Dashboard: A Look at the Stats Behind the Staffers

Posted November 19, 2008 at 3:08pm

• Year that Congress passed the Legislative Reorganization Act, which led to widespread hiring of administrative assistants — a predecessor title to chief of staff — in lawmaker’s offices: 1946

• Tenure of Francis Wilcox, the first chief of staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: 1947-55

• Year that the group presently known as the bipartisan House Chiefs of Staff Association was founded: 1973

• Decade that the title “chief of staff” came into wide use on Capitol Hill and began to replace “administrative assistant” as the title for the top staffer in a lawmaker’s office: 1980s

• Year that the chief of staff title for lawmakers’ offices first appeared in Congressional staff directories: 1981

• Number of Senators in 1981 who used the chief of staff title in their personal offices: 4 (GOP Sens. David Durenberger of Minnesota, Charles Percy of Illinois, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Ted Stevens of Alaska)

• Number of Senators who used the chief of staff title in 1990: 25

• Number of Senators who used the chief of staff title in 2000: 87

• Number of Senators on Election Day 2008 who still used the title “administrative assistant” for the top staff position: 2

• Number of House Members who used the chief of staff title in 1981: 1 (Rep. Mervyn Dymally, a Democrat from California)

• Number of House Members who used the chief of staff title in 1990: 49

• Number of House Members who used the chief of staff title in 2000: 330

• Number of House Members on Election Day 2008 who still used the title “administrative assistant” for the top staff position: 3

• Number of incoming House Members whose spouse served as chief of staff to the district’s outgoing incumbent: 1 (Rep.-elect Steve Austria, a Republican from Ohio)

• Number of incoming lawmakers who previously served as a chief of staff to a federal lawmaker: 2 (Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio, and Rep.-elect Pete Olson, a Republican from Texas)

Sources: Knowlegis, Congressional staff directories, Senate Historical Office, Congressional Management Foundation and House Chiefs of Staff Association

Compiled by Mark Wegner and Pamela King/GalleryWatch