Heard on the Hill

Your Boss Is Becoming More Vulnerable. When Do You Move On?

A breakdown of when your paychecks will stop coming in

If election night doesn’t look like this for you and your boss, how long will you have to pound the pavement? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Staffers, start updating your résumés. Your job security just took a hit in the latest round of ratings changes from Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

Inside Elections downgraded the re-election chances of 21 Republican House members last week. Of the GOP incumbents running for another term, 22 are now either underdogs or dead even in their bids.

If your boss loses on Election Day, what does that mean for you? The money will keep coming during the lame-duck session. But when your member turns into a pumpkin on Jan. 2, so does your paycheck. The winners will be sworn in the next day.

Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa looks to be in the most trouble. His race now Leans Democratic.

Also sweating are the nine sitting Republicans who saw their races move from the Toss-up column to Tilts Democratic. The newly minted underdogs are Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Kevin Yoder of Kansas, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, plus two Minnesotans — Jason Lewis and Erik Paulsen — and two New Yorkers — John J. Faso and Claudia Tenney

[Roll Call’s 2018 Election Guide]

Some staffers already know the end is nigh. If your boss got beat in a primary, your paycheck will run until January.

(We’re looking at you, staffers for Democrats Joseph Crowley of New York, Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts and Madeleine Z. Bordallo of Guam, along with Republicans Robert Pittenger of North Carolina and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.)

With the House recessed until after the midterms, staffers who have faith in their boss’ re-election may already be hard at work back in the district. That doesn’t leave much time in D.C. for pounding the pavement.

After the election, both chambers are in session for four weeks before the new year. Dec. 13 kicks off the holiday recess, so you’ll have until then to job hunt before the paycheck countdown begins.

[The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in 2018 List Remains All-Republican]

Senate staffers, you get a little more time to schmooze. If your boss loses, your paycheck will run through March 2. (That’s if you’ve worked in the office for at least 183 days.)

Roll Call’s list of endangered Senate incumbents has been consistently dominated by Democrats.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota leads the latest list, and Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada is the most vulnerable Republican. Other familiar faces are Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Bill Nelson of Florida.

[The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018: Heidi Heitkamp Moves to Top Spot]

If your boss suddenly leaves office, that’s a whole other ball game.

So far this Congress, three senators and 16 House members have resigned. While some headed to work for President Donald Trump’s administration, six left after stories of sexual harassment emerged. 

And two members died in office: Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and New York Democratic Rep. Louise M. Slaughter.

In cases like those, offices in the district and D.C. keep their doors open. Staffers remain on the payroll under the supervision of the clerk so they can assist constituents — until, that is, a new member fills the seat.

This New York District is the Race to Watch for Democrats in the Trump Era

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