food

No ethics issues for federal workers shutdown deals
Restaurants, bars and more offering help for feds not getting paid

Deals and discounts popping up around the DC region during the shutdown aren’t risking ethics violations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Federal workers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines for accepting meals and favors, but the deals and discounts popping up around the D.C. region during the shutdown aren’t risking violations.

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward being the longest in modern history, dozens of restaurants are offering free and discounted meals to federal workers, many of whom are either furloughed or working without pay. Bars are offering drink discounts and happy hour specials. 

Did Tax Reform Scrooge the Holiday Party Spirit?
Political Theater, Episode 49

The holiday party circuit was a bit subdued this year. Did Congress take away incentives to live it up during this time of the year? (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whether it was a cramped schedule, the funeral of a president, changes to the tax code or overall crankiness, the holiday party scene this year seemed a little, um, meh. CQ Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski, Kate Ackley and Peter Cohn crash the party that is Political Theater to discuss the wine, song and tax deductions of the Washington holiday party circuit. 

Roll Call’s List of Holiday Parties on the Hill
How do you like your eggnog? Hopefully with a side of schmooze

If there’s one thing Washington loves, it’s a blowout holiday reception. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you’re looking for the best holiday parties D.C. has to offer, here’s your one-stop shop.

The cheer-fest starts this week and goes through the end of the year, courtesy of nearly every lobbying shop and communications firm in town. Cue the tiny finger foods and insufferable background music.

Capitol Ink | Farm Bill Pumpkin

Farm Law Expires As Negotiators Remain Divided on New Bill
Roberts: ‘stark differences of opinion’ about House and Senate versions

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Senate Agriculture Committee chairman, says there are stark differences between the House and Senate farm bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2014 farm bill expired Sunday, ending dozens of programs and putting others in a holding pattern until four key lawmakers either produce a replacement bill or seek some form of extension of the now defunct law.

The four principal negotiators working on a 2018 farm bill say they hope to resolve differences between House and Senate farm bills and have a conference report ready in October for a vote in the lame-duck session in November or December.

Plaskett Cooks for Her Staff to ‘Bring Everybody’s Spirits Back Up a Little Bit’
Roll Call joined the Virgin Islands delegate for a potluck

Del. Stacey Plaskett's, D-V.I., favorite food is callaloo. (Thomas McKinless/ CQ Roll Call)

Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett is a self-described “foodie.”

“That’s the love my husband and I [have]. We think a date is going to the grocery store, a really great grocery store. I love ethnic foods. I love to understand not just the taste of the food but understand why and how it’s related to people,” she said.

What the Recess Rollback Means for Capitol Hill (and Taxpayers)
Police overtime, food workers, Capitol improvements all affected

The Senate's shortened recess means some big changes for workers on Capitol Hill (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s truncated August recess is changing plans on Capitol Hill, but it’s not yet clear how much it will cost taxpayers.

With lawmakers back in their states, the Architect of the Capitol can typically count on a block of weeks to work on projects that might cause disruption if Congress were in session. And the summer recess is usually a prime time for staffers and Capitol Police to schedule vacations. But not this year.

Midwest Lawmakers United Against Tariffs as Trump Unveils Farm Bailout
Administration wants to send $12 billion to farmers affected by trade war with China, EU

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the White House's $12 billion agriculture bailout was like a pair of "gold crutches" after tariffs cut off farmers’ legs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers from the Midwest are sticking together in their criticism of President Donald Trump for the White House’s bailout proposal for farmers acutely feeling the recoil of a trade war the president himself started.

Across party and ideological lines, senators and House members from Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, and elsewhere across the Midwest assailed Trump’s plan to send an additional $12 billion to farmers affected by Chinese and European counter-tariffs on U.S. agriculture.

Frozen, Canned Fruit Could Become Norm for Fresh Produce Program
Measure to ease restrictions on processed goods included in House farm bill

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, is championing a proposal in the new House farm bill that would include frozen and canned fruit in the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House GOP wrestles with whether to overhaul the food stamp program and tie it to work in the new farm bill that passed the Agriculture Committee in April, other small changes to the previous law stand out that could markedly affect longstanding federal nutrition programs.

Some lawmakers want to add frozen, canned, pureed and dried produce to the menus of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for schoolchildren.

Name-Brand Food, Security and Voting Machine Funding Sought in House
Top officials testify before Legislative Branch Subcommittee

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving gave testimony at the House budget hearing Tuesday. He's pictured here in January 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This year’s budget request for the U.S. House of Representatives showed a few changes in the works for Capitol Hill, including heightened security, more brand-name food options, and new voting machines.

The House Appropriations Legislative Branch subcommittee hosted a hearing Tuesday where top officials testified about funding requests stemming from their departments.