Robert A Brady

Jackie Speier and Bradley Byrne Aim to End Taxpayer Settlements for Discrimination
House lawmakers want to go beyond compromise measure that passed Thursday

House lawmakers, including California Rep. Jackie Speier, already have plans to expand discrimination protections beyond the sexual harassment measure passed Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress on Thursday passed new sexual harassment rules governing lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill, but House lawmakers already have plans to expand protections beyond what’s included in the compromise measure.

“This bill isn’t perfect, but that’s part of what the legislative process is about,” California Democrat Jackie Speier said Thursday. “We have decided to get this on the books to change the system that was woefully inadequate and then come back next year.”

Congress Passes Sexual Harassment Bill By Unanimous Consent
Final legislation introduced shortly before both chambers passed it

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House and Senate on Thursday passed new legislation overhauling the process for handling sexual harassment claims on Capitol Hill, one day after the announcement of a joint agreement on the measure. The legislation will head to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.

[Read the bill text]

Lawmakers Reach Deal to Tackle Sexual Harassment on Capitol Hill
New agreement would end heavily criticized ‘cooling off’ period

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. The noble fir was harvested on Nov. 2 from Willamette National Forest in Oregon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress will act quickly on compromise legislation to overhaul how sexual harassment is handled on Capitol Hill. The new proposal, released Wednesday, has the backing of leadership in both chambers and parties.

Negotiations to reconcile the separate House and Senate proposals that passed easily early this year have dragged on for months. But swift action is expected in the Senate this week and the House the following week.

Campaign Aide to Rep. Robert Brady Found Guilty on 9 Counts
Feds secure conviction on fraud spread over multiple election cycles

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s aide, Kenneth Smukler, guilty of 11 counts of breaking campaign finance laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s top political strategist, Kenneth Smukler, guilty on nine counts of breaking campaign finance laws and obstructing a Federal Election Commission investigation.

The jury found Smukler guilty of conspiracy to violate federal law, making and causing unlawful campaign contributions and causing false statements to the FEC in connection with a 2012 congressional primary campaign in a Philadelphia-area congressional district.

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers Stepping Down
Search for replacement to oversee Capitol infrastructure could take a while

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, left, here with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., at a 2014 news conference about the Capitol Dome Restoration Project, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The man with the biggest portfolio on Capitol Hill will be stepping down at the end of November. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers will be leaving his post after ascending to the top job over a 20-year career with the agency.

The architect of the Capitol oversees the upkeep and preservation of more than 17.4 million square feet of facilities and 580 acres of grounds on the Capitol campus. That includes the historic House and Senate office buildings, the Capitol itself, thousands of works of art and even the trees that dot the campus.

Former Henry Cuellar Aide Files Discrimination Complaint for Being Fired Over Pregnancy
Texas Democrat’s office defends firing without addressing claims

A former senior staffer for Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, says she was fired for being pregnant — a violation of federal law. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A former acting chief of staff to Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar has filed a complaint claiming that she was fired for being pregnant, a violation of federal law.

“After serving as staff in the House of Representatives for 13.5 years I had the opportunity to become the acting Chief of Staff for a different Congressman. After finding out and communicating I was pregnant, I was fired,” Katie Small wrote in a Facebook post Thursday evening.

Amid #MeToo Fallout in Congress, Mentorship Is Up
Women’s group provides ‘a place for women to confide in other women’

With so many women wanting a mentor at the end of 2017, the Women’s Congressional Staff Association had to get creative. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As revelations of sexual misconduct rocked Capitol Hill, one staffer group saw a spike in requests from its members, the majority of whom are in their 20s.

What did they want? Mentorship.

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

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If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Gregg Harper Hopes Disability Internship Program Expands After His Departure
Retiring House Administration chairman cites his son as an inspiration

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., right, poses with his son Livingston and Vice President Mike Pence last year. Harper said Livingston was the impetus for his internship program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Courtesy Rep. Gregg Harper’s office)

As Rep. Gregg Harper prepares to leave Congress, he has high hopes the internship program he created for individuals with intellectual disabilities will grow and lead to more alumni getting hired.

Helping the disabled has been a priority for the Mississippi Republican since his election to the House in 2008. He has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to help people with disabilities transition into adulthood, including his Transition toward Excellence, Achievement, and Mobility, or TEAM, Act in 2013, which stalled in committee.

Aide to Bob Brady Faces More Charges
Ken Smukler is accused of hiding donations to former congresswoman’s campaign

An aide to Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., is facing additional charges related to former Rep. Marjorie Margolies’ 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An aide to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady, already facing charges from Brady’s 2012 campaign, is facing additional charges of obstructing a federal investigation of former Rep. Marjorie Margolies.

Ken Smukler was charged last year in relation to a scheme to pay off one of Brady’s Democratic primary opponents in 2012.