House Administration Committee

House leaders give modernization panel more time
A second year of work ahead for committee that seeks to make Congress more efficient

Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and vice chairman Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., are seen during a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress meeting in the Capitol in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Like most any fixer-upper endeavor, renovating Congress for the modern era will take at least a year longer than originally planned.

The House’s temporary Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is on track to get more time to finish its effort to update the legislative branch amid the increasing political polarization of the 2020 elections. The House Rules Committee approved a rule Wednesday extending the modernization panel through next year. The full chamber voted Thursday, making the extension official.

House and Senate building superintendents placed on administrative leave
The high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees are under investigation

The House and Senate building superintendents, who work under acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdron, picture here, have been put on leave, pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees charged with leading all operations of the House and Senate office buildings have been placed on administrative leave, an AOC spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer and Senate Building Superintendent Takis Tzamaras were placed on leave pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. Weidemeyer and Tzamaras both report to acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdon, who took the helm of the agency in late November 2018 after Stephen T. Ayers retired.

Capitol Police weapon left unattended in Capitol bathroom, again
Latest incident recalls rash of similar ones in 2015

A Capitol Police lieutenant left his service weapon in a bathroom Monday night and the unattended gun was discovered later by another Capitol Police officer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant left his service weapon in a bathroom Monday night and the unattended gun was discovered later by another Capitol Police officer.

After the House adjourned on Monday, Lt. Mike Byrd left his Glock 22 in a bathroom in the Capitol Visitor Center complex, according to sources familiar with the incident. Byrd is the commander of the House Chambers section of the Capitol Police and was on the job Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tampons to be stocked in House supply store; allowed for purchase with office funds
The feminine hygiene products will be stocked in the Longworth House Office Building

Tampons and other menstrual products will soon be available in the House office supply store for purchase with office funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers will soon be able to purchase and provide tampons to staff and constituents on campus with office funds, following an inquiry from three Democratic members pushing for wider access.

In a letter released late Monday night, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairperson of the House Administration Committee, instructed that menstrual products be stocked in the House office supply store for purchase with Members’ Representational Allowance funds.

House offices on timeline to implement anti-harassment policies
The House took steps to further codify protections following last year’s dispute over how Congress should prevent harassment and discrimination

House offices have 60 days to implement an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House took steps Thursday to further codify a more appropriate culture on Capitol Hill, following last year’s prolonged dispute over how Congress should protect its own staff from harassment and discrimination.

The House Administration Committee voted to approve regulations for mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for House offices. 

Zoe Lofgren takes up House Administration gavel
So-called mayor of Capitol Hill oversees multiple aspects of Congress, voting and security

Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California will be the new “mayor of Capitol Hill,” as the chair of the House Administration Committee is sometimes called. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California will be the new “mayor of Capitol Hill,” as the chair of the House Administration Committee is sometimes called.

Unlike many other committees, the top spot on House Administration is not determined by seniority. Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially appointed Lofgren to lead the panel Friday. The nomination must be approved by the full Democratic caucus, which is expected to act next week.

Marcia Fudge Forgoes Speaker Bid, Will Support Pelosi
Pelosi intends to name Fudge chairwoman of a House Administration subcommittee on elections

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, has declined to enter the speaker's race after securing concessions from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Marcia Fudge has decided not to run for speaker and agreed to back Nancy Pelosi for the gavel after securing some concessions from the longtime Democratic leader. 

“My consideration was due in large part to the lack of sustained efforts that ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the House,” the Ohio Democrat said in a statement, noting Pelosi has assured her that black women will have a seat at the decision-making table. 

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

House to Codify Guidelines for Virtual Town Halls
Measure would provide spending guidance on joint events

Members wishing to conduct joint virtual town halls will get some guidance from legislation set for approval by the House Administration Committee. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New rules are coming to the House for members hosting virtual town hall meetings with constituents back in their districts.

The House Administration Committee takes up a resolution Wednesday that will codify regulations for lawmakers teaming up to do joint town hall meetings on the internet.

House Bill Updating Sexual Harassment Procedures Moves Straight to Floor
Monday markup canceled in favor of accelerating floor action

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper has canceled a markup of anti-sexual harassment legislation. The measures will now move straight to the floor for a vote Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:56 p.m. | The House Administration Committee canceled a scheduled Monday markup of bipartisan sexual harassment legislation so that two measures can move straight to the floor for a vote on Tuesday.

The committee had been scheduled to consider one bill and one resolution, both unnumbered.