Omnibus Re-Ups Measure to Defund Nonexistent ACORN Group
Provision could have been lifted from previous spending packages and never scrubbed

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tucked away on one of the 2,232 pages of the omnibus spending bill Congress sent to President Donald Trump’s desk early Friday morning is a provision to ban federal funding for a group called the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

ACORN does not exist, however, and hasn’t since 2009.

Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern
Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”

Interns Get a Boost From College to Congress
‘These people belong here, they just can’t afford to be here,’ founder Audrey Henson says

Audrey Henson with last summer’s College to Congress interns. (Courtesy College to Congress)

This summer, 12 students will have their cost of living covered as they intern on Capitol Hill, so they can focus on their work.

College to Congress, a program that strives to level the playing field for congressional interns, selects students to invest in and places them in Hill offices.

New Group Wants to Bring Staffers Together Through Golf
Lewis Myers is the commissioner of the Congressional Golf Association

Lewis Myers in 2017 with the Quicken Loans Trophy, awarded to the winner of a PGA tournament hosted by Tiger Woods. The tournament and its proceeds make an impact in the D.C. community. (Courtesy  Lewis Myers)

Congressional staffers are trying whatever they can to bring people together in this tough political climate, and Lewis Myers thinks the golf course might be a place to do that.

“The golf ball doesn’t really recognize Republican or Democrat, so we should be able to come together and play the game we love,” said the six-year Capitol Hill veteran, who is the scheduler for California Democratic Rep. Norma J. Torres.

Top Diversity Associations on Capitol Hill Run by Women
All four major diversity congressional staff associations are run by women for first time ever

From left, Victoria Rivas, president of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association; Francesca McCrary, president of the Congressional Black Associates; Moh Sharma, president of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association; and Yasmin Rigney, president of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For the first time, women now head the four largest congressional staff diversity associations.

And they say that makes perfect sense after all the focus on sexual harassment and gender disparity over the past year.

Women Who Run the Show
Monica Popp and Alexis Covey-Brandt are chiefs of staff in leadership offices

Monica Popp has been Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s chief for almost three years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans haven’t exactly followed the advice of conservative icon Margaret Thatcher, who liked to say, “If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

The GOP has five female senators, and none in leadership. It can seem like a man’s caucus, at least from the outside looking in.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren on When ‘Administrative Assistants Ran the Hill’
California Democrat started out as a staffer in the 1970s

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren started out as an intern on Capitol Hill right out of college. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Zoe Lofgren was a staffer forty years ago, articles of impeachment were flying. Still, she thinks Congress is more chaotic now.

The California Democrat replaced her former boss, Rep. Don Edwards, after he retired in 1994.

From Assistant to Chief, Women Heading Hill Offices
‘I don’t want people from the outside world calling and thinking I’m taking dictation in here’

Rep. Rosa DeLauro hugs fellow Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher J. Dodd during a 2010 event. In 1981, she joined a handful of congressional female chiefs of staff when Dodd hired her off the campaign trail. Also pictured, at left, former House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women have been heading up congressional offices dating back to the 1940s, but that “assistant” position looked very different from today’s chief of staff post.

The 1946 Legislative Reorganization Act created the title of administrative assistant, which evolved into chief of staff. In 1947, there were about six female administrative assistants in the Senate, according to Senate Historian Betty K. Koed.

Opinion: We All Have the Same Challenges
Female staffers should be judged by the results they produce

Barrett Karr, center, is chief of staff to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Also pictured, Kelly Dixon, director of legislative operations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I am often asked what it is like to be a female chief of staff. My answer is that it is probably not that much different from being a male chief of staff — we all have the same challenges. 

But the question reminds me that I am fortunate to have worked for Kay Granger, John Kline and now Kevin McCarthy.

Flashback Friday: ‘BTUed’
Here’s a phrase from the past that you might not know the story behind

The term “BTUed” dates back to President Bill Clinton’s first year in office. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers might not know.

The term (rhymes with rude) dates back to the Clinton administration. It was coined in 1993 during a debate on legislation to reduce the deficit, which included a proposal to tax the heat content — measured in British thermal units, or BTUs — of most forms of energy.