congressional-staffers

Irish Interns Learn About Bridging Gaps in Divided US
Political students learning to ‘stand up and lead’

Boniface Odoemene, right, is New York Rep. Peter T. King's 19th intern from the Washington Ireland Program. (Courtesy Rep. Peter T. King’s office)

During a pivotal time in U.S. politics, students from Ireland are learning how things work — and don’t work — in Washington, and how to apply that knowledge to their studies back home.

The Washington Ireland Program, or WIP, has been a coveted student development program for more than 20 years. Alumni include Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, former Northern Ireland Justice Minister Claire Sugden and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister.

Lawmakers Must Now File Financial Disclosures for Cryptocurrencies
House Ethics Committee rules cryptocurrencies are a form of securities

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Any House members who secretly moonlight as Bitcoin miners received bad news this week after the House Ethics Committee decided cryptocurrencies are subject to financial disclosure requirements for lawmakers and senior congressional staffers.

Cryptocurrencies, including the widely known variety called Bitcoin, are a form of online currency. Transactions made using cryptocurrencies are validated by a decentralized system of computers rather than a centralized bank.

Summer Isn’t So Easy for Staffers Who Are Parents
And cuts to August recess have complicated family vacation plans

A basket weaver from the Amazon Wachiperi community of Peru shows children how to roll tree bark into thread at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in July 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When school’s out for summer, the lives of congressional staffers who are parents get a bit more complicated.

They have to juggle summer camps, vacations, and monitoring their children at home — all while trying to work through their busy Hill schedules and their bosses’ needs.

Pete Olson on Respect in Congress: ‘We’ve Lost That’
Texas Republican shares what he learned as a staffer

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, was Sen. John Cornyn’s first chief of staff. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Pete Olson tries to make sure his staffers get home at a reasonable hour because he remembers long nights on the Senate floor, endless debates and the chaos of 9/11.

Before he ran for Congress in 2008, the Texas Republican worked for Sen. Phil Gramm and his successor John Cornyn, now the majority whip.

Softball, the Hill’s Social Lubricant
House and Senate softball league players share what they get out of the games

A member of the House softball league runs to second base during the Tax Dodgers versus Immaculate Innings game next to the Washington Monument on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

June in D.C. for congressional staffers means creeping humidity and long working hours. For some it also means reliving their Little League days.

The Senate and House softball leagues are staples of summer on Capitol Hill. Members and staffers say they play for the fun of it, to meet new people, and to foster relationships both within and outside their offices.

Flashback Friday: Recess Cancellations
Other times when Senate recesses were either scrapped or interrupted

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is working most of August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate has taken an August recess since the so-called Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 provided for it.

The legislation, which aimed to “improve the operation of the legislative branch of the Federal Government,” overhauled internal procedures for both the House and the Senate.  

Staffers Playing Softball Together Is a Decades-Old Tradition
The leagues have always been all-inclusive

Alysson Vogt of Rep. David Scott’s office bats during softball team practice on the National Mall in 2009. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate and House softball leagues are beloved traditions that have held strong despite partisan battles in the halls of Congress, field disputes and triple-digit summer heat.

The Senate league was founded first, and while the date of the first official game is unknown, the league’s trophy lists winners dating back to 1980. 

Roll Call Survey: The Culture of Drinking on Capitol Hill
We asked staffers about alcohol consumption in congressional offices

Staffers go to the bars in the Capitol Hill area, but how much do they drink in the office? (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

There is daily drinking in a few congressional offices, a Roll Call survey found.

We polled congressional staffers about drinking in light of Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett’s retirement announcement, in which he said he is an alcoholic and wants to focus on recovery.

Former Staffer Says Soccer Can Teach You Management
Don’t stay in your lane, Peter Loge advises in his new book

Peter Loge, former Capitol Hill staffer, wrote a book that will be released on July 27. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

It’s fast-paced, decentralized and occasionally sweaty. Working in D.C. is a lot like playing soccer, according to author Peter Loge.

The former congressional staffer drew on his careers on and off the Hill to write “Soccer Thinking for Management Success: Lessons for Organizations From the World’s Game.”

Former Staffer’s Nonprofit Strives to Combat Sexual Harassment
The Purple Campaign focuses on education, action and elections

The nonprofit that Ally Coll Steele founded now has fellows, senior advisers and interns working for it. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly six months after leaving her law firm to start a nonprofit to combat sexual harassment, former Capitol Hill staffer Ally Coll Steele has no regrets.

“I just felt strongly that this moment was an opportunity for real, substantial policy change,” Steele said of the #MeToo movement. “I was concerned that it may become just a moment of awareness-raising and wanted to ensure that it turned into a moment where we saw workplace policy change and also public policy change come out of it.”