Gregg Harper

Orientation Disorientation: The Maybe Members Have a Strange Status
Democrat Nate McMurray says he was barred, but organizers say he is welcome

Democrat Nate McMurray says he was barred from new member orientation, but organizers say he’s invited. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins’ Democratic challenger Nate McMurray says House Republicans barred him from attending new member orientation Wednesday, but organizers say he is welcome to attend. Such is the plight of the so-called maybe members. 

Traditionally, candidates in races that are too close to call days after Election Day are invited to attend the freshman orientation. Earlier this week, Democratic staff for the House Administration Committee said that was the case again this year.

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers Stepping Down
Search for replacement to oversee Capitol infrastructure could take a while

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, left, here with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., at a 2014 news conference about the Capitol Dome Restoration Project, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The man with the biggest portfolio on Capitol Hill will be stepping down at the end of November. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers will be leaving his post after ascending to the top job over a 20-year career with the agency.

The architect of the Capitol oversees the upkeep and preservation of more than 17.4 million square feet of facilities and 580 acres of grounds on the Capitol campus. That includes the historic House and Senate office buildings, the Capitol itself, thousands of works of art and even the trees that dot the campus.

Gregg Harper, Retiring Congressman and Giddy New Grandpa
After five terms, Mississippi Republican is looking forward to more family time

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., is not seeking a sixth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Earlier this summer, Rep. Gregg Harper cleared his calendar to fly home for the birth of his first grandbaby — a little boy named Lee.

Speaking in his Rayburn Building office two weeks later, the Mississippi Republican pulled out his phone to flip through pictures.

Who’s Behind Congress’ Messaging? That Would Be a 24-Year-Old
Young communications directors go to bat for Mississippi’s Harper, Thompson

Colby Jordan, left, works for Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Guy King works for Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. (Courtesy Colby Jordan and Guy King)

The situation at the Mexican border this spring divided delegations in Congress.

Democrat Bennie Thompson decried the “discriminatory policy enacted by Trump designed to separate” migrant kids from their families.

Meet More Likely New Members of Congress
For all of them, winning the primary was tantamount to winning the general election

Clockwise from top left, Ben Cline, Anthony Gonzalez, Deb Haaland, Dan Meuser, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, John Rose, Andy Levin, Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean. (Courtesy Bill Clark/D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call, Anthony Gonzalez for Congress, Meuser for Congress, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, David Trone for Congress, John Rose for Congress, Andy Levin for Congress, Friends of Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean for United States Congress)

With control of the House up for grabs and the number of competitive seats growing to 86, many congressional hopefuls have two more months of grueling politicking to look forward to as they barrel toward Election Day.

But not all of them.

House and Senate Interns Set to Receive Pay in Legislative Branch Spending Package
House to receive $8.8M, Senate $5M

An intern for House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., works a sign-in table outside of an Intern Lecture Series event in Russell Building on July 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interns in both the House and Senate are on track to get paid as work wraps up on the fiscal 2019 Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch spending package.

The Legislative Branch portion of the package has been locked, according to an aide to Rep. Tim Ryan. The final version includes $8.8 million to pay interns in the House and $5 million for intern pay in the Senate. The Senate funding is included in the accounts that lawmakers use to pay staff salaries, official travel and office expenses. In the House the funds will exist in a newly created account for each member office, according to House Appropriations Committee staff. 

House to Codify Guidelines for Virtual Town Halls
Measure would provide spending guidance on joint events

Members wishing to conduct joint virtual town halls will get some guidance from legislation set for approval by the House Administration Committee. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New rules are coming to the House for members hosting virtual town hall meetings with constituents back in their districts.

The House Administration Committee takes up a resolution Wednesday that will codify regulations for lawmakers teaming up to do joint town hall meetings on the internet.

Negotiations Over Sexual Harassment Bills Continue, but No Timetable Yet
Lawmakers report progress on reconciling House, Senate approaches

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says he and his colleagues are making progress on reconciling sexual harassment legislation from the two chambers, but a time frame for enactment is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as lawmakers and staff work to reconcile legislation passed by the House and Senate to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a timeline for enacting the bills is unclear, months after they were fast-tracked for floor votes.

“We’re confident we are going to get there at some point. We’re not quite there,” House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi said.

Hospital Drug Discount Program Under Lawmakers’ Microscope
House panel to examine legislation Wednesday

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to address a conference of hospitals participating in a drug discount program facing Congressional scrutiny. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House panel that has been scrutinizing hospitals’ use of a drug discount program will examine on Wednesday pieces of legislation that stem from members’ concerns over the discounts.

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel has had two hearings in the past year on the program, known as 340B. The committee has requested information from hospitals that participate and in January published a report outlining ways the drug discount program could be better run.

Sean Patrick Maloney Says Tampon Buy Denied by House Panel
But House Administration Committee says it “did not provide any guidance”

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., says the House Administration Committee told his office it may not purchase tampons out of MRA funds, but the panel denies it offered any guidance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:57 p.m. | New York Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said he tried to buy tampons for his office but was denied permission by the House Administration Committee. 

But a House Administration spokeswoman said it “did not send an email or provide any guidance to Rep. Maloney’s Office.”