STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Clare Paoletta, House Energy and Commerce Committee (Screenshot from Facebook)

Returning to the Hill as a Policy Analyst for Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is Clare Paoletta, working for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Clare was previously Project Coordinator for the National Association of Community Health Centers and before that an Intern for Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Clare expects to complete a MS degree this year from Georgetown University and she is a 2018 graduate with a BA in political science and government, and biology from Fordham University.

Making the transition from two years as Special Assistant to President Donald Trump in the White House to Senior Policy Adviser to Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) is Kelly Collins. Kelly has also previously worked for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).  She is a 2016 graduate of the University of Dayton in Spanish and international studies.

Christine Leonard is the new Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, working for the chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Christine is a Hill veteran, having worked as Senior Counsel for four years for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and before that as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA). She was also Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for two years under President Barack Obama. Christine law degree was awarded in 2001 by Boston College Law School. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Closing several professional loops is Brett William Doyle, the new Senior Adviser to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) on the Congressional Oversight Commission. The move marks Brett’s return to the Hill after stints at EPA and the USTR. Previous to those slots, he worked for Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on the Senate Republican Policy Committee and before that as a legislative correspondent for Toomey. Brett’s BA in history was awarded in 2010 from Lafayette College and he earned a certificate in joint professional military education in 2020 from the U.S. Naval War College.

Becky Shane, Staff Assistant, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.)(Screenshot from Facebook).

New on the Hill is Becky Shane, taking on the challenges of being a Staff Assistant to Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.). Becky received her BA in philosophy, politics, economics and history in 2019 from Claremont McKenna College.

There is a new Special Counsel on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and his name is Patrick J. McCormick, working for Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Before making this move, Patrick was Chief Counsel for the committee. He received his law degree in 1984 from the Catholic University of America Columbus Law School and his BA in 1977 from the Jesuit University in Wheeling, WVA. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”

‘We Are Not Closing Down This Church’ — California Pastor Warns Officials

Pastor Jack Trieber of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, is appealing to all Americans for aid in his congregation’s struggle to exercise their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

In an impassioned Facebook video, Trieber declared “we are not closing down this church” as a result of more than $52,000 in fines levied against the congregation by Santa Clara County officials, based on Covid guidelines issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Trieber joins Grace Community Church of Los Angeles and Pastor John MacArthur in defying Newsom’s guidelines that bar indoor meetings in churches.

Grace, represented by the Thomas More Society, has won four court decisions but county officials’ most recent retaliation was cancellation without prior warning of a parking lot lease that had been in force without problems for 45 years.

With resistance to seemingly unreasonable Covid-related restrictions growing, especially among Christian congregations, the issue is certain to assume greater prominence on Capitol Hill when Congress returns after Labor Day:

Shouldn’t You Be Following HillFaith By Now???

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: These Are The Top 10 Best, Worst Paying Offices For Staff

Senators traditionally pay their staffs somewhat more on average than House members, but the latest comprehensive salary data from Legistorm makes clear that is not necessarily always the case.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) pays the highest average staff salary in Congress.

Scan through the top 10 highest average staff salary offices and you find seven senators, two House members and one non-voting House member.

At the other end of the database, all 10 of the lowest-paying members are in the House. Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: These Are The Top 10 Best, Worst Paying Offices For Staff”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Joy Lee is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s new Press Secretary, moving up from the Deputy Press Secretary position. Joy began her congressional career working as a Press Assistant for the California Democrat in 2015. Joy earned a BA in digital and broadcast journalism in 2014 from the University of Georgia.

Joy Lee, Press Secretary to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (screenshot from Facebook).

Heading over to the Biden for President campaign is Larry Sandigo after serving for more than a year as an adviser to Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ). Sandigo becomes Latino Vote Director for the Biden campaign. Larry received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 2011 and his BA from Baylor University in 2008. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Mary Kate Carter is the newest professional staff member on the Senate Finance Committee, working for the Chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Mary Kate was awarded a BA in French and International Trade from Clemson University in 2018, and an MA in International Trade and Investment Policy from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs earlier this year. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Hearing Of The Select Committee On The Modernization Of Congress On Staffing Issues

Earlier this summer, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress convened a hearing on staff compensation and benefits. The basic issue — what to do about low pay and high turnover rates — was the central question of the day.

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) is chairman of the panel, while Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) is vice-chairman. In his opening remarks, Kilmer offered this analysis of the problem:

“Staff are the backbone of this institution. They are dedicated public servants who are here because they want to do meaningful work. They choose careers on the Hill despite the long hours, the lack of job security, and lower pay compared to what they could make in the executive branch and private sector.

“Congress is fortunate to attract such talented and hard-working staff. The challenge is keeping them here. We know that turnover rates for House staff are really high and while there’s churn between Hill offices, the typical staffer leaves the Hill after 4 or 5 years.

“That’s right about the time they’ve picked up a lot of institutional knowledge and policy expertise. As unfortunate as this pattern is, it makes sense. For a lot of staffers, the desire to serve the public is eventually outweighed by the need for a better work/life balance, and the need to make more money to afford housing, support families, and put kids through college.

“This reality puts Congress at a disadvantage compared to the executive branch and the private sector. The bottom line is this: until Congress can offer competitive pay and benefits, Congress will continue to lose talented and smart staff. And rather than view them as replaceable, we should create an environment that encourages the best staffers to stay.” (Emphasis added)

The following video of the hearing is long at more than 90 minutes, but the two featured witnesses — Casey Burgat, Director of the Legislative Affairs at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, and Kathryn Pearson, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota — provide an intelligent, detailed and compelling analysis of what must be done for Congress to address these problems:

HT: Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute for pointing this video out to yours truly via email.

WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries

If you worked for a couple of years on the Hill beginning in 2000 at the end of the Clinton presidency and the dawn of the second Bush White House, then came back this year in the same position, you would probably see a 35 percent pay hike.

That conclusion is based on Legistorm’s calculation of annual increases in the median staff salary for members of the office staff of a senator or representative. It was $39,673 in 2000 and is presently $53,660, a 35 percent increase.

That’s the good news. Pay for congressional staff has risen steadily during the previous two decades. Unfortunately, it’s still common for lower level staffers to be paid salaries that require having roommates to share housing costs, or other income sources (which should be disclosed). Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries”

WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now

By Bret Bernhardt

It’s easy to feel as if you are standing still or even stuck in your present circumstances. This applies to your life, both on the job and off.  Everyone who has worked on the Hill has had these feelings from time to time.

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

Oswald Chambers, in his daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” hits the nail on the head on this subject with his July 28 reading.

Titled “God’s Purpose or Mine,” Chambers aptly describes how the Lord views progress and success in our lives. In short, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Krister Holladay is back on Capitol Hill after a 14-year absence, coming over from K One Consulting LLC to serve as Chief of Staff for Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Back in the day, Krister was Chief of Staff to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and before that, during the Contract with America era, was Legislative Director on the personal staff of Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Krister earned his Masters in national security studies in 1998 from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Elissa Tew (Screenshot from Facebook).

Elissa Tew takes over as Press Secretary for Rep. John Rose (R-TN). She previously served as legislative assistant to North Carolina State Senator Jim Burgin, and she has interned in the White House Office of Digital Strategy and for her state’s two Republican senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr. Elissa is a 2018 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in political science and women’s and gender studies. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ The Hill This Week”

EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Churches Defy California Guv’s Covid Restrictions on Multiple Worship Gatherings

Grace Community Church in Los Angeles County is the latest Christian congregation to challenge California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on religious gatherings in 30 Golden State jurisdictions.

Grace is led by Pastor John MacArthur, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian pastors and authors. His ministries encompass books, translations of the Bible, radio and digital programs seen around the world, missionary works and multiple other outlets.

In a July 24 statement issued by him, other members of the pastoral staff and the elders of Grace, it was announced that: Continue reading “EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Churches Defy California Guv’s Covid Restrictions on Multiple Worship Gatherings”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Eric Shalloway is moving up to Staff Assistant for Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), after serving the Florida representative as an Intern. Eric received his BA in public policy earlier this year from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Danielle Cohen (Screenshot from Facebook).

Danielle Cohen is the new Communications Director for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Danielle previously was the acting CD for Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo) and before that was DeGette’s Digital Press Secretary. Danielle received an MA in media and communications in 2018 from George Washington University and a BA from GWU in 2017 in political communications.

Jessica Martinez takes over as Legislative Director for Rep. Mark Veazey (D-TX) following three years as a Special Adviser to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Member Jessica Rosenworcel. Martinez graduated in 2013 from the University of Utah with a BA in French studies and international and global studies.

Promoted from Legislative Director to Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) is James Hampson. He’s a 2012 graduate of Penn State with a BA in public relations and sociology.

Over on the Senate side of the Capitol, Maria Jeffrey has been promoted from Press Secretary to Director of Speech-Writing and Strategic Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Maria is a 2011 graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati with a BA in classics and classical languages, literatures and linguistics.


Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)


Democrats Dominate Top 50 House Members On Staff Spending; Check Out Major Position Average$

Democrats occupy 21 of the top 25 and 35 of the top 50 slots in a ranking of how much each member of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress has spent through the first quarter of 2020 on salaries for staff members, according to data compiled by Legistorm.

Chart by Legistorm.

Rep. Ted Deutsch (D-Fla.) ranks number one in the ranking. Deutsch has spent $336,511 on 17 staff members, representing 87.4 percent of his total available office budget. The House average is 82.8 percent.

Deutsch has a seven-member staff in his D.C. office, with an additional nine working in three offices in his Florida district. Continue reading “Democrats Dominate Top 50 House Members On Staff Spending; Check Out Major Position Average$”

The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy

By Bret Bernhardt

As followers of Jesus working on Capitol Hill, how are we to view the tumultuous events that have unfolded before us across the country?

This is an important question because we are seeking to integrate our faith into our daily practice. It helps shape our views about public policy but also our personal conduct. Now is the time for us to engage in the hard conversations because we are called to influence and usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

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

With this in mind we need to understand the nature of the battle. By the battle I mean the way in which we perceive and respond to the world around us. The recent events we have been witnessing — the virus, racial unrest, and threats of anarchy — are part of this battle.

These events are not a one-off phenomenon but have at their core the fallen nature of mankind. For example, the virus and the steps to mitigate it have precipitated actions and reactions that have been at work within our minds and spirit for quite some time. Continue reading “The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy”

HILLFAITH SURVEY: Do You Think Congress Needs To Increase Each Member’s Staff?

With congressional staff beginning to return to Hill offices in some numbers and many more still working from home, the question of whether senators and representatives need larger personal staffs is likely to get more attention in coming months.

Thanks to COVID-19, many staffers accustomed to doing jobs on the legislative or media side have had to learn more about the difficulties and challenges of effective constituent case work. And having most staff working from home has created a host of new challenges, as well as new ways of getting important things done.

Would hiring larger personal staffs well-serve the public? Would your boss be able to serve his or her constituents more effectively if more staff members were available?

Cast your vote below. Leave a comment. And don’t worry, it’s all anonymous, so share your thoughts and don’t be bashful!