Most talked about Roll Call stories

Six Degrees of Terri Sewell — Call her the Kevin Bacon of Congress. Democratic Rep. Terri A. Sewell of Alabama is one of only a handful of people who can say she knew Barack and Michelle Obama before they knew even each other. Her friendship with Kirsten Gillibrand goes back so far that Sewell calls New York's junior senator by an old nickname: "Tina."
Dec 22, 2014

Just 1 reasons I'll miss @TexasTribAbby: vivid details of member of Congress' brushes w/ future leaders

Dec 22, 2014

She met Tina Rutnik...Sewell describes the woman as having “a lot of balls.”…

Dec 22, 2014

Last story for @RollCall: The Member who convinced Susan Rice to sing gospel & still calls Sen Gillibrand "Tina"…

White House Should Host Screening of Pulled Sony Film — One senator wants President Barack Obama invite members of Congress to the White House for a screening of "The Interview." That's the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy from Sony Pictures Entertainment that the studio has pulled from release after a hacking for which the FBI says North Korea is responsible.

The Best of Five By Five in 2014 — This holiday season, consider using Five By Five to warm your family instead of a fireplace. Here are the hot hot hot highlights of the CQ Roll Call defense and national security blog since we began back in June. Seriously Not So Seriously Five By Five will resume regular publication on Jan.

Russian Tax Collectors Seize Cats — Russian tax collectors in Russia have found a new way of getting people to pay their debts: by threatening to take away their cats, the BBC reports. "State collectors in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk recently succeeded in getting a resident to pay 12,000 roubles ($198; £127) he owed in unpaid taxes after threatening to ...

Don't Get Your Medical Advice from TV — A new British Medical Journal report examined the health claims showcased on randomly selected episodes of the two most popular internationally syndicated health talk shows, The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors. Vox: "They identified 479 recommendations from The Dr Oz Show and 445 recommendations from The Doctors, finding that on average, each episode contained ...

Fewer Americans are in Prison Today — Vox: "The number of Americans in prison, jail, parole, or probation dropped to less than 6.9 million in 2013, down 41,500 compared to 2012 and hitting the lowest point since 2003, according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics." "Until 2008, the corrections population had been steadily growing for decades as all levels ...

Support for Increasing Immigration Rising Steadily — Gallup: "The small amount of Americans who favor increased immigration include just 14% of Republicans. In fact, more Americans think immigration should be decreased than increased, and by a nearly two-to-one margin, 41% vs. 22%. A third in the U.S. are satisfied with the level as it is."

Why a 2% Inflation Target? — Neil Irwin: "A core piece of the Japanese government's strategy to jolt its economy to life is to do "whatever it takes" to get to that magical 2 percent inflation level. In the United States, the same rationale has driven the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates near zero for six years and to pump ...

Medicaid Rolls Surge Under Obamacare — Margot Sanger-Katz: "In Idaho, the number of people who signed up for Medicaid has jumped by 13.4 percent. In Georgia, it's up 12.9 percent. In North Carolina, the rate has climbed 12.4 percent. None of those states opted to expand their Medicaid programs as part of the Affordable Care Act, but all have seen substantial ...

How Jeb Bush Affects the Florida Senate Race — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential exploration roiled Capitol Hill last week. Back in his home state, pols also had their eye on another Sunshine State Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio, whose own presidential ambitions could kick off a pivotal open-seat race for Senate.
Dec 22, 2014

How Jeb Bush Affects the Florida Senate Race via @Alexis_Levinson

Martin Paone New Senate Liaison — The White House's new Senate liaison is an old familiar face around the chamber, and someone who really knows how the trains run. Martin P. Paone will join the Obama administration as deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs, a White House official confirmed Friday afternoon.

Switzerland Will Adopt Negative Interest Rate — "Switzerland is introducing a negative interest rate on deposits held by lenders at its central bank, moving to hold down the value of the Swiss franc amid turmoil in global currency markets and expectations that deflation is at hand," the New York Times reports. "The Swiss National Bank said in a statement from Zurich on ...

Eleanor Holmes Norton on Colbert's Last Show — As a mob of guests reunited for Stephen Colbert's final report to bid the host farewell, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., was spotted in the foreground, swaying and singing along. Norton appeared on the "Colbert Report" several times over the past nine years.

Obama Accepts Boehner Invite — President Barack Obama has been invited to deliver the 2015 State of the Union on Jan. 20. That's the date suggested in a letter sent Friday by Speaker John A. Boehner. The Ohio Republican previously dismissed the idea of not inviting Obama to deliver the address, as had been floated by some critics in the immediate aftermath of Obama's executive actions on immigration policy.
Dec 19, 2014

Obama Accepts: Mark Your Calendar for Jan. 20 State of the Union:

Dec 19, 2014

RT @rollcall: Boehner invites President Obama to give State of the Union on Jan. 20. #alert

Bill O'Neill, Jerry Hogan: 2 Friends Taken in 2 Days — The low odds of two friends in the same tight-knit community on Capitol Hill dying on consecutive days were mercilessly defied last week, as a sad 24 hours rocked the tech and telecom lobbying world - along with numerous other universes both inside politics and out. News traveled fast on Dec.
Dec 19, 2014

RT @KyleTrygstad: Bill O'Neill's annual end-of-session gathering at the Tune Inn will be carried out today in his honor

Dec 19, 2014

Bill O'Neill's annual end-of-session gathering at the Tune Inn will be carried out today in his honor

Dec 19, 2014

Bill O’Neill, Jerry Hogan: 2 Friends Taken in 2 Days, @KyleTrygstad reports

The Friday Before Christmas, A Quieter House — Incoming Rep. Barry Loudermilk said he was surprised anybody at all was on Capitol Hill on Dec. 19, the last Friday before Christmas. The Georgia Republican, who had returned to the gift shop in the Longworth House Office Building hoping to retrieve some misplaced paperwork, told CQ Roll Call he was only around to do a bit of housekeeping in advance of the first day of the 114th Congress in January.
Dec 20, 2014

Final Friday before Christmas is quiet on Capitol Hill, but Jesus statue still stands… Colorful piece by @Emma_Dumain

Congressional Hits and Misses: Farewell to the 113th Congress (Video) — Before leaving for the holidays, lawmakers paid tribute to one another, recalling "spawned" marriages while thanking their "awful" staff. The 114th:

Heritage Action Staffers Migrate to House — Heritage Action for America is losing three staffers, including its top House lobbyist, to a trio of newbies in the 114th Congress. Freshman Rep. Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who famously unseated then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June primary contest, has tapped Heritage's Erin Siefring as his chief of staff.

Obama Rattles Veto Pen but Hopes for Productive Congress — President Barack Obama said Friday he hopes to work with the new Republican Congress on tax changes, rebuilding roads and bridges and trade, but warned he's prepared to use his veto pen - something he hasn't done since 2010.