Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 31, 2015

Posts in "Staffers"

January 26, 2015

Getting Beyond Budget Scorekeeper’s Perennial ‘Pissing Contest’

Former CBO acting director Donald Marron, a potential Elemendorf successor, testifies during 2006 Senate Budget hearing. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former CBO acting Director Marron, a potential Elmendorf successor, testifies during Senate Budget Committee hearing in 2006. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Can the new director of the Congressional Budget Office get “beyond the basic pissing contest” of how to score legislation? The former heads of the official scorekeeping agency hope so.

As Washington awaits the identity of a new CBO director, fiscal policy wonks are delving into a pending rule change that will require Douglas W. Elmendorf’s successor to incorporate a contentious way of estimating economic effects into the official price tags of major pieces of legislation.

Full story

January 13, 2015

Pearce Pushed House Rule Change to Provide ‘Protection’ in Ethics Cases

Pearce said a junior staffer in his office was "unfairly singled out" in an ethics probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pearce said he felt a junior staffer was “unfairly singled out” in an ethics probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reacting to an Office of Congressional Ethics probe of a junior staffer, Rep. Steve Pearce pushed the House to add some stiff new language to its rules governing the OCE and the House Ethics Committee.

During a closed-door GOP conference meeting, the New Mexico Republican persuaded his colleagues to insert new subsections into the rules, stating the two entities “may not take any action that would deny any person any right or protection provided under the Constitution of the United States.” Full story

January 6, 2015

GOP Moves to Shore Up Rules for Congressional Caucus Employees

Scalise proposed a change to give caucuses their own accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scalise proposed a change to give caucuses their own accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After revelations that may have hurt the Republican brand, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is pushing through a rule change that could strengthen the largest member organizations, such as the Republican Study Committee, in the 114th Congress.

The Louisiana Republican, who formerly served as chairman of the RSC, proposed an amendment to the GOP rule package aimed at creating a stable payroll system for staff of congressional member organizations and making hiring more transparent. His “Congressional Member Organization Transparency Reform” amendment was adopted during a closed-door caucus meeting on Monday night. Full story

December 16, 2014

Legislative Counsel Staffer Remembered as Funny, Positive

(Courtesy of the family of Ed Leong)

(Courtesy of the family of Ed Leong)

Edward Leong, 61, a staffer in the Office of Legislative Counsel for 36 years, died on Dec. 7 at his home in McLean, Virginia, after a nine-year battle with lung cancer.

“He was funny, caring, and brilliant,” said Sandra Strokoff, the legislative counsel of the House. “We work totally behind-the-scenes and he was completely OK with that. He was all about making sure that the legislation drafted was as good as it could possibly be.” Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 2:57 p.m.
Campus, Staffers

December 11, 2014

Hill Staffers Demonstrate in Wake Of Garner, Brown Protests

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) and Senate Chaplain Barry Black join hill staffers in a demonstration over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. (CLYDE MCGRADY/CQ Roll) Call

Cummings and Black join Hill staffers in a demonstration on the steps of the Capitol. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

Hill staffers gathered on the steps of the Capitol Thursday for a demonstration of solidarity with those rallying over the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black began the proceedings by reading a specially prepared prayer. “Today, as people throughout the nation protest for justice throughout the land, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves,” Black said, a reference to Garner’s last words of “I can’t breathe,” also now used as a rallying cry among protesters. Full story

December 9, 2014

Nan Natcher Settles Into Post-Hill Life

Natcher, taking one last look around the Cannon rotunda before leaving the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Natcher takes one last look around the Cannon Rotunda before leaving the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This is what Nan Natcher knew about the great-great-uncle who worked for the same place she was going: He didn’t miss a vote for more than 40 years. No pressure, then, for the great-great-niece of the late Rep. William H. Natcher, D-Ky., who voted 18,401 straight times in a distinguished career representing Kentucky’s 2nd District.

Now Nan Natcher, who worked for one of her uncle’s successors, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., for more than four years, has left the Hill to embark on a private sector career in Nashville, where she is brand print manager for North Star Destination Strategies, which works on community branding, economic development and tourism, among other issues. Full story

December 2, 2014

Former Hill Staffer Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

Former congressional staffer Donny Ray Williams Jr. pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday to four charges of sexual assault in a plea deal that could keep him out of jail.

The Washington Post first reported the news Tuesday night. The guilty plea is the latest development in a case that has been ongoing for more than two years. In 2012, Williams was indicted on 10 counts of sexual assault for allegedly assaulting four women after drugging their drinks between July and December 2010. At the time he pled not guilty. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:10 p.m.

December 1, 2014

GOP Spokeswoman Resigns After Criticizing Obama’s Daughters

There will be no pardon for Elizabeth Lauten.

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)

There will be no pardon for Elizabeth Lauten.

The communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R–Tenn., has resigned amid backlash over a Facebook post criticizing Sasha and Malia Obama for their behavior and appearance during last week’s turkey pardoning event at the White House, according to multiple media reports.

“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get your both in those awful teen years but you’re a part of the First Family. Try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department,” Lauten wrote on Friday.

The comments from Lauten, who used to manage new media for the Republican National Committee and also worked for ex-Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., quickly went viral and inspired an adverse reaction. Her name became a hashtag on Twitter, and the online community vented about her scrutiny of the girls’ facial expressions, body language and demeanor. One of Lauten’s critiques of the Sasha, 13, and Malia, 16, drew particular outrage: “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar,” she wrote. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 10:47 a.m.

November 26, 2014

Report Outlines Constituent Meeting Do’s and Don’ts

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., talks with a constituent in between events in Baltimore. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., talks with a constituent in between events in Baltimore. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Constituent participation is the key to scheduling meetings on Capitol Hill, according to a new report from the Congressional Management Foundation.

“Our number one factor in scheduling a meeting is if a constituent is in the group,” one House scheduler wrote in an anonymous survey by the CMF. “Constituents from our district take top priority over any other type of request.”

The CMF’s 15-page report, released on Nov. 20 and titled, “Face to Face with Congress: Before, During, and After Meetings With Legislators,” is based on nearly 450 responses from legislative staff surveys conducted between 2010 and 2013. It details advice for scheduling, conducting, and following up after meetings with congressional staff. Full story

November 24, 2014

Two Veteran Capitol Hill Staffers Honored for Leadership

Hawkings, Pomerantz, and Evans. (Photo courtesy of the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership)

Hawkings, left, and Evans, right, were honored last week. Pomerantz, center, won the award in 2012. (Photo courtesy of the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership)

Two veteran Hill Staffers have been recognized for their commitment to public service and their leadership at a reception last week in the Capitol Building.

Bruce Evans, chief of staff for Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Betsy Wright Hawkings, chief of staff for Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., received the William E. “Eph” Cresswell Congressional Staff Leadership Award from the Stennis Center for Public Service on Nov. 19. (Hawkings is married to Roll Call Senior Editor, David Hawkings.)

To be nominated for the award, which is given out once per Congress, a Hill staffer must have served at least 10 years in Congress, display effective leadership skills and work across the aisle. A member of Congress or a Senior John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow can nominate a staffer, and the winners are selected by a committee of Stennis fellows.

David Pomerantz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Democratic staff director, received the first Cresswell award in 2012. The award’s namesake served as the chief of staff for the late Sen. John C. Stennis, D-Miss., and was a former chairman of the Stennis Center Board of Trustees. According to its website, the Stennis Center for Public Service is a legislative branch agency established in 1988 “to promote and strengthen publish service leadership in America.”

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