staffers

Kuster Wants Investigation Into Sexual Harassment in VA
More than a quarter of women employees in agency were harassed, government watchdog agency reports

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., called for an investigation into the VA for systemic issues with sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster wants Congress to confront what she sees as a pervasive sexual harassment problem in the Veterans Affairs Department.

The New Hampshire Democrat called for Chairman Jack Bergman of Michigan to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter in the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, on which she is ranking member.

What Lawmakers Do When They Leave After Harassment Allegations
Six have left so far this Congress

Former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., here at a news conference in December 2016, resigned his seat last October amid revelations of an extramarital affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Six members of Congress have left office in the past few months after allegations ranging from firing female staffers who rejected sexual advances to pressuring a lover to get an abortion.

While their resignations mean they no longer have a vote in Congress, that doesn’t mean their careers are over. Former lawmakers are moving forward by flying under the radar, grabbing the sides of a lectern or sticking with politics.

Former McCain Aide, Gosar Trade Ugly Barbs Over Replacement Speculation
Arizona senator’s former chief of staff calls congressman a ‘dumbass,’ Gosar tells him to ‘piss off’

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., engaged in a Twitter battle with Sen. John McCain's former chief of staff over the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mark Salter, Sen. John McCain’s co-author and former chief of staff, sparred on Twitter with GOP Rep. Paul Gosar over the weekend after Gosar called on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey not to appoint McCain’s wife Cindy to his Senate seat in the event it is vacated.

McCain, who is battling glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, has been home in Arizona for months but has not resigned.

Ethics Panel Announces Investigation Into Rep. Schweikert and Chief of Staff
Oliver Schwab allegedly exceeded outside earned income for senior staff

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is facing an Ethics Committee investigation into payments to his chief of staff, Oliver Schwab. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee is reviewing an Office of Congressional Ethics referral to investigate Rep. David Schweikert and Oliver Schwab, his chief of staff.

Schwab has allegedly been paid by the Arizona Republican’s campaign beyond the limit for outside earned income for senior congressional staffers.

Senate Passes Bill to Address Harassment on Capitol Hill
But critics say measure “may have unintended negative consequences”

Senate Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar is one of the authors of the new anti-sexual harassment bill along with Rules Chairman Roy Blunt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill by voice vote that would crack down on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and update the onerous process for employees to report harassment and discrimination.

The overhaul measure was quickly brought to the floor, after being released Wednesday with the backing of the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders.

Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Giving Up on Rural, Working-Class Districts
Charlie Kelly is executive director of House Majority PAC

Charlie Kelly, the executive director of House Majority PAC, controls tens of millions of TV spending for the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By 7 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Charlie Kelly was well into the weeds of America’s congressional districts and halfway through a cup of coffee.

Seated in a cramped conference room in downtown Washington, the executive director of House Majority PAC was meeting with each of his regional political desks. He rattled off candidates’ names — their strong suits, as well as their flaws — and dropped encyclopedic knowledge of each district.

Congress Doesn’t Report Diversity Because It Doesn’t Have to
While federal agencies must report the diversity of their employees, there is no such requirement of Congress

Kemba Hendrix, director of the House Democrats’ Diversity Initiative, took on her role in November. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:30 a.m. with figures for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s staff | If you ask a House or Senate office to break down the diversity of its staff, chances are it won’t. Because it doesn’t have to.

While the executive branch has to provide data on the racial and ethnic makeup of its staff for the public record, there is no rule mandating that congressional offices do the same.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”

In Rare Public Comments, Frelinghuysen Sounds Ready to Get out of D.C.
House Appropriations Committee chairman is retiring at end of his 12th term

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., is retiring at the end of his term in December. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, in a rare public appearance in his district on Monday, sounded more than ready to leave the chaos of government behind, saying he’s keeping his “head down” amid “all sorts of sideshows” in his final eight months in Congress.

The New Jersey Republican, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced in January that he would retire at the end of his 12th term.

McConnell Gets Head Start on 2020 Re-Election
Senate majority leader makes first campaign hire in Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has begun his re-election campaign for 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ever the political tactician, isn’t one to wait around for others to make the first move — his 2020 campaign is already underway.

Last week, the Kentucky Republican hired Shane Noem, a senior political aide, to begin laying the groundwork for his campaign, nearly 2½ years before Election Day, Pure Politics in Kentucky reported.