congressional-staffers

Kennedy Intern Hopes Her Story Is a Factor in Health Care Debate
Jen Fox credits law with helping her overcome Hodgkin’s lymphoma twice

Jen Fox speaks of her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as her boss Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III listens. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

During a markup in the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the Republican bill to replace President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III criticized the legislation by saying it was not an act of mercy but rather “an act of malice.”

Jen Fox, 25, one of the Massachusetts Democrat’s interns, was there for part of the 24 hours that the bill was being dissected. She said she wouldn’t have been, if not for the 2010 law.

What It Costs to Educate New Members of Congress
Recent House disbursement report includes total for fall orientation, though number could grow

Newly elected Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel in November 2016 — the day freshman members checked in for orientation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As empty nesters know, getting a freshman prepared for college can be expensive.

The same goes for a freshman in Congress.

Ryan Hasn’t ‘Given Thought’ to Members’ Health Care Coverage
Speaker says GOP health care plan is ‘on track and on schedule’

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the House is working “hand in glove” with the White House on a health care plan that can pass Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has put a lot of thought into the health care bill moving through the House, but one thing that hasn’t crossed his mind is how members of Congress will get their health care.

The 2010 health care overhaul required lawmakers and their staff to enroll in health care programs created by the law as a means to have them understand the effects of it. But after questions arose, the Office of Personnel Management ruled that members and staff could enroll in the District of Columbia’s small business exchange to maintain the employers’ contribution toward health care costs.

Service Academy Grads Bond on Capitol Hill
Tim Bertocci and Jakob Johnsen founded the Service Academy Graduate Staff Association in the 114th Congress

Service Academy Graduate Staff Association co-chairmen Jakob Johnsen, left, and Tim Bertocci say group members share similar values and backgrounds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The importance of brotherhood and sisterhood is ingrained as a core value of service academy graduates, which is why two staffers decided to form an association for them. 

The Service Academy Graduate Staff Association was started last Congress by Tim Bertocci, legislative director for Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, and Jakob Johnsen, military legislative assistant for Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young.

GOP Plan Doesn’t Address Members, Staff Health Care
Unanswered questions on fate of 11,000 people

A sign from 2013 alerts Senate employees that representatives from DC Health Link are in the Hart Senate Office Building to help them with health insurance enrollment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers delve into questions about the Republican health care plan, one big one will remain unanswered for the time being: What happens to health care for members of Congress and their staffs?

The 2010 health care law required members and their staff to enroll in health care programs created by the law. But it’s not clear if that requirement will continue, or whether lawmakers and staff will return to the coverage plans they had prior to the law taking effect.

Connolly Intern Sows Father’s Seeds of Peace for Gaza
Yousef Bashir has faith in a peaceful solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Yousef Bashir, a Gaza native, is an intern in Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly’s office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The future president of a Palestinian state might be working as an intern in Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly’s office. 

“No pressure, huh?” Yousef Bashir replies to the Virginia lawmaker’s assertion about his future and the two laugh.

Survey: Democratic Aides Doubt Senate Can Block SCOTUS Nominee
Staffers overwhelmingly expect Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed

Judge Neil Gorsuch meets with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in her Hart building office on Feb. 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Liberal advocacy groups are spending lots of time and money organizing for what they hope will be a big fight over President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch.

They might be disheartened to learn that Democratic congressional aides don’t think they can block him.

Foreign Affairs Staffers Group Connected to the World
Group provides access to foreign service institutes and professionals

From left, Varun Krovi, Francisco Bencosme, Sean Snyder, Katharine Denby, Aaron Allen, and Michael Mansour of the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Just like members of Congress, expertise in foreign policy can boost staffers’ careers.

Most staffers are interested in it in some form. But until three years ago, the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association didn’t exist.

Word on the Hill: Joint Session
Celebrities and hemp today

President Donald Trump’s last big event at the Capitol was his inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump heads to the Capitol today for his first address to a joint session of Congress, and as a result we don’t get to go to Mardi Gras.

The Capitol will be restricted to those with event credentials, starting at 5:30 p.m. See our list of restrictions around the complex.

McAuliffe: Trump Administration Deportations Prioritize Criminals
Virginia Democrat details conversations with Homeland Security secretary

McAuliffe, center, is the chairman of the National Governors Association. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday that the Trump administration has assured him that the targets of deportation efforts are people who have been involved in what he described as a “criminal enterprise.”

McAuliffe, a Democrat, is the chairman of the National Governors Association, which was finishing up meetings in Washington after a weekend gathering. The governors were at the White House for meetings with President Donald Trump after also visiting the executive mansion for a dinner with the president Sunday night.