Gallery committees ensure press access to lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
As the 114th Congress goes into full swing, the congressional press corps is also getting situated, electing new representatives to ensure they have access to lawmakers throughout Capitol Hill.
On Monday morning, the seven-member Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents elected its three officers, though all of the offices were uncontested. The quiet officer elections also coincided with uncontested committee member elections. With only seven journalists vying for the seven slots, each of the contenders won a spot on the committee without an election. Journalists who were vying to be on the committee did have to submit a petition with at least 25 signatures from current members of the gallery.
According to Senate Periodical Press Gallery Director Ed Pesce, the committee member and officer elections are not usually contentious. The periodical elections were a sharp contrast to the Standing Committee of Correspondents for the Daily Press elections last week, where a tie vote led to a coin toss deciding one of the committee spots.
Heather Rothman of Bloomberg BNA was elected to her second full term as the periodical committee chairman, while The Hill’s Alex Bolton will serve as treasurer and Leo Shane III of Military Times will be the secretary. Shane is new to the committee, along with Lindsey McPherson of Tax Analysts. The other returning members include Politico’s Manu Raju, CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick, and TIME’s Jay Newton-Small. The committee represents more than 1,200 journalists who are credentialed through the periodical galleries.
“We cover a wide swath of organizations and represent a lot of interests,” Rothman said in a phone interview, noting that the committee includes members from broad and niche publications. She later added, “It’s a great group and I’m happy and honored to be a member of the committee and to have the support as chairman of my fellow committee members.”
Rothman said she is looking forward to ensuring the press corps has access to lawmakers throughout the Capitol, especially as more reporters flock to the Hill and have to meet the demands of an ever-changing news cycle. In addition to ensuring access, the committee is also responsible for approving credentials and dealing with any violations of press gallery rules.
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