoor Movie Entertainment

It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about pool parties or Nationals games.

’Tis the season for free outdoor entertainment. And with movie prices soaring toward a fat Andrew Jackson, Washingtonians should capitalize on the city’s free movie screenings.

Senators Try to Revive Bipartisan Spirit

While Democrats and Republicans talk shop in partisan lunches throughout the week, Sens. Mark Kirk and Joe Manchin look forward to their weekly lunch date.

In a throwback to a more bipartisan era, the Illinois Republican and West Virginia Democrat have, for more than two months, met for a little cross-party chitchat. They’ve invited colleagues to join them. So far, few have.

Author Lists Best Practices for Whistle-Blowers

What happens after the whistle is blown?

The cases of WikiLeaks-enabler Bradley Manning and National Security Agency whistle-blower Thomas Drake have shown the legal risks of sharing sensitive information.

Who Should Run the Market?
After Years of Complaints About the City’s Running of Eastern Market, Councilmember Drafts Legislation Creating New Management System

Who should run Eastern Market — the city or its stakeholders?

That’s the question being debated around the popular Capitol Hill marketplace these days. In April, D.C. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells unveiled a proposal for a new governing system. Under the plan, Eastern Market management would shift within the year from the District’s Department of Real Estate Services to a new 11-person board of vendors and Washingtonians with relevant professional experience. 

Amash Explains Votes on Facebook
Freshman Member Uses Social Networking Site To Keep Constituents Informed on His Positions

Why did anti-abortion conservative Rep. Justin Amash vote against his party on an amendment that would block funding for Planned Parenthood?

You can find the answer on Facebook.

Chaplain Will Miss Members’ Optimism
Besides Formal Prayers, Coughlin Spent Time Supporting Members, Staff in Times of Crisis

After leading prayer on the House floor and counseling Members of Congress for more than a decade, the Rev. Daniel Coughlin — simply “Father Dan” to many — retired in April from his position as House chaplain. Coughlin, the House’s first Roman Catholic chaplain and a Chicago native, reflected on his 11-year stint in an interview with Roll Call.

Look back 11 years ago and tell us about your first day on the job.
Everything happened so quickly. Then-Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) office interviewed me for the job only 10 days before I started. They told me to keep my interview quiet — I didn’t even tell my mother for a week or so.

HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Spotted

HOH knows some journos who basically live at the Newseum, but the museum on reporting and news coverage drew more than the writing nerds Monday.

A tipster spotted Rep. Brett Guthrie studying the Newseum’s outdoor display of newspapers sporting pictures of the late Osama bin Laden around 8:30 p.m.

Heard on the Hill: Partying With the Young Folks

It wasn’t just a bunch of 20-somethings celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death Sunday night in front of the White House.

Reps. Steve Pearce and John Larson joined the cheering flock of youngsters as well.

House Hairstylists Worry About Job Futures

A tussle between the owner of a House salon and Congressional administrators has cost at least two employees their jobs and left three stylists facing an uncertain future.

Tides Salon, which opened with new renovations in 2010, permanently closed Friday after the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer terminated the private company’s lease a month ago.