Pryce, CAO Divide Office Space Available in Cannon

Posted September 10, 2003 at 5:16pm

The Republican Conference’s policy shop will go ahead with plans to consolidate its operations in the Cannon House Office Building under a revised arrangement that allows the Chief Administrative Officer to maintain operations in the same area.

The CAO will continue to offer financial counseling and other services in Cannon Room 263, although about 100 or so of its employees have been relocated to space in the Ford and Longworth House office buildings.

“The moves that were made will allow better access for House staff and Members to the services that the House offers,” such as payroll and benefits, technical support and counseling, said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the House Administration Committee. “These moves establish a better central location and should provide better access and better experiences with the services the House offers.”

CAO employees raised concerns earlier this year about the move, asserting that staffers might be less inclined to visit the office for payroll or insurance questions or seek counseling if they had to go to Ford, located a considerable distance from the Capitol and other office buildings.

Instead, CAO maintained much of its front office staff in Cannon, moving those employees who would have less face-to-face contact with staffers into Ford and the First Call Customer Service Center — which also provides services such as passports, notary and “Dear Colleague” letter distribution — in the Longworth basement.

Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (Ohio) initiated the office shuffle, which when finished will locate the GOP’s message and strategy shop close to her personal office on the Cannon Building’s second floor.

“It gives us one central location from which to operate,” said Greg Crist, spokesman for the Conference.

The Conference’s chief of staff and communications team are already situated in Cannon 223, the office formerly occupied by Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.), before he moved into space in the Rayburn Building at the start of the 108th Congress. Pryce’s office is nearby in Cannon 221.

Until renovations of the Cannon space are completed later this fall, the policy office will retain its space in Longworth 1010, the space used by then-Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.) during his tenure as chairman.