Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

Posts in "CAO"

July 29, 2014

Protest Raises Questions About Contract Workers of Legislative Branch

nortonellison 330x330 Protest Raises Questions About Contract Workers of Legislative Branch

Norton and Ellison rally with federal contractors who work at Union Station, the National Zoo and other D.C. sites. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Labor issues came to Capitol Hill Tuesday, as federal contractors protested wages at Union Station and members of Congress used the opportunity to discuss workers’ rights among contractors and employees in the legislative branch.

About 100 federal contractors who work minimum wage jobs at Union Station, Ronald Reagan National Airport, the National Zoo and the Pentagon marched through Columbus Circle on Tuesday morning waving picket signs and flags.

Halting the flow of taxis and tour buses at Union Station, they protested the White House’s executive order to increase hourly pay on new government contracts to $10.10 as “not enough” and demanded the right to unionize.

“These courageous workers have gone on strike nine times,” said Rev. Michael Livingston, national policy director and head of the Washington, D.C., office for Interfaith Worker Justice. The people waving white and blue flags behind his lectern were predominantly women, many dressed like Rosie the Riveter in red bandanas and starched blue shirts and holding the hands of toddlers who marched alongside their working moms. Full story

July 8, 2014

Health Insurance for Congress and Staff: It’s Complicated

senatehealth 025 120513 440x287 Health Insurance for Congress and Staff: Its Complicated

DC HealthLink sent representatives to the Hart Senate Office Building to help employees with health insurance enrollment last December. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As members of Congress and their staffs head into their second year of enrollment in D.C.’s health exchange, they’ll decide among plans that range from a double-digit increase to a double-digit percent decrease in premiums, even as providers go in different directions that will result in fewer overall plans to choose from.

Congress accounts for more than a quarter of the 50,520 people enrolled in the D.C. health exchange. As of July 1, there were 12,906 members of Congress and staffers enrolled in DC SHOP plans, according to D.C. Health Benefit Exchange spokeswoman Linda Wharton Boyd.

It is unclear which of the four carriers providing coverage to Congress is most popular among members and staffers. Boyd said D.C.’s health benefit exchange did not release carrier statistics to the public. But each carrier has taken a varied approach to premiums and the number of plans offered to Capitol Hill workers.

Full story

April 28, 2014

How Much Do Congressional Contractors Make? It Depends

Democrats have championed pay issues on Capitol Hill, promoting equal pay for women, pushing legislation that would increase the minimum wage and praising President Barack Obama for imposing his policies on federal contractors.

New executive orders to bar federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other and require them to provide compensation data based on gender and race have won praise from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as “concrete actions to advance the equal pay effort.”

But the administration’s new rules, including an executive order to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts, only apply to companies that contract with the executive branch. The contract employees of the legislative branch — workers performing a broad range of jobs around Capitol Hill, ranging from technology support and construction, to security, food and janitorial services — are not necessarily affected. Full story

April 10, 2014

Heartbleed Forces Emergency Maintenance of House, Senate Sites

Members of Congress were among the millions of Americans who found out their data might be at risk as a result of the major Internet security flaw exposed earlier this week, the “Heartbleed” virus.

People visiting House.gov, member or committee websites on Wednesday night may have hit error messages as the technology support team of House Chief Administrative Officer Ed Cassidy performed emergency maintenance.

“There are no indications the House has suffered a security breach,” Cassidy said in an email sent to members and employees on Wednesday that was obtained by CQ Roll Call. “CAO engineers are updating the security protocols as part of the work they do to protect the House from cyber security threats.” Full story

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