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Preview: - On Capitol Hill -- Lois Romano - On Capitol Hill -- Lois Romano

Lois Romano writes on Congress


Up for Grabs, the Coolest Seat in the Senate

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

Contenders or pretenders, the list of potential candidates for President-elect Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat stretches from Chicago to Springfield and back again.

My Son, the Senator

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

While Joe the Plumber is helping to get out the working-class vote for the GOP ticket in Ohio, another Joe is busy doing his part for John McCain -- Joe the Senator.

Democrats Have Reason to Celebrate: Hill PAC Is Back

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has returned to electoral politics with full force. The last step in her reengagement -- after her disappointing second-place finish to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the presidential nomination sweepstakes -- was jump-starting her political action committee, Hill PAC.

The Congressman Most Likely to Accept Your Friend Request

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) is really into Facebook. We're talking about a guy who turns 65 later this month, and he doesn't even call it "the" Facebook, the way a certain other person, in the very highest echelons of government, once famously referred to "the" Google.

Partisan Fighting for Your Business

Thu, 09 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Congressional Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are back in that comfortable position they've long enjoyed -- mortal enemies.

The Big Announcement That Almost Nobody Heard

Thu, 02 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Sens. Harry M. Reid and Mitch McConnell are well known as men of very few words who, given their druthers, will try to give a "yep" or "nope" answer to even the most complicated question.

Wellstone's Legacy Nears Fruition

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

This week, policy and politics combined with something that is sometimes just as important on Capitol Hill: the personal regard some lawmakers have for one another.

Democrats' Drilling Bill Angers Environmental Purists

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

All summer long, House Republicans staged weekly news conferences outside the Capitol calling for more offshore oil drilling. And they were usually met by an assortment of environmental protesters chanting in unison, trying to drown out the GOP's pro-drilling voices. Some even wore polar bear costumes to protest Arctic drilling proposals.

New Ad Tests the Strength of Palin's Coattails

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Well, that didn't take long: Sarah Palin is now a big-time topic in down-ballot races.

Help on the Way for Lawmakers Cut Off by Gustav

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Hurricane Gustav knocked the wind out of Louisiana members of Congress this week -- or at least out of their district offices -- but help is on the way.

Former Skins QB Sends One Over the Fence in Denver

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

DENVER Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), the highly paid but ill-fated former Redskins quarterback, may have redeemed himself a bit with Washington fans who wanted him permanently run out of town. Shuler, who flopped at RFK in 1994 and 1995 but returned to the District in 2007 as a congressman, hit a home run Tuesday at Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play.

Who's Who at the Parties' Parties

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

A few members of Congress will play important roles at the national party nominating conventions in Denver and the Twin Cities the next two weeks, serving as everything from official bosses of the convention floor to hosts of parties for key insiders.

Detroit Mayor Hopes Judge Will Let Him Further Shame Democrats

Thu, 14 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Detroit's embattled mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, is holding out the possibility that he'll actually be able to go to Denver this month. In other words, the "hip-hop mayor" could get a new nickname: the Most Unwanted Man at the convention. (Besides maybe John Edwards.)

Boehner and the Bunker Mentality

Thu, 07 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

As his troops forsake their August recess this week to raise Cain over gas prices, their No. 1 campaign issue, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has been home tending to his golf game and his fundraising.

Plopping Down Before the Cushion Gets Cold

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) this week has set off a game of musical chairs among Republicans to determine who ends up with his plum committee posts, which Stevens was forced to relinquish under Republican rules regarding senators facing felony indictment.

Lawmakers to Honor Officers Slain in Capitol in 1998

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

A simple moment of silence today on Capitol Hill will mark one of the most somber moments in recent congressional history -- and serve as another reminder of the fortress that Congress has become.

The Bad News Donkeys?

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) has the toughest job in Washington: manager of the lowly Democratic congressional baseball team.

That's One Successful Negotiation, Medium Rare

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The famed House taco salad, which draws hungry patrons from both sides of the Capitol every Wednesday, may soon be available on the Senate side of the complex.

Leahy's Hat Trick as a Batman Cameo

Thu, 03 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is used to dealing with real men in black as he oversees the federal judiciary. But since childhood, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman also has been fanatic about the fictitious black-caped crusader who metes out his own brand of vigilante justice.

For Mother McCain, 96 Is More Than an Age: It's an Average Speed.

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Nothing, not even skyrocketing gas prices, seems to slow down Roberta McCain, the indefatigable 96-year-old mother of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a notorious lead-foot behind the wheel. She's still speeding around like a NASCAR driver on the last lap.

An Impeachment-Fed Ham

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Democratic leaders worried about the impeachment obsession of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) ain't seen nothing yet.

Congresswoman's Financial Report: This Won't Be Pretty.

Thu, 12 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

We may learn more about Rep. Laura Richardson's (D-Calif.) home foreclosure problems Monday, when House members' annual financial reports are scheduled to be released.

Was It Something He Said?

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The grueling Democratic presidential primary season may be over, but the pain is only intensifying for freshman Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama whose gaffe last month comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to a crazed Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction" has become more of a horror show than he ever expected.

This Time, Hagels Aren't Boarding the Straight Talk Express

Thu, 29 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Once upon a time, Lilibet Hagel was a big supporter of John McCain. Back in the fall of 1999, the wife of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) gave the Arizona Republican's 2000 presidential campaign $1,000, the maximum donation allowed at the time.

Good Money After Bad at the NRCC?

Thu, 22 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

As if the spring hasn't been tough enough on House Republicans, there is also the issue of bills piling up from the investigations into the alleged embezzlement scheme at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Vito Fossella's Dread Ringer

Thu, 15 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Tall, dark and handsome is one thing. But being a dead ringer for Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) is quite another.

Across the River and Up a Creek

Thu, 08 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The burning question on Capitol Hill this week: Is Vito finito?

A Politician's Favorite Charity Is . . .

Thu, 01 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

A pair of former senators recently decided that charity is the best way to get rid of some excess political cash -- albeit in somewhat unusual fashion.

Defending a 'Wide Stance' Requires a Thick Wallet

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Add this to the list of indignities Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) has suffered since getting busted in an airport restroom last June: He now has to pay his legal dream team out of his own pocket.

An Excused Absence (Note From Holy Father Not Required)

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

P ope Benedict XVI will achieve a rare double filibuster today, closing down both the Senate and the House as more than 100 members of Congress flock to the papal Mass scheduled for this morning at Nationals Park.

Allies in Congress, Enemies on the Shelves

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The ol' House-Senate rivalry will have a new measuring stick this year: book sales.

What Happens After a Lawmaker Goes to That Great Lectern Beyond

Thu, 03 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Handling the estate of someone who dies without a will can be difficult for the survivors. Who gets the house? The car? The family heirlooms? When members of Congress pass away, there's an additional question: What happens to their campaign cash?

Well, It Did Happen to Somebody

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For those of you who doubt that story involving a Balkan airport, the one Hillary Rodham Clinton tells about darting across the tarmac to dodge sniper fire, take note: It really did happen.

Join the Christopher Ward Club, and Don't Be Sorry

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Last Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee accused its former treasurer, Christopher Ward, of diverting at least "several hundred thousand dollars" from its coffers into his personal accounts and of faking outside audits to help cover his tracks.

As Spitzer Steps Down, GOP Steps Up Attacks on His Campaign Donations

Thu, 13 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Even though New York Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer (D) resigned in disgrace yesterday, House Republicans still have him to kick around.

Rumpled Senate Democrats Share Their Fashion Secrets

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EST

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is a man who stands accused of many things -- loving television cameras, the New York Giants and the sound of his own voice, for example -- but never in his storied career has he been called a fashion plate.

Singular Unease for Michigan's Power Couple

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

If the angst of a superdelegate were a portrait, it would look just like Debbie Dingell, the wife of Rep. John Dingell (D- Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

An Old Hand Goads Democrats to Get Tough on Ethics

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

A man who knows the congressional ethics process like the back of his hand is demanding big-time reform.

BlackBerrys in Hand, Senators Thumb Their Noses at Ban

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

So much for the tradition of the Senate, at least when it comes to the legendary decorum that includes a ban on senators or staff using electronic devices on the chamber floor.

Leahy Not About to Throw a Flag on the Patriots

Thu, 07 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

Sen. Arlen Specter's one-senator war against the New England Patriots has a big problem: The three-time Super Bowl-winning team has its own Senate patron in Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy.

Kennedy's Endorsement of Obama Had Family Roots

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

There's more to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama than meets the eye. Apparently, part of the reason the liberal lion from Massachusetts embraced Obama (Ill.) was a perceived slight at the Kennedy family's civil rights legacy by the other Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

No Debating This: Clinton, Obama Agree on Legislation

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Looks as though Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) kept his word to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the one rare peaceful moment of the past month of their increasingly nasty primary campaign.

While Nevada Caucuses, the Senate Can Wait

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

While Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) brought the House back in session this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is keeping legislative business at bay in his chamber while he eagerly tends to his state's first-ever January caucuses.

A New Hampshire Senator's Reverse Midas Touch

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

So much for the Judd Gregg endorsement primary.

FEC Adds Fine to Hastert's Legal Bills in Mark Foley Case

Thu, 03 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

As if the House page scandal involving former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) hadn't done enough damage to Republicans, now we discover that legal bills arising from it landed former speaker J. Dennis Hastert's campaign committee in hot water with the Federal Election Commission.

For Senators, the Season for Cash and Coal

Thu, 27 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

They weren't dreaming of a white Christmas last week in the Senate. No, as the legislative session came to a close, Senate leaders were dreaming of a green Christmas.

Members Go on a Late-Session Spending Spree

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

Lawmakers are people, too. They give, and they receive. And amid the marathon partisan (and intraparty) griping over everything from the farm bill to the mammoth $555 billion spending bill, many of them managed to squeeze in some holiday shopping before splitting town for the Christmas recess.

Even at Cheney's Holiday Party, CIA Chief Faces Interrogators

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

After being grilled by the Senate intelligence committee for more than an hour Tuesday, CIA Director Michael Hayde n went to Vice President Cheney's annual holiday party, where he endured more interrogation for a full 20 minutes from the Fourth Estate.

Both Parties, but No Party, at Quinn Gillespie

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

The folks over at Quinn Gillespie and Associates have gone from being one of the merriest bipartisan firms in town to downright humbugish.

Impeachment Is So Yesterday for Clinton, Rogan

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Maybe there's hope for the Middle East, after all. If Bill Clinton and one of the men who helped impeach him can make peace, why not the Israelis and the Palestinians?