staffers

Photos of the Week: Summer ’18 Continues With Hot Dogs, a Flood and, Of Course, Protests
The week of July 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Photographer Leandra Brown shoots photos of ballerina Sabrina Schulbach in midair on the East Plaza of the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The summer is in full swing in Washington with the Hill abuzz after the president’s Helsinki meeting earlier this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The week saw demonstrators gather in front of the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s overseas summit.

Back at the Capitol, a summer staple — the hot dog lunch giveaway brought free food and former Major League Baseball greats to staffers of all kinds.

Former DC Interns Share How They Got Their Feet in the Door
Meet four interns who entered the political world through programs

Vashti Hinton applied to 30 Hill offices before landing a full-time position working for Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill interns are often assumed to be college students with a natural political network. They’ve got an “in” in D.C. or they have — a word most people hate — “connections.”

But for the thousands of interns who flock to the Hill and Washington over the summer, who you know isn’t the only path to the nation’s capital. There are a number of programs that help them get a foot in the political door.

How to Eat Like an Intern
This reporter tried to eat, and do activities, for free over a week on the Hill and it wasn’t easy

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., eats a corn dog during the American Meat Institute’s annual Hot Dog Lunch in the Rayburn courtyard on July 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Full disclosure: I’ve never interned on the Hill. But I have been an unpaid intern, and most people you meet in Washington have too.

Without a chunk of money in the bank, how do interns get by? 

Clarke Knows the ‘Tricks of the Trade’ From Her Internship
New York Democrat interned in the mid-1980s for her predecessor

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., got to work on trade issues affecting the Caribbean region during her Hill internship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former New York Rep. Major R. Owens may not have known he had an intern who was going places when he assigned college student Yvette D. Clarke to work on trade legislation in the mid-1980s.

Clarke was studying government and public policy at Oberlin College and was eager to learn more about the mechanics of Congress. About two decades later, she ended up challenging Owens in a 2004 Democratic primary — and lost. When Owens retired two years later, Clarke ran again — and won.

Staffers on What They Wish They Had Done as Interns
Getting paid was the most common response

Staffers who were former staffers were asked what they would do differently if they got a do-over. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

Grab your Jefferson’s Manual and break our your thank you cards. It’s time to talk regrets. 

Lots of D.C. interns finish out the summer wishing they’d done more. 

Survey: Family Paid Rent for a Third of Former Interns
Roll Call surveyed congressional staffers about their cost of living when they were interns

The high cost of living in D.C. causes many Capitol Hill interns to find other ways to make ends meet — like taking a part-time job or going into debt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a new batch of interns descends on D.C., they land in the middle of the city’s housing market. And to borrow a line from a perennial candidate from New York: The rent is too damn high.

Roll Call surveyed congressional staffers to ask about the logistics of being an intern. The high cost of living in D.C. caused many interns to find other ways to make ends meet — like taking a part-time job or going into debt.

Rick Nolan Retained Staffer on Campaign Payroll After Harassment Allegations
Three former female employees have alleged former legislative director Jim Swiderski sexually harassed them

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., above, retained former legislative director Jim Swiderski on his campaign payroll in 2015 even after Swiderski resigned from his congressional office amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just months after dismissing his top legislative aide in 2015 for multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. Rick Nolan hired the aide to work on his 2016 re-election campaign.

Three former women employees for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor congressman told MinnPost, which originally reported this story, that Nolan’s legislative director, Jim Swiderski, repeatedly harassed — and in some cases groped — them in the early- and mid-2010s.

Bill Meant to Clear Public Access to Congressional Reports Running Out of Time
Measure would require online portal for congressionally mandated reports

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., sponsored a bill to create a single online portal for reports federal agencies submit to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bill meant to clear the way for public access to reports submitted to Congress is in danger of hitting a roadblock, government transparency advocates warned Thursday. 

The bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act was approved without objection by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Administration Committee in February and April, clearing the way for consideration on the House floor. 

Stressed About Your Job After Midterms? There’s a Book for That
Staffers’ mystery novel, ‘K Street Killing,’ tackles life in a vulnerable member’s office

Colleen Shogan signs copies of her new novel at a launch event in D.C. on July 10. (Courtesy of Shogan)

As congressional aides with vulnerable bosses wonder if they’ll still have a job come 2019, a former Capitol Hill staffer wrote a novel about just that.

The Library of Congress’ Colleen Shogan decided to set the fourth installment of her Washington Whodunit series, “K Street Killing,” in the middle of a tense midterm election. 

Democratic Staff of Most Powerful Senate Committees Have the Least Racial Diversity
But Senate Republicans have not published their own statistics

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick Leahy appears in the Capitol last year. Three of the four Senate committees with the least diverse Democratic staffs this year are also the most powerful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate committees with the whitest Democratic staffs are also some of the chamber’s most powerful.

Appropriations, Finance and Armed Services are three of the four least diverse panels, according to a Roll Call analysis of data released by the Senate Democrats. Just 5 percent, 6 percent and 13 percent of their respective staffs are non-Caucasian.