Dennis A Ross

Word on the Hill: Music Advocates Go to Districts
#NoMuslimBanEver rally at the White House

Two teams from Texas compete in the annual King of the Hill softball championship game Wednesday night. (Roll Call File Photo)

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game is tonight. The event pits the best of the Hill staff softball teams from the House and Senate against each other.

For the first time in the game’s history, both teams are from Texas. The 2017 Senate champions, The RBIs of Texas, will take on the 2017 House champions, The Texas Republic, at 7:30 p.m. at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

McHenry, Scalise’s Deputy, Steps Up to Run GOP Whip Operation
A temporary but open-ended promotion

Megan Bel Miller, chief of staff for the personal office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., takes a selfie with Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., during a blood drive in the foyer of Rayburn Building on June 20, 2017. The drive was held to honor those injured in last week's shooting at the Republican team practice in Alexandria. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As members flew back to town for the first time since the baseball practice shooting, the House’s No. 3 Republican remained absent indefinitely, and his leadership post was already being occupied temporarily.

The trauma to the Capitol from the grievous wounding of Steve Scalise, who’s set to remain hospitalized into the July Fourth recess and may not return to work before Labor Day, was not reaching in any visible way into the workings of his majority whip operation.

Play Ball! The 56th Congressional Baseball Game in Photos
The June 15 event as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., takes a swing during the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

The Democrats outscored the Republicans to win Roll Call's 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday by a score of 11-2. The game at Nationals Park went on in Washington, despite a shooting attack on the Republicans' practice the day before in Virginia that left the third-ranking GOP House member, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, in critical condition. Four others were also injured.

GOP Leaders on Flood Insurance Bill See Bipartisan Measure
Lawmakers working to beat Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline

Wisconsin Rep. Sean P. Duffy hopes to get bipartisan support for a reauthorization of the flood insurance program.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both Democrats and Republicans cited concern about hurting low-income homeowners in legislation that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, but they also agreed that the program, with a current debt of $24.6 billion, needs to be on sounder financial ground.

Lawmakers are working to beat the expiration of the current authorization on Sept. 30. Without new authorization in place, housing markets in coastal and flood-prone areas could be disrupted.

New Faces on Congressional Baseball Teams — Including a Woman
2016 election leads to some roster moves on both sides

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, left, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise celebrate after the Republicans' 8-7 victory in the 55th Congressional Baseball Game in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There will be a few new faces on the field at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game on June 15.

The teams begin practice with a few freshman lawmakers on their rosters and some players lost in the shuffle of the 2016 election.

Word on the Hill: Lots of Spooky in Washington
Vet staffer briefing and parking updates

Go get a maple pepper bacon macaroni and cheese at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. (Courtesy the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Galleria)

Ross Requests Investigation into Murky Capitol Hill Water Scare
Officials must answer for “alarming unresponsiveness” on lead levels

Florida Rep. Dennis Ross blasted the "alarming unresponsiveness and poor communication" of staff at the architect of the Capitol over the water contamination scare. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Dennis A. Ross wants the Office of Compliance to take a hard look at how Stephen T. Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, has handled a health scare precipitated by the detection of lead-contaminated drinking water in the Cannon House Office Building last month.  

In the two weeks since government officials were first warned about the potential health hazard, the actions of the architect of the Capitol have ranged from temporarily disabling a handful of drinking fountains to offering free, voluntary check-ups to worried staffers.  

House Staff to be Screened for Lead Poisoning
Free blood work offered to those exposed to tainted water

Howard Dublin, 56, has blood drawn by Kanika Johnson outside the Russell House Office Building in 2004. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A week after shutting down the drinking water in the Cannon House Office Building due to an inexplicable spike in lead levels, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers is moving forward with complimentary blood testing for anyone affected by the health scare.  

“I am pleased to report that starting tomorrow, July 6, 2016, blood lead level testing will be available to House Members and Staff, with a valid congressional badge, at no cost to the individual or office,” AOC officials alerted the Capitol Hill community late Tuesday via email.  

Officials to Explain Hazards of House Office Drinking Water
Congressional staff invited to briefing after elevated lead levels found

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., demanded more information on the extent of the health hazard on the congressional campus . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Officials with the Architect of the Capitol will answer questions about the severity of contaminated drinking water on the congressional campus in three meetings today after repeated requests from Florida Republican Dennis A. Ross.  

[Water in House Office Building Too Dangerous to Drink] The discussions are scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in the Cannon House Office Building. Earlier this week AOC banned staff in Cannon from using drinking fountains and office filtration units after spotting elevated levels of lead in recent test samples.  

Ultimatum Given on Tainted Water in House Office Building
Congressman wants answers on lead levels; Officials set three briefings for Friday

The Cannon House Office Building where lead levels in drinking water have sparked concern. (Congressional Quarterly/File Photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Dennis A. Ross issued an ultimatum Thursday insisting that House administrators formally respond to a request for clarification about health hazards congressional staffers may be facing as a result of having possibly ingested tainted drinking water since last fall.  

Agents of the architect of the Capitol on Wednesday initially alerted only those located in the Cannon House Office Building that their drinking water was to be avoided pending an investigation into troubling levels of lead contamination.