congressional-staffers

Two top Architect of the Capitol employees have left the agency after investigation
Senate Building Superintendent Takis Tzamaras and House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer both left in July

Acting Architect of the Capitol Thomas Carroll. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two top employees at the Architect of the Capitol who oversaw building operations in the House and Senate are no longer working there, months after they were put on administrative leave while they were investigated for emails critical of Christine Merdon, the former head of the agency.

Senate Building Superintendent Takis Tzamaras and House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer both left the agency in July. Tzamaras said he resigned and Weidemeyer said he retired.

Rep. Chris Collins pleads not guilty to revised indictment, trial still set for February 2020
New York Republican was indicted last August on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., pleaded not guilty Thursday to a revised set of charges related to insider trading and lying to the FBI. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment on Thursday in New York, where he, his son Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ onetime fiancee, were initially indicted in August 2018 on insider trading charges and lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors have dropped three of the original eight securities fraud charges against Collins and two against his son and Zarsky in order to speed up the pretrial process in time for the trial slated for Feb. 3, 2020.

Tuesday Bruceday: A day in the life of Roy Blunt’s bearded dragon
’He gets a lot of attention around the office,’ senator’s spokeswoman says

Bruce, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt’s bearded dragon, poses for a picture in the Russell Senate Office Building on Sept. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Inhabiting the back corner of Roy Blunt’s staff quarters in the Russell Senate Office Building is the cold-blooded staff favorite, Bruce.

Despite his scaly skin and long tail, he’s a fixture of the Missouri Republican’s team. That is also despite his preference to hang out in the background and mostly avoid the press (Heard on the Hill being the exception.) After all, the only scoops Bruce has to offer are those of worms and freeze-dried crickets — not the kind sought by Capitol Hill reporters.

With Congress back, Trump tells staff he doesn’t want another shutdown
Hill envoy details to-do list, which could face obstacles, including from White House

President Donald Trump has told his staff to avoid a government shutdown, but several obstacles remain to getting spending deals, as well as other legislative priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House has an ambitious autumn and winter legislative agenda that includes avoiding another government shutdown and winning approval of a sweeping trade pact — but a key official says legislation aimed at preventing mass shootings is not certain to move this year.

Both chambers returned Monday from a rather bloody August recess in which more than 40 people died during mass shootings in four states. Members of both parties say they want to move some kind of bill aimed at curbing gun violence amid polling that shows large majorities of Republican and Democratic voters want Washington to act. But no plan that could pass the House and Senate — and get President Donald Trump’s signature — has emerged.

Retiring lawmakers will face tough market on K Street
‘K Street is not hungering for former members,’ senator-turned-lobbyist Norm Coleman says

In most cases, it’s congressional staff members who K Street really clamors for. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

K Street recruiters are poring over the list of 21, and counting, lawmakers planning to exit Congress, but the lobbying sector may offer a shrinking supply of big-money gigs heading into the 2020 elections. 

As more House members and senators consider making their escape from Capitol Hill, the realities of the K Street economy and the well-worn revolving door will be among their considerations, say insiders at lobbying firms and downtown headhunters.

Authorities probing Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign for missing $100,000+
Ohio Republican’s campaign is ‘prepared to fully cooperate and assist’ investigation

Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign pledged to cooperate with authorities investigating a discrepancy of more than $100,000 in his finances. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Authorities are investigating whether someone stole more than $100,000 from Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot’s reelection fund, according to his campaign’s lawyer.

“Congressman Chabot was shocked and deeply disappointed to be informed yesterday afternoon that his campaign committee may be the victim of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds,” Mark Braden said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Former intern for Rep. Chris Smith to run against him
Incumbent is last Republican left in New Jersey delegation after Democrats flipped 4 seats in 2018

Rep. Christopher H. Smith’s 13-point win in 2018 was his smallest margin of victory in decades. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former intern for GOP Rep. Christopher H. Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge him next fall.

Smith is the only Republican left in the 12-seat New Jersey congressional delegation after Democrats flipped four seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Rep. Joyce’s ex-treasurer pleads guilty to embezzling $160,000 from campaign
Bank video showed Scott Coleman withdrawing unauthorized funds from ATM after overcharging campaign for his expenses

A former campaign treasurer for Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling thousands of dollars from the congressman’s campaign from 2015 to 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Joyce’s former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty on Thursday to grand theft charges stemming from accusations earlier this year that he embezzled more than $150,000 from the Ohio Republican’s campaign committee.

The ex-treasurer, former Highland Heights, Ohio, Mayor Scott Coleman, siphoned $160,000 from the “Friends of Dave Joyce” campaign account between 2015 and 2018, Geauga County prosecutor James Flaiz said.

Man who sought internship with Rep. Velázquez later threatened to shoot her
Queens man was arrested by NYPD on Wednesday

Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., was the target of a shooting threat last week, according to her office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Queens, New York, man has been arrested for threatening to shoot Rep. Nydia Velázquez. Less than 48 hours earlier, he had sought an internship with the longtime New York Democrat.

New York police arrested Luke Nammacher on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported, after authorities were able to trace a call he made last Friday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in which he said he had a “friend” who wanted to shoot Velázquez.

Merdon out at AOC, Thomas Carroll named new acting architect
Search continues for permanent Architect of the Capitol

Acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdon resigned, and Thomas J. Carroll has been named to lead the agency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Christine Merdon is out as acting Architect of the Capitol, and Thomas J. Carroll has been named to lead the agency on an acting basis as the search for a permanent AOC continues.

In an internal notice to AOC employees, Merdon said she had accepted a job outside of the agency.