Boehner Seeks to Reinstate Former Clerk Haas

Posted December 16, 2010 at 3:30pm

As House onlookers expected, Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday that he will not retain the current Clerk of the House, but instead nominate longtime GOP aide Karen Haas to assume the post when Republicans take control of the chamber in January.

Haas served as Clerk from 2005 to 2007 under Speaker Dennis Hastert. She also worked as the Illinois Republican’s floor assistant from 1999 until she was named Clerk.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have long known and respected Karen — as much for her in-depth knowledge of legislative procedure as for her tireless dedication to the work of the people’s House,” Boehner said. “For as long as I can remember, Karen always seemed to be on the floor of the House when I arrived and was still there working after most Members and staff had left the chamber. We are truly fortunate that Karen has agreed to return to the Capitol and lead the team of outstanding professionals in the Office of the Clerk.”

When Democrats took control of the House in 2007, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) replaced Haas with Lorraine Miller, who became the first African-American to serve as an officer of the House. Miller had served as an aide under three Democratic Speakers and once headed the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Haas is the minority staff director for the House Small Business Committee. Before taking that post, she was executive director of the House Republican Conference. She started her Congressional career as a legislative assistant to Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-Ill.) in 1984.

“It’s a genuine honor to return to the House,” Haas said in a statement. “I am truly grateful to Speaker-designate Boehner for giving me the privilege of once again assisting Members of Congress in the important work they do on behalf of the American people.”

The Clerk is the chief record keeper of the House and carries out legislative and procedural support for the legislative body.