Michael Teitelbaum

The Dizzying Life of Midcycle Newbies
For arrivals in the middle of a Congress, it can be tough to hit the ground running

In April, just a few days after being sworn in following his stunning special election win in Pennsylvania, Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb strode into the Capitol, hand clutching a coffee cup, as he made his way to the House floor for a vote. But before he could make it inside, a guard abruptly stopped him. Beverages in the chamber, she explained, are strictly forbidden. “You can go through the cloakroom,” she helpfully suggested. Lamb gave a blank stare. “It’s around the corner,” she said, pointing down the hall.

The first few days and weeks for new lawmakers can prove a disorienting adjustment, especially for winners of special elections.

From Wite-Out to Regular Order: A Lot Has Changed at the CRS
Walter Oleszek is the agency’s longest-serving employee

When Walter Oleszek was hired at the Legislative Reference Service in 1968, Lyndon Johnson was president. The Legislative Reference Service is now the Congressional Research Service, and Oleszek is still there 50 years later. He has seen a lot of change when it comes to his favorite subject: Congress.

Currently the longest-serving employee at the agency, Oleszek may be best known to legions of political science students for two books he’s written over the past 35 years: “Congress and Its Members” and “Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process.”

Virgin Islands Del. Plaskett is Calm in the Storm
Hurricane Irma batters Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on its way toward mainland U.S.

Despite Hurricane Irma causing power outages, destruction, and potential loss of life back home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Del. Stacey Plaskett was remarkably calm.

She had been up since 4 a.m. in constant contact with her close neighbor to the west, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon.

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