congressional-staffers

Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez need a ‘chief of change’ or a change of staff?
Who is calling the shots in New York Democrat’s office?

By going after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats, Saikat Chakrabarti, left, chief of staff to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, broke a cardinal rule of the unwritten Hill staffer code, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Mention the name Saikat Chakrabarti to Democratic chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill, and you’ll get an array of fed-up responses to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s high-profile top aide, from “Ugh” to “What the (expletive)?” to “He’s got to go.”

Although staffer feuds are not uncommon, the Harvard-educated former tech executive who leads AOC’s office has recently committed the two great sins against the unwritten code of Capitol Hill staffers. The first is to never upstage the boss.

Spanberger’s chief of staff says House is like a startup
Roscoe Jones Jr. relishes chamber’s “fast pace” after move from the Senate

Roscoe Jones Jr. compares his move from Senate aide to House chief of staff to “going from General Motors to a startup.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After years of working for an incumbent senator holding a safe seat, Roscoe Jones Jr. was ready to build something from scratch.

“It was like going from General Motors to a startup,” he said. Trading in his role as Dianne Feinstein’s legislative director, he moved over to the House, accepting a job as chief of staff for newcomer Abigail Spanberger.

Former GOP staffer running for Virginia delegate knows not to knock the ‘swamp’
Hill experience isn’t a liability for D.J. Jordan on the campaign trail

Former Hill staffer D.J. Jordan, here at a July Fourth parade in Daly City, Va., is running for the Virginia House of Delegates. (Courtesy D.J. Jordan)

When D.J. Jordan was a Hill staffer, his drive into the city took an hour and 15 minutes, and that was on a good day. He turned to the fine art of slugging — picking up fellow commuters at designated parking lots to reach a quorum for the HOV-3 express lanes.

“It has literally been my personal nightmare,” Jordan said. “I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve missed family dinner and missed my son’s football practice and missed my daughter’s dance rehearsal or recital because I’m stuck in traffic.”

Are you cut out for the campaign trail?
How to tell if you’re a campaigner or meant for the Hill life

Jennifer Wexton campaign manager Ray Rieling points to CNN’s coverage of the Virginia 10th District race as Wexton’s staff and family watch election returns in the campaign’s war room on election night 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Half-eaten doughnuts. Late-night conference calls over multiple cups of coffee. The life of a campaigner can be hectic and unpredictable. It’s also more physical, whether it’s spending hours in a car driving from the Tallapoosa County Democratic Women’s luncheon or logging miles on Saturday morning door knocking in the summer heat.

It’s best suited for those with a high tolerance for chaos.

With no evidence, Nunes warns that Democrats are colluding with Mueller to create ‘narrative’
It’s common for committee staff to be in touch with witnesses to schedule hearings, negotiate time limits, set parameters of questioning

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, claimed without evidence that Democrats were working with former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to create a “narrative” about his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference and whether President Donald Trump obstructed that probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Devin Nunes is raising concerns that Democrats are conspiring with former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to create a “narrative” about his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections that paints President Donald Trump and his associates in a bad light.

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that will interview Mueller on July 24, did not provide any evidence to support his claim.

Sen. Susan Collins dismissed Republican’s effort to scrap Kavanaugh after accuser’s testimony, new book says
Maine Republican wanted to hear Supreme Court justice nominee’s side of the story before moving on from him

Sen. Susan Collins delivered what is considered the decisive vote that sent Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins declined to back a Republican colleague’s effort to desert then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her gave an emotional account of the alleged incident and the effect it has had on her life, according to a new book.

Collins was confronted by an unnamed Republican senator who had devised a proposal to withdraw his support of Kavanaugh, who was seen as a flawed nominee amid sexual misconduct allegations. In exchange, he would promise to support whomever President Donald Trump nominated in Kavanaugh's place, according to conservative writers Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, who detailed the story of the newest Supreme Court Justice's confirmation in their new book “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.”

DC’s ‘acting’ bug spreads to the Hill
House Freedom Caucus is getting in on the act

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Mark Meadows, Thomas Massie, and Jim Jordan have a new acting communications director. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus now has an acting communications director as the outgoing flack takes a new position with Vice President Mike Pence.

The position adds to the long list of “actings” in President Donald Trump’s D.C. If you’re keeping count there’s an acting White House chief of staff, secretary of Homeland Security, secretary of Defense, secretary of the Navy, as well as the heads of the Small Business Association and the Office of Management and Budget.

Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor will challenge Va. Sen. Mark Warner despite election fraud controversy
A special prosecutor is still investigating claims of election fraud by Taylor's campaign aides in his failed House bid last year

Former Rep. Scott Taylor announced Monday he is running for Senate in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Scott Taylor announced Monday he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner for his seat in 2020.

Taylor released a campaign launch video on YouTube on Monday highlighting his upbringing in a single-parent home, his rough pre-adolescent years, his career as a Navy SEAL and his experience as a lawmaker in Virginia and the U.S. House.

Congressional compensation: Isn’t there a select committee for that?
Panel tasked with modernizing Congress will look at staff but not member issues

Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and vice chairman Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., during a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress meeting in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As lawmakers engage in a contentious debate about whether to thaw a decadelong freeze on their pay, there’s a logical place where the underlying issues of member compensation and housing could be addressed — the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. 

But the panel currently has no plans to take up such matters, its chairman, Rep. Derek Kilmer, and vice chairman, Rep. Tom Graves, told CQ Roll Call. 

Workplace protections for legislative branch employees take effect
Changes include revised dispute resolution process, access to confidential counselor

The Office of Congressional Workplace Rights has announced that more workplace protections for legislative branch employees are now in effect. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislative branch employees can now take advantage of a revised dispute resolution process and consult with a confidential adviser about their rights when they make workplace claims.

Those are among the protections in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act. The law also extends workplace protections to unpaid employees, including interns and fellows. Many of the final provisions took effect Wednesday, 180 days after the bill was signed into law in December.