What Is HillFaith and Why Should You Care?

This guy has been there, done that. And he just might have some useful insights to share about life on the Hill

By Mark Tapscott

If you work on Capitol Hill, you and I likely have a great deal in common. You, like me, love this country and want to make it better. You are passionate about politics, the campaign trail and the legislative process. You worry about the future, of America, and of you and your loved ones. You probably grew up somewhere else, most likely out there in “Flyover Country.”

Doesn’t matter which political party you identify with or where on Capitol Hill you spend your workdays. Your hours are long and odds are good you could be making more money working somewhere else (maybe a whole lot more if you’ve been here for a few years).

Yes, that’s me, a Hill press secretary in 1977. Can you believe the hair? This photo was taken in the Cannon House Office Building.

But you get to rub elbows with many of America’s most important and best-known leaders, and your work affords endless opportunities to meet and work with interesting and amazingly smart, skilled people. Money can’t buy the satisfaction that can come with that, right?

Fact is, for better or worse, the Hill is the center of your world. Maybe not tomorrow, but for now, most of your friends also work here, including people you socialize with, enter into (and out of!) romantic relationships, and compete with to grab that next rung up the success ladder. Continue reading “What Is HillFaith and Why Should You Care?”

Working On Capitol Hill Is The World’s Best Job (Or At Least My Best Ever)

By Bret Bernhardt

More often than not, a great job seems to be defined as one that pays generously for something you love doing each and every day. On Capitol Hill, it’s not always that way. So why is it the greatest job I’ve ever had?

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

Simply put, there are few jobs that compare to Capitol Hill for meaning, purpose, and community.

Most people come to the Hill with a passion and purpose for what they do for a living. Not that this doesn’t happen in other lines of work, but it seems to be more prevalent among those who work on the Hill.

Continue reading “Working On Capitol Hill Is The World’s Best Job (Or At Least My Best Ever)”

$15-An-Hour Minimum Wage May Be Coming For Hill Interns

At $31,200 annually, the new rate would make the first experience working for Congress much more affordable

Forty House Democrats are sponsoring Rep. Adam Smith’s reintroduced House Intern Pay Act that would require a $15-an-hour minimum wage for the young employees.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state.

“Paid internships help to bring a diversity of ideas and backgrounds to both the Washington, D.C. and local district offices, and expand equality of opportunity for all to participate in our democracy,” Smith said in a statement Tuesday.

Continue reading “$15-An-Hour Minimum Wage May Be Coming For Hill Interns”

Will You Help Me Double HillFaith’s Followers? It’s Easy, Just Ask One Person To Join You Here

Taking the Good News to the ends of the Earth includes sharing the Gospel with people working for Congress

God has already blessed HillFaith in countless ways that I never expected and one of most important of them is the number of readers like you who have chosen to follow this humble blog.

Clicking on the Follow link in the right-hand column of the homepage is all a person has to do in order to receive an alert whenever a new post appears on HillFaith. If you haven’t also followed HillFaith on its Facebook page, you can do so by going here.

Continue reading “Will You Help Me Double HillFaith’s Followers? It’s Easy, Just Ask One Person To Join You Here”

I’m ‘Only’ An Intern … On Life In The Trenches On Capitol Hill

Here are some smart suggestions for making the most of that first post working for Congress

By Bret Bernhardt

In the overall scheme of things on Capitol Hill, interns, and junior staffers for that matter, seem to be a relatively inconsequential part of the process. However, in my experience, it is quite the opposite.

The Farmers Insurance commercial on TV says “we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” That would pretty much describe my experience of 30 years working on Capitol Hill. This is particularly true about working with interns.

Continue reading “I’m ‘Only’ An Intern … On Life In The Trenches On Capitol Hill”

There’s More To Keeping Talent On The Hill Than Pay

Pay is low on the Hill but there’s more to the issue of whether to stay or go.

By Bret Bernhardt

This may sound like an esoteric and idyllic response to retaining good talent on Capitol Hill, because that is what it is. But all worthy efforts start with big ideas and lofty aspirations.

So is the remedy for what ails congressional talent retention.  

In all the important decisions we make in life, including those of aspiring Hill staffers, we consciously or unconsciously keep two factors in mind:

Continue reading “There’s More To Keeping Talent On The Hill Than Pay”

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Committee Staff, Courtesy of R Street Institute’s Casey Burgat

There are basically two classes of congressional aides — those who work for individual senators and representatives make up one while those known as committee staff are the other.

Casey Burgat is a senior fellow of the R Street Institute, which does a bang-up job of tracking Hill staffing trends. He recently completed a comprehensive look at where things stand on committee staffing that should be of interest to anybody hoping now or in the future to occupy such a position. What did Casey find? Continue reading “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Committee Staff, Courtesy of R Street Institute’s Casey Burgat”