congressional-staffers

Blunt Wants Senate to Pass Anti-Harassment Legislation This Week
Plans to outline bipartisan agreement with Klobuchar by the end of Tuesday

Sen. Roy Blunt is the lead Republican on the effort to combat harassment on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt hopes to pass a bill this week addressing harassment on Capitol Hill.

“Let’s see what the members said at lunch, but it would be great if we could get this done before the Memorial Day break,” Blunt said, telling reporters he needed to consult with his Democratic counterpart on the measure, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Newspaper Sues Over Farenthold’s New Job
Seeks to find if the Calhoun County Port Authority violated Texas open meetings law

The Victoria Advocate is suing the Calhoun County Port Authority regarding its hiring of former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Texas newspaper filed a lawsuit saying a county agency broke the state’s open meetings law when it hired former Rep. Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist.

On Monday, the Victoria Advocate announced it was suing over whether the county ports authority discussed hiring the disgraced former congressman in a closed meeting on May 9.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Capitol Hill Staffers to Watch
Six staffers talk about how to get more AAPI staffers on Capitol Hill

Linda Shim, chief of staff for Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., says, “In the Asian culture, as you are growing up, you are told to respect your elders. That conflicted a lot with being a staffer on the Hill.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, six Hill staffers from the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community spoke about how they got to where they are.

They shared experiences from their internships, mentoring other staffers, and what it’s like to be the only person who looks like them in a room. 

Congress Doesn’t Report Diversity Because It Doesn’t Have to
While federal agencies must report the diversity of their employees, there is no such requirement of Congress

Kemba Hendrix, director of the House Democrats’ Diversity Initiative, took on her role in November. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:30 a.m. with figures for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s staff | If you ask a House or Senate office to break down the diversity of its staff, chances are it won’t. Because it doesn’t have to.

While the executive branch has to provide data on the racial and ethnic makeup of its staff for the public record, there is no rule mandating that congressional offices do the same.

Gomez on What He Learned From Being a Staffer for a Latina Member
California Democrat started his political career working for Rep. Hilda Solis

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., chats with staffers in his office. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jimmy Gomez learned firsthand how to network in bars, focus on the job and navigate the Hill’s degree-clogged pool of talent.

After graduating from Harvard in 2003, he was a staffer for Rep. Hilda L. Solis, a fellow California Democrat who served from 2001 to 2009.

Success Stories: Creating a More Diverse Capitol Hill
Jennifer DeCasper and Hope Goins on how they have done it

Hope Goins says half of her staff are women of color. (Bian Elkhatib/ CQ Roll Call)

Some offices on Capitol Hill make an extra effort to reflect the diversity of America. And while the lawmakers they serve might get the credit, the office directors in charge of hiring are the ones who make it happen.

“It’s been a huge priority of our office, just because our boss is obviously a diverse candidate, we come from a diverse state, and so our office needs to represent our state,” said Jennifer DeCasper, chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. “Diversity means that it includes everything of value to your constituency. Our constituency is not homogeneous, and so my office should not be homogeneous.”

Trailblazers: African-Americans Who Challenged Segregation in the Senate
In 1947 and 1953, three pioneers knocked down color barriers on Capitol Hill

Christine McCreary worked for Missouri Sen. W. Stuart Symington Jr. in the 1950s. (Courtesy the Senate Historical Office)

Before the Civil Rights Act legally ended segregation, three African-Americans helped break down a few barriers to make the Senate more inclusive.

The first was Thomas Thornton, a World War II Army veteran. In February 1947, Illinois Republican Sen. C. Wayland “Curly” Brooks appointed him a mail carrier in the Senate Post Office. Early the next month, the new staffer went to lunch one day in the Senate cafeteria and sat down to eat.

Staffer Survey: Getting Substantive Things Done in an Election Year
How the midterms affect congressional offices

Senate staffers and visitors pass by models of the Capitol in the Hart Senate Office Building. Roll Call surveyed congressional staff about how busy they are in an election year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Flashback Friday: A Page Right Out of History
The Senate page program was started as a way to keep local kids out of trouble

A Senate page with Sen. Charles Sumner from Edmund Alton’s 1886 book “Among the Law-Makers.”

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers may not know or appreciate.

Senate pages are high school juniors, at least 16 years old, who help deliver correspondence, transport bills and prepare the chamber, all while attending the U.S. Senate Page School.

In Rare Public Comments, Frelinghuysen Sounds Ready to Get out of D.C.
House Appropriations Committee chairman is retiring at end of his 12th term

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., is retiring at the end of his term in December. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, in a rare public appearance in his district on Monday, sounded more than ready to leave the chaos of government behind, saying he’s keeping his “head down” amid “all sorts of sideshows” in his final eight months in Congress.

The New Jersey Republican, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced in January that he would retire at the end of his 12th term.