Joshua Shields made the shift from the Senate, where he worked for Sens. John Thune and Roger Wicker, to the House, where he is Rep. Kristi Noems communications director.
Other aides decided to make the jump even though their Senate bosses remained in office.
Holt Lackey, who most recently was counsel to Sen. John Cornyn, has joined the office of another Texas Republican, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith. Lackey is serving as counsel on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. He is also assisting on various issues in that subcommittee, including antitrust.
Similarly, Monica Popp left her job as a health care legislative assistant in the office of Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) to join the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
But it’s not just committee and leadership offices that are drawing Senate aides.
Freshman Rep. Kristi Noem has also picked off two former Senate staffers. The South Dakota Republican, who is serving as one of two freshmen in elected leadership, told Roll Call this fall that hiring veteran Hill aides was important to “be as effective” as she could.
Noem Chief of Staff Jordan Stoick and Communications Director Joshua Shields both spent several years working in the Senate. Stoick worked for the Senate Republican Conference and for Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.). Shields spent a handful of years as a legislative assistant to Wicker Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
The Senate veterans said the biggest difference between the chambers is resources, particularly for an at-large House Member, where constituents often expect the same amount of attention and speed to their inquiries as Senators give.
“Senate offices have more staff, more resources,” Shields said. “House offices have to do more with less.”
Despite the pressure to do more, Shields said there are definite upsides to working in the House.
“The culture here is flatter, more collaborative within an office,” Shields said. “That’s kind of fun and exciting to be part of.”