congressional-staffers

Ethics Committee Finds Mark Meadows in Violation of House Rules

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in violation of House rules due to how he handled a sexual harassment allegations against one of his staff members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows failed to take “prompt and decisive action” to handle alleged sexual harassment in his congressional office, according to a Friday report.

The committee also found Meadows violated House rules by failing to take action to ensure his office was not engaging in discrimination.

Time Running Out on Hill Sexual Harassment Reforms, Former Staffers Warn
One year after #metoo movement spurred Congress to action, House and Senate bills could expire

Senate staffers and visitors pass by the plexiglass-enclosed displays of the various U.S. Capitol building design models in the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress will forfeit a passed bill from each chamber aimed at curbing sexual harassment unless lawmakers can come together before year’s end.

“Time is running out,” said Kristin Nicholson, co-founder of Congress Too, a group of former Hill staffers that has sought to reform the way Congress approaches staff training and response to sexual harassment allegations. “We really want all that progress not to go to waste, and for that to happen, we need something to be passed this year.”

New Members of Congress Hit the Books in DC
It’s just like college, but with more catering

Newly elected members of the 116th Congress arrive in Washington today for new member orientation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freshly elected faces will descend on Washington on Tuesday for the start of their congressional orientation, including a new session on workplace rights on Capitol Hill. If past years are any indication, they’ll be eating tens of thousands of dollars of food.

Lunches, tours and briefings will pack the agenda, and winners from around the country will mix and mingle like freshmen on a college campus. It will be their first taste of life as a member of Congress, from interacting with media to forging relationships with their future colleagues.

Steaks and Scotch Can Restore Sanity, According to One Hill Staffer
An invitation to the Bipartisan Dinner Group is mysterious and vague

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., right, is the inspiration behind the Bipartisan Dinner Group for staffers. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michael Hardaway was in an elevator with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy when he was just a young Senate staffer. He seized the opportunity to ask the liberal giant for advice on navigating D.C.

“Sen. Kennedy told me that members in the old days were able to pass bills and get things done because of friendships formed after hours, when members often gathered for steaks and scotch,” said Hardaway, now communications director for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Ex-Rep. Steve Stockman Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison
Texas Republican was found guilty of 23 fraud charges

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, was sentenced Wednesday following conviction on multiple charges including mail fraud and money laundering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman was sentenced Wednesday to 120 months in prison after a federal jury convicted him of 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.

The Texas Republican was first elected in the 1994 GOP revolution, only to be unseated two years later. He returned to the House in 2013, but left after a term following an unsuccessful bid to knock off Sen. John Cornyn in the following year’s Republican primary.

For Post-Election Comfort, Try Therapy Dogs
Dozens of congressional staffers surrounded three dogs on Wednesday morning

From left to right: therapy dogs Hans, Max and Chobe were in the Capitol complex on Wednesday to de-stress staffers. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Hans the Portuguese water dog yawned. “Same,” a congressional staffer said. It was a long election night for political junkies, and it wasn’t over yet as of Wednesday morning.

Still, the sun was finally out in Washington, and it felt like another quiet recess day on Capitol Hill, with no members in sight until party leaders arrived for press conferences later in the afternoon.

5 Not-So-Newbies to Watch on Election Day
These midterm candidates were once congressional staffers

If Young Kim comes to Capitol Hill, it will be a homecoming of sorts. She worked for California Rep. Ed Royce for years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s no secret that those who come to Capitol Hill to work behind the scenes may have political aspirations of their own.

Dozens of current lawmakers were congressional staffers in a previous life. (We feature them once a month in Roll Call’s Staffer News.)

No Campaign, No Gain
How can you help your party (and your career) while you’re stuck in D.C. on Election Day

Rep. Barbara Comstock passes out candy during a Halloween Parade in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday. Comstock is trailing Democrat challenger Jennifer Wexton for her suburban 10th District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For staffers who live and breathe politics, it can be tough being stuck in D.C. during the final election countdown.

“It feels a lot like sitting on the sideline during the biggest game of the season,” a Republican aide said.

Right Up Until His Death, He Told Barbara Lee to ‘Keep Breaking Through’
California Democrat was often the only African-American and woman in the room

Rep. Ron Dellum, right, is pictured with staff members, including Barbara Lee, in an undated photograph. (Courtesy of Barbara Lee)

Rep. Barbara Lee spent her birthday with her former boss, the late Ronald V. Dellums, just two weeks before the fellow California Democrat died in July.

Their relationship dates back to 1974, when she interned with him during the hectic Watergate summer.

7 Quirkiest Rules for Staffers During Campaign Season
Courtesy of the House and Senate Ethics committees

Technology now allows staffers to start diving into  campaign work the second they step outside their Hill office buildings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reading through the Senate and House Ethics rules for staffers doing campaign activity can be a thankless task. It can be hard to keep track of the right protocol to follow just to help your boss win an election. 

Staffers are free to engage in campaign activity on their own time, away from Capitol spaces and without using Senate and House resources. Campaign committees have made that as easy as possible to encourage staffers to participate.