Campus Notebook: House Leaders Honor Kelly’s Career

Posted March 1, 2011 at 6:38pm

Pat Kelly, editor of the House Daily Digest, retired Tuesday after working in Congress for more than 53 years.

The daughter of the late Rep. Edna Kelly (D-N.Y.), Kelly first came to Capitol Hill in 1957 as a research analyst for the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Afterward, she worked as a legislative assistant for her mother, then-Reps. Martha Griffiths (D-Mich.) and Matthew McHugh (D-N.Y.), and the House Rules Committee.

Her experience led to her job as editor of the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record in 1979, and she’s been there ever since.

In 2007, on her 50th anniversary on the Hill, Kelly told Roll Call, “Fifty years is almost enough, but not quite.”

On the day of her retirement, the 76-year-old said, “I think it’s time.”

For years, Kelly spent years keeping track of committee hearings for the Congressional Record. The accomplishment is quite remarkable, one person in the Office of the Clerk said, considering the job was mostly phone work and typing.

“Pat is someone who would stay here indefinitely,” the source said. “This is her life. She’s reached a point, though, when she should take some time for herself.”

Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised Kelly’s service.

Boehner said she had a “bird’s eye view” in her role as editor. “Pat, we’re sorry to see you go,” the Ohio Republican said.

Pelosi said Kelly came to Washington, D.C., because she felt the urge to do something. “And over more than half a century, she did far more than her fair share,” the California Democrat said.

Though she’s retiring, Kelly won’t be forgotten; she’s already been interviewed for the House’s oral history program.

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