Pierson got his start on Capitol Hill in the journal clerk’s office and is set to retire at the end of the month after 34 years.
That same year, however, he got a job on Capitol Hill through his wife, who was working for then-Minority Leader John Rhodes, R-Ariz. Pierson got a gig in the journal clerk’s office and joined the staff of the House Republican Cloakroom before being tapped by Michel to serve as floor assistant.
“I never looked back,” Pierson said. “It’s an exciting place.”
Pierson has seen a lot in his 34 years, from the Republican transition to power in the House for the first time in 40 years in 1994 to changes in the way appropriations bills are covered on the floor. What he’ll miss the most, he said, are the people — not just the lawmakers, but the staffers, too.
The staffers feel the same way. Wallace Simpson, a 26-year-veteran of Chamber Security, said he’ll miss the camaraderie with Pierson. He said he always teased Pierson about his habit of muttering to himself when things got busy.
Laura Reed, one of the House Press Gallery assistant superintendents for the past 10 years, described him as someone who “makes our lives easier.”
“I don’t think I’ve met a nicer person in my time on the Hill,” Republican Rules Committee Communications Director Doug Andres said. “Jay treats everyone, from members to junior staff, with the same kindness and respect.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.