Boehner Backs Strodel to Return as CAO

Posted December 15, 2010 at 8:25pm

Updated: 10:07 p.m.

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday that he will nominate Dan Strodel as Chief Administrative Officer of the House when Republicans take control of the majority in January.

Strodel has worked on Capitol Hill for more than two decades, holding positions with the Office of the Clerk, the Office of the CAO and the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms. He was elected in July to complete the term of CAO Dan Beard, who resigned.

“Professionally, Dan Strodel has literally grown up in the House,” Boehner said in a statement. “Fresh out of college, he started out as a payroll and benefits counselor in the Finance Office where he learned how much Members of Congress depend on first-rate support services in their day-to-day work on behalf of the American people. Dan’s steady leadership has made a real difference in his first months as CAO and I’m pleased to nominate him for a second term.”

Strodel’s finance experience is significant. A House inspector general report that criticized the CAO under Beard for low morale, miscommunication and turnover in its Office of Payroll and Benefits and Office of Financial Counseling. When House appropriators tried to withhold $20 million from the CAO’s fiscal 2011 budget unless Beard acted on some of the IG’s recommendations, Beard resigned.

Rep. Dan Lungren, who will oversee the agency next year as chairman of the House Administration Committee, said in an interview Tuesday that he has been happy with Strodel’s management so far but that oversight hearings should be expected next year, given the agency’s mishaps.

“We’ve got to do the oversight. We’re going to show people that we’re serious about oversight,” the California Republican said. “And I mean publicly we’re going to review things.”

Strodel enjoys bipartisan support in the House. He was first nominated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who at the time praised his extensive institutional knowledge. On Wednesday evening, Rep. Robert Brady (Pa.), the Democrat who currently chairs the House Administration Committee, applauded Boehner’s decision to nominate Strodel.

Strodel said in a statement: “It’s been an honor to serve the Congress in every position I’ve held, but I’m especially grateful to Speaker-designate Boehner for permitting me to lead the first organization for which I worked here in the House. Every one of us in the CAO organization shares the goal of doing all we can to support the important work done by Members of Congress and their staffs.”