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!”

LIVING ON THE HILL: Eating Meals Together Is An Important Gift To Your Spouse, Kids

It probably seems like a small thing, and working on Capitol Hill can be among the jobs that make doing it on a regular basis extraordinarily tough, but sitting down for meals with your spouse and kids may well be among the most important things you can do for them.

Dr. Patrick Fagan, founder and director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI)

That’s according to a huge 2016 cross-sectional national study highlighted this week by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), headed by its founder, Dr. Patrick Fagan.

“The study of 8,500 adolescents found that 60% of adolescents shared family meals five times a week or more,” Fagan said in an email to HillFaith.

“The greater the frequency of family meals, the fewer were symptoms of depression or emotional difficulties, and the more frequent was emotional well-being.  On the particular measure of being shielded from symptoms of depression girls benefited more from frequent family meals than boys did,” Fagan said.

The abstract of the study, which was based on multiple regression analyses of a variety of factors, described the results as indicating “frequent family meals may have a protective effect on the mental health of adolescents, particularly for depressive symptoms in girls.

“Interventions that aim to increase the frequency of family meals are needed to evaluate whether family meals alone can have an emotional benefit for adolescents.”

So, tempting as it always is to stay at the office another hour or two, consider setting at least one or two nights a week to be home in time for that meal around the family table with the most important people in your life.

The full study is available at the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. For more about the keys to happy, healthy families, check out MARRI. See also the Marripedia.

 

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

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Stephen Smith is the House Republican Conference’s new press secretary, working with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.). He was previously communications director for Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.). Stephen is a 2010 graduate from the University of Indiana, Bloomington, with a BS in business.

Screen shot from Facebook.

Got a scheduling question involving Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV)? Ronald Mak is who you want to see, as he is the new scheduler in that office. Ronald was previously a policy fellow working on the House Financial Services Committee for the panel’s chairman, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Ronald earned an MPA/MA in economics in 2017 from Syracuse University, and a BA in economics and political science from the University of Redlands in 2015. Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Getting Promoted On The Hill

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Kate Gould is the new senior policy adviser to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), following a stint as a foreign policy fellow at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. She is a 2007 graduate

Kate Gould (Screenshot from Facebook)

of Western Washington University with a BA in international development, political science and international relations. Gould was formerly a registered lobbyist for the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Speaking of new faces, Jonathan Arias is now the senior defense policy adviser on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. The committee is chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Arias has worked for the Florida senator since 2011. He lists as his hobby running triathlons. Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Getting Promoted On The Hill”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Three GOP Senate Freshmen Among Top 10 For Staff Pay

Data compiled by Legistorm finds three Senate Republican freshmen among the top 10 best-paying solons in the upper chamber of Congress, according to a report published just before the Christmas break.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
“Among the top ten highest paying Senate offices, three first-term senators made the list: Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) with a median office salary of $81,823, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) with a median of $75,728 and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) with a median of $75,275,” according to Legistorm.
Just outside the top 10 in the 11 spot came another GOP freshman, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), with a median average salary of $73,259.

Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Three GOP Senate Freshmen Among Top 10 For Staff Pay”