staffers

Graham says he’ll introduce Turkey sanctions after Trump orders U.S. troops out of Kurdish territory
Graham, Rubio, Romney and former White House officials blast decision as betrayal of Kurds and bad omen for all allies

Syrian Kurds gather around a US armored vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on Sunday. (Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday he and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if it crosses the Syrian border and attacks Kurdish forces, after President Donald Trump said late Sunday that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from the border region.

“I hope and expect sanctions against Turkey — if necessary — would be veto-proof,” Graham said.

At least half of Rep. Chris Collins’ full-time staff has left since he was indicted
New York Republican will fight the case in court, but some employees not waiting around

More than a handful of staffers for Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., have left his office since he was indicted in August of 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The trial of Rep. Chris Collins is in February, but some of his staffers aren’t waiting on the legal system to run its course.

Half of Collins’ full-time staff have left since he was indicted in August 2018 on fraud charges. Seven of 14 full-time staffers — among them his deputy chief of staff, Michael Kracker, communications director Sarah Minkel, and health policy adviser, Charlotte Pineda — are no longer working in the office, according to payroll records from May 2019, the most recent filing available in the Legislative Resource Center.

Photos of the Week: Impeachment is in the air, but first recess
The week of Sept. 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

A coalition of progressive activist groups, including MoveOn.org, hold a rally at the Capitol on Thursday, calling on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rob Portman promotes Kevin Smith to chief of staff
Mark Isakowitz will be returning to the private sector

Kevin Smith, right, seen here with MLB Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock, is being promoted to chief of staff to Sen. Rob Portman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rob Portman has a new chief of staff.

The Ohio Republican is elevating Kevin Smith, his deputy chief of staff and communications director, to the top job in his Senate office. Smith has worked for Portman for about three years and has been a familiar face on Capitol Hill, having previously served as communications director to Speaker John A. Boehner.

We sure hope the Rayburn &pizza has plenty of dough
House-side lunch spot &pizza will honor $3 pie promotion tied to Bryce Harper strikeouts

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts in the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28. Local chain &pizza has a $3 pizza special tied to Harper's propensity to whiff. (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Update Sept. 24 9:20 a.m. | Bryce Harper struck out twice Monday in the Nationals’ 7-2 win over the Phillies.

The &pizza inside the Rayburn House Office Building will sell $3 pies on Tuesday and Thursday in light of former Washington National-turned-Philadelphia Phillie Bryce Harper’s return to D.C. The catch? He has to strike out against his former home team  for staffers to get a piece of the pie.

Meet the key appropriations players of the fall
List includes budget war veterans as well as relative newcomers

Eric Ueland has been the White House legislative affairs chief since June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s the behind-the-scenes work of top legislative aides that makes the Capitol Hill machinery work, and that’s never truer than when lawmakers are trying to hash out spending bills as Congress and the White House will be focused on this fall and winter.

After initial decisions by Republican and Democratic clerks — the top staffers on the Appropriations subcommittees — full committee staff will step in to help work out any remaining issues. Leadership staff will be on hand to address the most intractable disagreements and questions about what legislation can ride with the spending bills, and to make sure the measures have enough votes to pass.

It’s almost time for The Jacket to invade Capitol Hill
How the Barbour jacket took over Capitol Hill and D.C.

Kate Middleton is the latest British royal to rock the Barbour jacket, which has now become a signature look on Capitol Hill too. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images file photo)

Between late October and early May you can’t swing a dead cat in this city without hitting a Capitol Hill bro decked out in The Jacket.

You know the one I’m talking about.

When you get a tattoo while traveling with the boss ...
Staffer for South Dakota rep opted for ink on a recent recess trip back home

Hannah Kagey, a staffer for South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson, got a tattoo while visiting a Sioux Falls constituent with her boss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was a “whirlwind” day, Hannah Kagey recalled.

The legislative assistant for Rep. Dusty Johnson trekked alongside her boss on a busy Monday during the August recess. The agenda for the day? Town halls and many a conversation with the South Dakota Republican’s constituents, or “bosses” as he refers to them, according to spokeswoman Jazmine Kemp.

Writing a speech for the boss? Two White House pros show you how to nail it
The best speechwriters are advocates for the audiences they’re trying to reach, Eric Schnure says

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “comfort level with who she is” comes across in her speeches, former Al Gore speechwriter Eric Schnure tells Murphy. President Donald Trump is another effective communicator, Schnure says, with his ability to speak “visibly.” (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photos)

OPINION — Most job interviews for Capitol Hill speechwriters go something like this:  “The senator needs remarks for tomorrow. You need to write the remarks.” No interview. No preparation. Just a last-minute assignment and an equally fast turnaround for a legislative assistant, a legislative correspondent or whichever press office staffer picked up the phone first.

Over at the White House, speechwriting jobs usually come with more requirements than physical proximity, but not always. Eric Schnure scored his first speechwriting job for Vice President Al Gore when he was working in the White House mail room and helping Gore’s understaffed speechwriter, Bob Lehrman, before and after sorting letters.

For Jim Hagedorn, being staffer in the minority was formative time
Freshman congressman worked for a Minnesota Republican, and was son to another

Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn got his first taste of life in Congress as the son of a former congressman and as a staffer to Minnesota Rep. Arlan Stangeland. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)