Thomas McKinless

Who’s the guy in the background of all those Capitol Hill TV hits?
Undercover Capitol: taking you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time

He was a Cherokee, a cowboy, an actor and a political commentator. He was born in 1879, but he’s in the background of a handful of Capitol Hill TV news hits every day. 

He’s Will Rogers, Oklahoma’s favorite son. And his statue sits between the House floor and Statuary Hall in one of the few Capitol rooms where TV cameras can regularly shoot interviews. CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick spoke with Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole about the ‘Old Country Boy’ himself, a Native American multimedia icon whose celebrity star still shines on Capitol Hill.

‘Mr. President will correct the record:’ Trouble with names, speakers and Roman numerals — Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of May 12, 2019

Congress was abuzz this week with flip phones, mispronunciations and confusion over who’s turn it was to speak.

Watch: Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown advocates for LGBTQ adoption, teases political career

Karamo Brown joined several other activists to discuss discrimination against LGBTQ parents and children in the foster care and adoption process. Heard on the Hill’s Clyde McGrady spoke with the “Queer Eye” star about his efforts on the Hill and the potential for a future career in politics....
Seth Moulton is running for president, here are some congressional basics
Eye on 2020

Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine veteran from Massachusetts, is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination with a campaign that vows to challenge the Washington establishment. Moulton is known for his unsuccessful push to unseat Speaker Read more...
Kristina Baum is an avid runner and a top House staffer. She’s also battling cancer

Kristina Baum isn’t letting her third bout with cancer slow her down. The GOP communications director for the House Natural Resources Committee told Roll Call “press waits for no one,” as she fielded phone calls during her monthly cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins. And in November, she hopes to run the New York City Marathon.

Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Kathryn Lyons sat down with Kristina during a break in one of her early morning runs before a long day of work on the Hill. Here’s Kristina’s story.

Lawmakers grill Barr about past testimonies on Mueller report

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Attorney General William Barr about his previous statements to Congress regarding special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, one day after The Washington Post reported that Mueller contacted Barr in late March expressing dissatisfaction with the attorney general’s characterization of his report....
Meet Roll Call’s new Heard on the Hill reporters

Clyde McGrady and Kathryn Lyons introduce you to the personalities behind the policy and politics on Capitol Hill

Trump: ‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas’
 

President Donald Trump told reporters his administration is “fighting all the subpoenas,” and called House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn “ridiculous.”...
A GOP sea change on climate? Not quite
 

The GOP has long been known as the party of climate change denial, but some Republican lawmakers have been coming around to the idea that climate change is caused by human activity.

“I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to evaluate new science, new information and new tech, and come to different conclusions,” said Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of a handful of Republican lawmakers hoping to push their party in the direction of addressing climate change.

Barr on Mueller report ahead of release: ‘No collusion’
 

Attorney General William P. Barr said at a press briefing Thursday morning that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report found no collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives. This declaration echoes the statements Barr made in a March 24 letter to members of Congress that many Democrats criticized, demanding instead to see the full report.

Joe Biden eulogizes friend and Senate partner Fritz Hollings
 

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke at the funeral service for former Sen. Ernest Frederick “Fritz” Hollings at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday.

Trump on Notre Dame flames: ‘A terrible sight to behold’
 

President Donald Trump commented on the burning of Notre Dame in Paris Monday, saying the tragedy “is beyond countries, that’s beyond anything.”

Banging gravel, pseudoscience and texts from mom: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of April 8, 2019

The House had a short week on the Hill due to the Democratic legislative retreat, but that didn’t stop several committee hearings from going off the rails. Squabbles erupted about political science degrees being pseudoscience, and a witness needing to leave for a planned meeting. Meanwhile in the Senate, Sen. Edward J. Markey busted out his Wheel of Fortune impression to roast Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Sen. Debbie Stabenow got snubbed on the floor.

[For more Congressional Hits & Misses click here]

Markey spins the ‘Wheel of Giveaways’ in opposition to Bernhardt’s confirmation
 

It wasn’t the first colorful protest of acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s confirmation this week, but Sen. Edward J. Markey’s “Wheel of Giveaways” surely caught some eyes on the Senate floor nonetheless.

Swamp monsters return to the Hill to protest Interior secretary nominee
 

There has been an uptick in monster sightings on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. Protesters from Public Citizen, a liberal think tank, and Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy group, wore in swamp creature masks on various occasions to protest the nomination of acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

“Donald Trump often talked about wanting to drain the swamp, but really with a choice like David Bernhardt he is filling D.C. with more swamp monsters,” Madeline Page, a campaign coordinator with Public Citizen, told Roll Call.

Tina Smith pays tribute to Heard on the Hill in annual Minnesota hotdish competition
Heard on the Hill

Sen. Tina Smith dished it out with her Minnesota colleagues for the 9th Annual Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition on Tuesday. While the row of Minnesotan casseroles all looked delicious, Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Kathryn Lyons had an obvious favorite....