staffers

Summer Isn’t So Easy for Staffers Who Are Parents
And cuts to August recess have complicated family vacation plans

A basket weaver from the Amazon Wachiperi community of Peru shows children how to roll tree bark into thread at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in July 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When school’s out for summer, the lives of congressional staffers who are parents get a bit more complicated.

They have to juggle summer camps, vacations, and monitoring their children at home — all while trying to work through their busy Hill schedules and their bosses’ needs.

Pete Olson on Respect in Congress: ‘We’ve Lost That’
Texas Republican shares what he learned as a staffer

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, was Sen. John Cornyn’s first chief of staff. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Pete Olson tries to make sure his staffers get home at a reasonable hour because he remembers long nights on the Senate floor, endless debates and the chaos of 9/11.

Before he ran for Congress in 2008, the Texas Republican worked for Sen. Phil Gramm and his successor John Cornyn, now the majority whip.

Softball, the Hill’s Social Lubricant
House and Senate softball league players share what they get out of the games

A member of the House softball league runs to second base during the Tax Dodgers versus Immaculate Innings game next to the Washington Monument on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

June in D.C. for congressional staffers means creeping humidity and long working hours. For some it also means reliving their Little League days.

The Senate and House softball leagues are staples of summer on Capitol Hill. Members and staffers say they play for the fun of it, to meet new people, and to foster relationships both within and outside their offices.

Pro-Trump Super PAC Jumps Into Primary to Back Dan Donovan
America First Action is spending on direct mail and digital campaign

Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., is facing a primary challenge from former GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is coming to the defense of New York Rep. Dan Donovan, who is facing a Republican primary threat from his predecessor, former Rep. Michael G. Grimm

America First Action will spend $166,000 on direct mail, phone banking, and a digital campaign to support Donovan in the Staten Island-based 11th District, according to figures from the group. 

Staffers Playing Softball Together Is a Decades-Old Tradition
The leagues have always been all-inclusive

Alysson Vogt of Rep. David Scott’s office bats during softball team practice on the National Mall in 2009. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate and House softball leagues are beloved traditions that have held strong despite partisan battles in the halls of Congress, field disputes and triple-digit summer heat.

The Senate league was founded first, and while the date of the first official game is unknown, the league’s trophy lists winners dating back to 1980. 

Cedric Richmond Isn’t Sure How Much Is Left in the Tank
Democrats’ star hoping another pitcher gets elected in midterms

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., is cooled by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., after running out a triple, then scoring on an error Thursday night at the Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much of the Democrat’s 16-run win Thursday night at the 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game can be attributed to pitcher Cedric L. Richmond. But the game’s most dominant player for the last several years isn’t sure how much longer he can dominate.

When asked if he can keep up his streak year after year, the Louisiana Democrat said, “Absolutely not.”

GOP Seeks Changes to Immigration Deal They Crafted
Compromise would help Dreamers, fund border wall, curb family-based visa programs

People protest outside the Capitol on Jan. 21 to call for the passage of the so-called DREAM Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A compromise immigration deal brokered by House Republicans this week would offer so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship, provide nearly $25 billion for President Donald Trump’s border wall and end family-based visa programs for certain relatives of U.S. citizens, according to a discussion draft of legislation circulated among lawmakers Thursday.

The discussion draft, provided to Roll Call by a staffer with knowledge of the negotiations, would create a new merit-based visa that Dreamers and other young immigrants could obtain starting six years after the bill is enacted. The visa would be available to Dreamers enrolled in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, as well as those who are eligible but never signed up.

How Life Imitates the Congressional Baseball Game
The annual classic brings out a softer side of the legislative branch

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., escorted by U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday. Scalise was shot and injured last year at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. Bailey was also injured in the attack. Unable to play last year because of his injuries, Scalise will be on the field at Thursday’s game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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“This game is a situation of which, you’re a product of your political success, so if you have a good political year, you have a good recruiting year for this game.” So said former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., many years ago about the Congressional Baseball Game and the teams each party gets to field. 

Grateful Scalise Gets Back in the Game
House majority whip longs to do things he once could, ‘but I know I’m lucky to be alive’

Watch: Scalise Talks About His Recovery and Return to Baseball

He’s a force in the Republican Party as the powerful House majority whip. His name is in the conversation as the next speaker. But as Steve Scalise recently reflected in his ornate leadership office in the Capitol, he talked about friendships.

Authorized Flood Projects Left High and Dry on Funding
Desperate cities fear the next floods as Congress dawdles

Residents look down a flooded street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in June 2008. The city is still recovering from some of its worst flooding on record. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Ten years ago this month, the Cedar River overflowed into Cedar Rapids, Iowa, destroying a wide swath of the city’s downtown and residential neighborhoods.

The flooding caused $5.4 billion in property damage, according to the city. It affected more than 1,000 blocks of homes and businesses, City Hall, the county courthouse and hundreds of other buildings.