Roll Call Staff

Game On: Grassley and Kavanaugh Accuser Continue to Play Chicken
Deadlines come and go as nomination is delayed

When — or if — Chistine Blasey Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her is very much up in the air.

But a pattern has emerged. Deadlines come. Deadlines go. In the meantime, the debate over what happened — and the fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination — continues.

D.C. Police Chief Briefs Public on Logan Circle Homicide, Arrest Made This Morning

D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham addressed the public on Thursday about the murder of Wendy Martinez, who was chief of staff for FiscalNote, Roll Call's owner. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Newsham, who said that Anthony Crawford was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The news conference was held outside the restaurant where Martinez sought help the night of the attack....
McCaskill to Vote ‘No’ on Kavanaugh
Missouri Democrat is one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Wednesday that she will not support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Democrat attributed her decision mostly to the nominee’s positions on “dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy.”

FiscalNote’s Wendy Martinez Killed in Logan Circle Stabbing
Police seek suspect caught on video

FiscalNote Chief of Staff Wendy Martinez was killed Tuesday night in a stabbing near Logan Circle, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

“The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night,” CEO Tim Hwang said in a statement. “Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy’s family and friends.”

Kavanaugh Accuser Deserves to Be Heard, Grassley Says — Leaves Out Public Hearing
Judiciary chairman issues first statement since accuser’s identity revealed

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser deserves to have her story heard, Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley said in a Monday statement.

The Iowa Republican’s first remarks after the identity of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was revealed over the weekend indicated the chairman would work to hear her out.

Jeff Flake: Kavanaugh Accuser ‘Must Be Heard’
Arizona Republican tells Washington Post nomination vote should be delayed

Sen Jeff Flake is urging the Judiciary committee not to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation until it hears from a woman who has accused him of a sexual assault while they were in high school.

The Arizona Republican told The Washington Post that Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who first went public with her allegations in a Post story Sunday,  “must be heard.”

California Psychologist Goes Public With Sex Assault Allegation Against Kavanaugh
Washington Post story includes detailed account

A California professor has gone public with allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in the early 1980s.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who teaches at Palo Alto University, alleged that Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk” — corralled her in a bedroom. There, according to the account, Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed and groped her while attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothes she was wearing over it.

Hurricane Recess: House Republicans Cancel Friday Session as Florence Approaches
House was already scheduled to be out next week

The House will leave the Capitol a day early, as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast on Thursday.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the announcement to members during a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference Thursday morning. The news became official with a scheduling update from the California Republican’s office sent shortly after 10 a.m.

With Hurricane Florence Bearing Down, No Change Yet to Congressional Schedule
Meanwhile, the president says the federal government is prepared

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast and mandatory evacuations ordered up and down the Atlantic seaboard, Congress is taking a wait and see approach to the schedule and has not ordered any changes so far.

“Due to the important nature of votes expected on the Floor and in committee this week — there are no changes to the House schedule at this time. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Florence and send further updates as needed,” a statement from the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Tuesday.

Congressional Schedule Shows a Light Week Ahead
Agenda abbreviated by Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday

Both chambers of Congress will have abbreviated schedules this coming week, largely due to Rosh Hashanah, which begins in the evening on Sept. 9 and ends on the evening on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

On Monday and Tuesday, no votes are expected in either chamber. 

Cory Booker’s Bad Company if Expelled: 14 Confederate Sympathizers and a Guy Who Wanted the Brits to Seize Florida
New Jersey Democrat ordered release of confidential documents during Kavanaugh hearing

Sen. Cory Booker would find himself in bad company if his decision to  release confidential documents pertaining to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh actually led to his expulsion from the Senate.

To date, 15 senators have been expelled — all but one for supporting the  “Confederate rebellion.”

Ryan Whistles Past Trump’s Shutdown Rhetoric
Speaker says he has an understanding with Trump about funding the government that ‘will stick’

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he isn’t worried about President Donald Trump’s public threats or inclinations toward shutting down the government in an effort to secure funding for his border wall.

“We have a very good agreement and understanding that we’re going to get our government funded,” the Wisconsin Republican said during his weekly news conference Thursday.

Senate GOP’s Tribute to John McCain

 Video courtesy of the Senate Republican Conference...
Here’s Who is Attending McCain Memorial at National Cathedral
Former presidents, U.S. and foreign leaders, former POWs gather to send off longtime senator

Current and former U.S. and foreign leaders, much of official Washington and some of his fellow former Vietnam prisoners of war gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington on Saturday to celebrate the life of Sen. John McCain, who died on Aug. 25.

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman will pay tribute to the longtime Arizona Republican senator during the service.

Sen. John McCain’s Farewell Statement
‘Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America’

Rick Davis, Senator John McCain’s former presidential campaign manager and a family spokesman, read the following farewell statement from the senator at a Monday news conference at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix:

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans, thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

Sen. John McCain: His Own Words and Deeds on Video
Arizona Republican wasn’t shy about speaking out, taking tough stands

Sen. John McCain was not known for holding back when he had something to say. And he often surprised colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

Here are some glimpses of his career, preserved on video: 

What You Should Know About Sen. John McCain
Legacy includes accomplishments as a lawmaker and combat veteran

Sen. John McCain’s legacy was far-reaching. The Arizona Republican was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, a POW, a longtime senator with an independent streak who inspired, and sometimes aggravated, colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and a presidential candidate.

Read more about him here:

Power of ‘Superdelegates’ Reduced by DNC
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters had complained of their influence in 2016

Democratic National Committee members voted to significantly reduce the power of so-called “superdelegates” on Saturday — two years after supporters of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pointed to their influence as one way the party establishment had tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Superdelegates had about 15 percent of the votes on the convention floor at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, but almost all backed Clinton’ bid to get the party’s nomination. Without them, Clinton did not have the absolute majority of delegates needed — although she had 55 percent of the pledged delegates and still would have won.

Republican Infighting Over Abortion Almost Sends Spending Bill Off the Rails
Drama unfolded as senators neared passage of a $856.9 billion funding package

Updated 5:47 p.m. | Not long after their plans were nearly derailed Thursday over a dispute about Planned Parenthood funding, Senate leaders got a final vote on a $856.9 billion funding package.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Rand Paul had fumed that his fellow Republicans were blocking a long-sought amendment to keep taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers.

America’s Largest Veterans Group Rains on Trump’s Parade
Trump appears to put blame for higher estimate on D.C. officials who ‘know a windfall when they see one’

Opponents to President Donald Trump’s plans for a costly military parade in Washington now include the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

“The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Thursday night. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”