congressional-staffers

Members’ Dining Room Sheds Exclusivity, Welcomes Staffers
Further changes might be in store for the storied eatery

The painting and quote in the hallway where the previously members-only dining room is located on the House side. Starting on Tuesday, staff were welcomed in. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Members’ Dining Room in the House is getting much less exclusive. Starting Tuesday, the eatery is now open to Capitol Hill staff, not just House members and their guests.

“Beginning today … the [Bennett] Room of the Members’ Dining Room will open to all congressional staff. This includes employees of the House, Senate, Architect of the Capitol, Congressional Budget Office, and Library of Congress,” House Chief Administrative Officer Philip Kiko wrote in a letter.

Former Staffers Want to Fund Diverse Women for Hill Internships
New foundation’s goal is to fund 50 internships a year for young women

Sara Lonardo, left, and Elizabeth Whitney, right, both are former Capitol Hill interns. They teamed up to create the Women's Congressional Staff Foundation. (Photo courtesy Wynne Leahy)

All eyes are on women on Capitol Hill this week: How will those in the Senate vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination? What might his accusers say to affect his confirmation?

Behind the scenes, staffers work to keep the trains moving and their bosses informed. One group doesn’t think there are enough staffers from different backgrounds among them.

DC Denizens, Don’t Throw Out the Manual Just Yet
A few things are in flames. This reading list can help

Chaos got you down? Try a little light reading. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Supreme Court nomination is running aground, a president is hurling shutdown threats at his own party, and the midterms are 44 days away.

Let’s get back to the basics, shall we?

Former Hill Staffers Who Were Victims of Sexual Harassment Call for Leaders to Act
Differences still being worked out between House bill passed bill in February and Senate version passed in May

Seven former Capitol Hill staffers penned a letter Thursday urging action on sexual harassment policies in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven former congressional staffers who experienced sexual harassment or assault while working on Capitol Hill sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday urging them to enact changes to harassment and discrimination policies. 

“We write to remind you, and every member of the 115th Congress, not only of the pain we suffered, but also of the shame and humiliation that current staffers must bear when they too are victimized by harmful and discriminatory actions from a member of Congress, a supervisor, or a colleague,” wrote the seven women.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Clarifies That There Was Incident ‘Buzz’
‘That it happened or not, I have no idea,’ former schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has denied claims that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, clarified Wednesday that she has no first-hand knowledge of the alleged attack.

“I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject,” Cristina King Miranda tweeted Wednesday.

Russians Targeting Senate, Staff Personal Emails, Sen. Ron Wyden Warns
And the Senate sergeant-at-arms can do nothing to stop the cyber attacks — for now

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told colleagues that Russian hackers have been targeting senators’ and aides’ personal accounts and devices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden implored his colleagues to enact legislation that would allow the Senate sergeant-at-arms to provide cyber protections to senators and staffers for their personal devices and accounts.

The Oregon Democrat warned Senate leaders that the state-backed Russian group responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, “Fancy Bear,” has also tried infiltrating the personal communications networks of senators and their staffers, including Wyden’s own aides.

Public-Facing Congressional Research Reports Site Launches to Criticism
crsreports.congress.gov went live on time, but with a number of shortcomings

A new Congressional Research Service website with public reports is now live. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress’ in-house research division has moved to make more of its reports public, as required by law, but the new website is already drawing criticism.

Under the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, the Congressional Research Service had to publish all nonconfidential reports on a public website operated by the Library of Congress. The website went live Tuesday, meeting the deadline set by appropriators.

The Investigation Will Be Televised
Ken Buck was 27 years old when he staffed the Iran-Contra investigation. Now he could ‘never be a tyrant’

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., left, worked for then-Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyo., right, as a counsel on the Iran-Contra Investigation. (Courtesy Ken Buck)

As his father watched him from a hospital bed, 27-year-old Ken Buck sat behind Dick Cheney while history was being made.

The Colorado Republican was the assistant minority counsel on the Iran-Contra investigation, working for Cheney, then a Wyoming congressman.

Politicians Worry About Millennials, but They’re Already Running the Hill
What happens when the chief of staff is mistaken for the intern

Joe Hack became chief of staff to Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., at 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joe Hack sat in a weekly lunch for Republican chiefs of staff and listened to a speech on what to do about millennials.

At the time, he was 27 and running Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s office. “I’m at a table with a bunch of graybeards, [and] they’re moaning at the trials and tribulations of this next generation. I’m kind of sitting there. All of a sudden it dawns on them that I’m one of them,” he said.

Who’s Behind Congress’ Messaging? That Would Be a 24-Year-Old
Young communications directors go to bat for Mississippi’s Harper, Thompson

Colby Jordan, left, works for Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Guy King works for Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. (Courtesy Colby Jordan and Guy King)

The situation at the Mexican border this spring divided delegations in Congress.

Democrat Bennie Thompson decried the “discriminatory policy enacted by Trump designed to separate” migrant kids from their families.