Here’s The Science Behind Paul The Apostle On Positive Thinking (And Working On The Hill)

Capitol Hill work is often stressful and insecure because in great part so much of one’s ability to succeed depends on others, many of whom either see only their own interests or are actively working against yours.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

So, consider what Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Philippians said in giving them — and us — some timely advice about what we focus our minds on. It probably sounds to many today like something Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss would say.

It comes as Paul concludes his letter with this admonition: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Continue reading “Here’s The Science Behind Paul The Apostle On Positive Thinking (And Working On The Hill)”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff

Congress is the “first branch” because the Founders intended the Republic’s national legislature to be “the fountain of all lawmaking authority and governmental action,” according to Kevin Kosar, vice-president for research partnerships of the R Street Institute.

Kosar’s comment came in his mid-January testimony before a hearing of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress concerning the growing inability of the First Branch to fulfill its constitutional roles.

The cause of that growing inability is clear: Congress is starving itself of the most critical resources, especially experienced staff, to do its many jobs, according to Kosar. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff”

Working On The Hill: Is Having Ambition A Good Or Bad Thing?

By Bret Bernhardt

The simple answer is yes, but it depends on the kind of ambition it is. Regardless of our ideology or political affiliation, most everyone who works on Capitol Hill shares a similar energy, passion, and ambition.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Interestingly, these character traits look similar among staff and Members of Congress across the political divide. What separates them is the purpose for which they are used.

Take the example of the Apostle Paul. Before his conversion on the road to Damascus, he was passionate, zealous, and ambitious. Then look at Paul’s personality after his conversion. He continued to be passionate, zealous, and ambitious but the difference — and it’s a big one — is that these energies were re-focused on love of God rather than love of the law. Continue reading “Working On The Hill: Is Having Ambition A Good Or Bad Thing?”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Being Promoted On The Hill!

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Katie Earle is the new professional staff member in the office of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republican staff. Katie comes over to the House side following her tenure as a national security fellow for Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). She is a 2019 MA graduate in security studies and military operations from Georgetown University, while her 2012 BA from Middlebury College was in Russian studies.

Another significant move on the Republican side of things is that of Erik Kenney to legislative director for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Erik’s 2013 BA in political studies is from Marquette University.

Newlyweds Natalie Knight and Matthew Ellison (Screenshot from Facebook).

New evidence that Hill staffers sometimes meet, work in some proximity, fall in love, then get married: Natalie Smith, legislative counsel for Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA.) and Matthew Ellison, deputy policy counsel for the House Democratic Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC). HillFaith sends blessings and best wishes to the newlyweds.

Ebise Bayisa is the new House Judiciary Committee counsel on the Democratic side. The judiciary slot is Ebise’s first position on a Hill staff, as she formerly worked for the U.S. Sentencing Commission as a senior attorney. Her law degree was earned in 2005 from the American University Washington College of Law. Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Being Promoted On The Hill!”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Why Do So Many Staffers Resign From The Staffs Of These Senators And Representatives?

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) had the highest rate of staff turnover in 2019, according to rankings calculated by Legistorm. But there may be more to their stories than first thought.

Senators and representatives tend to create their own unique staff universes that to some degree reflect themselves, so a lot of attention is paid to those with the highest and lowest turnover rates.

But a high turnover rate is not necessarily an indicator of a “bad boss” job seekers should avoid, especially in the cases of Harris and Granger. Harris made an unsuccessful bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Such campaigns almost always have a big impact on an incumbent’s staff and Harris ranked much lower in prior years. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Why Do So Many Staffers Resign From The Staffs Of These Senators And Representatives?”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

The Problem-Solvers Caucus has added Jessica Gail to its ranks as communications director, working for Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). Now in her seventh year, this is Jessica’s fourth position on the Hill since first joining the staff of Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) in 2013. She is a 2007 graduate with a BA from the University of Indiana at Bloomington in broadcast journalism and religious studies.

Holly Reagan Hinjosa is now policy adviser for Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), covering environmental protection and public lands issues. Holly is a native Texan but earned her BA in international and global studies from the University of Wyoming in 2015 and her MA in natural resources management from the University of Idaho in 2019. Holly’s Hill career began in 2016 as an intern for Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill”

WORKPLACE ISSUES: There Are Multiple Staff-Related Provisions In The Congressional Reform Package

A path to bigger personal staffs for House Members could be cleared if the bipartisan recommendations  from the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress are adopted.

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

All House staff members would be paid twice a month instead of the monthly compensation schedule they have worked on for decades, under the recommendations.

Modernization panel Chairman Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wa.) introduced the recommendations as a legislative package in December. The package is H. Res. 756. Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is the committee’s vice-chairman and its ranking minority member. Continue reading “WORKPLACE ISSUES: There Are Multiple Staff-Related Provisions In The Congressional Reform Package”