congressional-staffers

Texas Governor Wants Blake Farenthold to Pay for Special Election
GOP lawmaker resigned earlier this month over sexual misconduct and hostile workplace allegations

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, resigned from Congress in April amid an Ethics Committee investigation into him and his office for a hostile work environment and sexual misconduct. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking former Rep. Blake Farenthold to pay for the June 30 special election to fill the seat the congressman vacated when he resigned earlier this month.

Abbott wrote a letter to Farenthold Wednesday to “demand” that he “cover all costs” for the June 30 special election in Texas’ 27th District.

GOP Baseball Team Returns to Scene of Last Year’s Shooting
Huge media and security presence around field where gunman opened fire last year

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in red hat, hugs Matt Mika, who was critically injured in the shooting at last year’s Republican baseball practice. The GOP team held a news conference after their first practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican congressional baseball coach Roger Williams was hitting infield practice Wednesday morning as Rodney Davis played catcher and Williams staffer Zack Barth backed them up around a flooded batter’s box.

In the outfield, lobbyist and former Hill aide Matt Mika was fielding balls with teammates.

Barth, Mika to Return GOP Baseball Team Practice
Roger Williams staffer is ‘absolutely’ ready to return to practice

Zack Barth, an aide to Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, was wounded in the leg during the Congressional baseball shooting in Alexandria in June 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Zack Barth is eager to get back on the baseball field after he and his friends — members of Congress — were shot at last year while practicing for the annual congressional game.

Barth, a legislative assistant to Texas Rep. Roger Williams, took a bullet in his leg on June 14, 2017. He will be back on the same field at the GOP team’s first practice on Wednesday.

New Push for Senators to Pay Their Interns
Advocates say the time is right for offices to stop relying on free labor

A majority of Senate offices do not offer paid internships, according to data from nonprofit advocacy group Pay Our Interns. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ideas to boost diversity on the Hill have been thrown around, and the numbers are slowly improving. But what if the solution was right in front of everyone, sitting at tiny shared desks in congressional offices?

Paid interns.

Opinion: We Can’t Afford Not to Pay Interns
This issue is too important to ignore, Sen. Chris Van Hollen writes

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who represents much of the D.C. suburbs, says the city is one of the most expenses places to lives in the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Capitol Hill interns have been an institution within an institution since I first worked for Congress in the late 1980s — and long before. From answering phones, to helping constituents, to legislative research, they are a vital part of any congressional office. I know my team could not function without them, and we are thankful for their tireless work.

But our thanks aren’t enough — we need to provide compensation for these hardworking young people.

Collins Looks Back on His Technology-Less, Reception-Dependent Intern Days
‘At night, I would get to call my girlfriend, who’s now my wife, from the WATS line, and I got to sit in Ed’s chair’

As a 20-year-old, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., left, interned for Rep. Ed Jenkins, D-Ga., in 1987. (Courtesy Rep. Doug Collins’ office)

Intern tasks, email aside, haven’t changed much since 20-year-old Doug Collins first came to the Hill in 1987. The same can’t be said for politics.

The Georgia Republican interned for the late conservative Democrat Ed Jenkins, who represented much of Collins’ current district.

Intern Success Story: How to Get Hired Right Away
‘I tried to add value to whatever I did,’ former Perdue intern Jenni Sweat says

Jenni Sweat, from the office of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., took online classes and independent studies to finish college. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jenni Sweat was such a stellar intern that she stayed in Sen. David Perdue’s office instead of returning to school for her last semester of college.

Sweat started her unpaid internship in the Georgia Republican’s office in January 2017. She was a 20-year-old junior at the University of Georgia and received a scholarship to be part of her college’s internship program.

Paid Internships Were Victim of Clinton Era Deficit Reduction
The LBJ internship program was suspended in 1994 after 20 years

An internship program, named after President Lyndon B. Johnson, once funded two interns for every House office. (Courtesy the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library)

There was a time when all House members paid their interns. But that ended more than 20 years ago, the victim of a Clinton-era push for more deficit-cutting. 

The LBJ Congressional Intern program, named to honor the recently deceased President Lyndon B. Johnson, was authorized by a House resolution in 1973. It provided funds for lawmakers to hire two LBJ interns per year.

Search Continues As Republicans Pass on Running for Ryan’s Seat
State Sen. Dave Craig says he won’t run to replace his former boss

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks during a news conference announcing his retirement last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wisconsin Republicans are still searching for a suitable candidate to fend off popular Democratic candidates in the once-safely red 1st District that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said last week he won’t run for again.

Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Craig, a former Ryan aide was the latest to pass on running for the seat Ryan is vacating at the end of his term, Craig tweeting Friday night that he was thankful for the support he had received from those encouraging him to run, but “the timing to run for Congress is not right for our young family .”

Gregg Harper Hopes Disability Internship Program Expands After His Departure
Retiring House Administration chairman cites his son as an inspiration

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., right, poses with his son Livingston and Vice President Mike Pence last year. Harper said Livingston was the impetus for his internship program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Courtesy Rep. Gregg Harper’s office)

As Rep. Gregg Harper prepares to leave Congress, he has high hopes the internship program he created for individuals with intellectual disabilities will grow and lead to more alumni getting hired.

Helping the disabled has been a priority for the Mississippi Republican since his election to the House in 2008. He has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to help people with disabilities transition into adulthood, including his Transition toward Excellence, Achievement, and Mobility, or TEAM, Act in 2013, which stalled in committee.