congressional-staffers

Survey: Optimism Grows Among Democratic Staffers
Aides are more confident minority party can block GOP agenda

The top three Democrats in the Senate, from left, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray leave a policy luncheon in the Capitol on April 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican congressional staffers remain hopeful that they’ll enact significant legislation in 2017, but their Democratic counterparts are gaining confidence that they can block the GOP agenda, according to the June Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill aides.

Two-thirds of the Republican respondents expected it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll enact legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But only one in five of the Democrats said the same.

Scalise Will Need More Surgery, But His Condition Has Improved
Trump said Scalise was in 'much more difficult' condition than first thought

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., pictured in May at a news conference in the Capitol is in “some trouble” at a Washington hospital after being shot on Wednesday, President Trump said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Updated 8:35 p.m. | House Majority Whip Steve Scalise could be hospitalized for some time as he is treated for the effects of a gunshot wound.

That is according to an update Thursday evening from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where doctors predicted the Louisiana Republican will need more surgery.

Analysis: No Signs Baseball Shooting Will Change Hill’s Ways
Partisanship will prove stronger than promises of unity after House’s No. 3 GOP leader gravely wounded

Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Val B. Demings of Florida leave a congressional meeting about Wednesday’s shooting at the Republicans’ baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Don’t expect the congressional baseball practice shooting to change anything. Not the venomous partisanship that defines life at the Capitol. Not the public’s dismal opinion of the people they’ve sent to Washington. And certainly not the polarized impasse on gun control.

The torrent of words presaging something different began minutes after the shooting stopped Wednesday morning at the Republicans’ suburban practice field, with the third ranking leader of the House majority and four others grievously wounded. Across town, the Democrats halted their own early morning workout to huddle in prayer for their GOP colleagues. Groups advocating for tighter federal restrictions on firearms asserted hopefully that this time, the debate would shift in their favor.

Mo Brooks Describes Shooting in Alexandria
Alabama Republican was at the GOP baseball practice

FBI personnel gather outside of the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., to gather evidence where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were wounded during the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks was taking swings in the batting cage early Wednesday morning at the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia, when he heard a shooter open fire — and briefly caught a glimpse of a white, middle-aged male.

“I heard this loud ‘Blam,’” Brooks said. “I thought it was a car backfiring or something.”

Sanders ‘Sickened’ That Shooter Was Campaign Volunteer
Vermont independent deplores ‘this despicable act’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “sickened by this despicable act” when he learned the shooter at a congressional baseball practice was a former volunteer on his presidential campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “sickened” by the fact that the person who opened fire at Republicans practicing Wednesday morning for the Congressional Baseball Game was a volunteer on his unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.

The gunman, who shot at five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, later died from injuries sustained in a shootout with officers at a practice field in Arlington, Virginia. He has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

Facebook Features Connect Lawmakers With Constituents
Goal is to help citizens engage

Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves said he regularly hosts online town halls through Facebook Live. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Facebook users now have the option to pin “constituent badges” to their profiles, letting friends — and members of Congress — know which district they live in. And users can now search for articles, links, and posts that other residents in their districts engage with most frequently.

“When we think about civic engagement, we think about building communities of people,” said Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of U.S. public policy. “And this is about making sure that people engage with government.”

Schedulers Think Their Title Should Be ‘Superman’
Multitasking staffers see themselves as office quarterbacks

Staffers in congressional offices have all eyes on their schedulers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The schedulers in Capitol Hill offices say a “thank you” every now and then would be nice.

A handful of House schedulers, from both sides of the aisle, spoke anonymously with Heard on the Hill about the many moving parts of their job, which, judging by the name, sounds like they only manage a schedule.

The Levin Legacy: Next-Gen Congressional Oversight
Retired Michigan Democrat’s center trains staffers on effective oversight

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin built a legacy of tough oversight as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 100 congressional staffers have now completed boot camps designed to boost the investigative skills of House and Senate staff, thanks in part to the retirement work of former Sen. Carl Levin.

The Michigan Democrat had a particular interest in oversight, wielding the gavel of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations through hearings on topics from the 2008 financial crisis, to oil and gas speculation, to “dirty bomb” vulnerabilities, and issues within the United Nations Development Program.

Bill Dauster Caps Decades of Senate Service
Longtime Democratic aide retired last week

Bill Dauster, seen here to the right of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, retired from Senate service last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There aren’t many Senate aides who get multiple floor speeches recognizing their retirement, but then again, there are not many with as much influence on policymaking as Bill Dauster.

With the arrival of Memorial Day recess, Dauster retired after spending the bulk of the past three decades as a top Democratic staffer to senators, committees and leadership.

Annual Capitol Insiders Survey: The Trump Effect
Tensions on the Hill from last year have carried over into 2017

Republicans staffers on Capitol Hill are still not comfortable with President Donald Trump, the latest Capitol Insiders Survey finds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last year’s election was humbling for pollsters, and the Capitol Insiders Survey was no exception. The vast majority of congressional staffers surveyed by CQ Roll Call in the days before the election — 91 percent — predicted a Hillary Clinton win. Only 6 percent thought Donald Trump could pull it off.

Still, the results reflect how Trump’s win blindsided the Washington establishment. The majority of Republican aides said consistently during the campaign that they wouldn’t vote for Trump.