staffers

How Orrin Hatch Found His Twitter Groove
‘He has this incredible sense of humor, he loves self-deprecating humor, he loves age jokes’

Matt Whitlock, left, says the voice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Twitter account is the senator himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not easy to create one of the most popular Twitter handles in Congress when you’re speaking in your 83-year-old boss’s voice.

But Matt Whitlock, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s communication director, has done just that. The Utah Republican has about 65,000 followers.

Opinion: Sexual Harassment Legislation Breaks With Glacial Pace on Capitol Hill
Success often comes down to seizing the moment

California Rep. Jackie Speier is flanked by her staffers Molly Fishman, left, and Miriam Goldstein. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Like most Hill staffers, we came here with a dream of making a difference and quickly realized that the wheels of change grind at a glacial pace in Congress. It’s certainly not a secret, but until you become part of the process, it’s hard to understand just how painful it can be.

You can imagine our elation at finally seeing our dream realized last week, when the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that will radically alter the way Congress prevents and responds to harassment and discrimination in the congressional workplace.

Gowdy Launches Oversight Investigation Into Rob Porter Scandal
‘How in the hell was he still employed?’ House Oversight Committee chairman asks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the Rob Porter scandal Tuesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of senior aide Rob Porter, who was not issued a permanent security clearance due to allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

“Who knew what, when, and to what extent? Those are the questions that I think ought to be asked,” the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said Wednesday on CNN.

Blumenthal Dubious of White House Interim Security Clearance Trend
Between 30 and 40 White House staffers have not been issued full security clearance

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned — and frustrated — over the White House’s position on matters of security confidentiality.

Last week, President Donald Trump withheld the release of a Democratic House Intelligence Committee memo rebutting one from the Republican side, citing the need for heavy redaction to protect national security interests.

White House Spokesman Shah Once Called Trump ‘A Deplorable’
Messages show Shah cheered ‘Access Hollywood’ tape as ‘some justice’

Principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah was brought into the White House by former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

A top White House spokesman once called his boss, President Donald Trump, “a deplorable” and admitted feeling a degree of schadenfreude when the Washington Post released the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape in October 2016, New York magazine reported Monday.

White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah made the comments when he worked for the Republican National Committee as its research director and deputy communications director.

Renewed Scrutiny for Cotton’s Cease-And-Desist Letters to Constituents
Arkansas man says he was threatened with letter in June for using an expletive

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has been criticized for his office’s practice of sending cease and desist letters to some constituents who call in. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s office is under the First Amendment microscope again for its practice of sending cease-and-desist letters to constituents who call in and use coarse language.

Arkansan Don Ernst said he was threatened with a cease-and-desist letter after he called Cotton’s office 17 times last year from January to June asking about the senator’s response to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, and how Cotton would deal with the opioid crisis if the 2010 health care law was repealed, Ernst revealed on a The Sexy Pundits podcast Sunday.

Hill Staffers Get New Resource in Sexual Harassment Disputes: Their Predecessors
Former aides organize to help current staff deal with workplace complaints

Senate staffers look out of their office in November as Minnesota Sen. Al Franken speaks to reporters outside his Hart Building office about his alleged sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of former congressional aides wants to help their successors come forward with sexual harassment and other discrimination complaints. So they’re offering a support network they say will fill in the gaps in a congressional workplace protection law scheduled for a House markup next week.

They have launched a website, congresstoo.org, to collect resources, which include the names of lawyers and a public relations expert who have offered to help current staff members dealing with harassment at work.

Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening John Lewis’ Staff
Georgia man to receive 18-month prison sentence

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and his staff faced threats from a Georgia man who once called his office 46 times over two days. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Georgia man accused of making repeated threats to Rep. John Lewis and his staff has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Dante Antoine Rosser, 43, agreed to a plea deal on Friday that calls for an 18-month prison sentence followed by three years of supervised release, The Associated Press reported.

Critics Point to Problems With Sexual Harassment Bill
Measure is intended to create more protections for Hill staffers

People rally against sexual harassment outside Trump International Hotel on Dec. 9 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images file photo)

A bipartisan measure meant to increase protections for congressional employees who complain of sexual harassment and other workplace discrimination could make the process more cumbersome and less transparent, experts on employment law and advocates for victims and government transparency said this week.

Critics agree that the 23-year-old Congressional Accountability Act is long overdue for reform. But they said this one — expected to get broad support when it comes before the House as early as next week — could introduce more problems than it solves, possibly because it was compiled in a rush to respond to the #MeToo movement and the resulting wave of sexual harassment allegations in American institutions.

Correspondence With Congressional Offices ‘Through the Roof’
Offices get hundreds of calls each day, from drunk calls to ‘racist’ rants to threats

Interns struggle to wheel a 20,000-page tower of health care rules and regulations from the Capitol to the Russell Building in March 2013. Interns and staffers are struggling with an increased load of correspondence and calls from constituents, many of them angry. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)