Jackie Walorski

Take Five: Karen Handel
‘One of the greatest moments ever’ was when Donny Osmond called her about Mitt Romney

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., says there’s a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde syndrome in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Karen Handel, 55, a Georgia Republican, talks about her friendship with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, her intense race for the House and her love of football. 

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress?

Limiting Sexual Harassment Payouts ‘Complicated,’ Lawmakers Say
Funding limitation could be one response to sexual misconduct scandals roiling Capitol Hill

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said using the appropriations process to restrict settlement payouts was complex. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated, 4:05 p.m. | Lawmakers have been quick to express their disgust with sexual harassment payments that come out of federal coffers to cover the cost of elected officials’ behavior. But members are more guarded when asked whether they would take action by attaching a funding limitation to a spending bill — a common instrument used by lawmakers in appropriations.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a top Republican appropriator, sounded cautious after last week’s revelation that the Office of Compliance has doled out tens of thousands of dollars since 2013.

As Tax Overhaul Looms, Senate Has Upper Hand
House GOP wary of Senate’s leverage given the narrow vote margin there

The Senate’s narrow margin on the tax overhaul provides it with some leverage in conference negotiations with the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s passage of a tax overhaul illustrated a fragile coalition of support that ironically provides the chamber with the upper hand headed into conference committee negotiations with the House.

House Republicans wanted a conference process on the two chambers’ differing tax bills to prevent the House from getting jammed by the Senate, as they acknowledge has happened frequently on major bills.

Proposed Measure Would Prevent Harassment Settlements Using Office Funds
Conyers revelations came from documents suggesting he paid a settlement with Hill account

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation introduced Friday would prevent sexual harassment and misconduct settlements from being paid out of members’ office budgets.

The measure introduced by GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana comes after sexual misconduct allegations against Rep. John Conyers were first brought to light through documents related to a wrongful dismissal complaint he settled with a former employee who had claimed she was fired for rejecting Conyer’s sexual advances. The employee, Marion Brown, was paid $27,000 in wages from Conyer’s office budget after being fired.

For Joe Donnelly, a Long History of Bucking His Party
Indiana Democrat faces challenging re-election, which is also nothing new

Sen. Joe Donnelly often goes his own way on hot-button policy positions, and has since his time in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The fate of Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly’s re-election bid next year may lie in his ability to convince Hoosiers he’s not always on the same page as the national Democratic Party. Fortunately for him, he has a lot of practice, and has been highly successful at it, going back more than a dozen years.

“The party occasionally gets mad, I really don’t care,” said one of the Democrats’ most endangered incumbents.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Could Save You Money
Ryan in New Hampshire, Williams at nonprofit, Murphy’s march continues

Save some money, move to Capitol Hill. Above, Tennessee’s David Kustoff arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel for new member orientation on Nov. 14, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s some good news for congressional staffers: Capitol Hill was ranked the fourth best place in D.C. to save money if you’re living off an annual salary of $50,000.

The financial planning app Rize released a list of the 14 best and worst places to live in D.C. on a $50,000 salary. Petworth, NoMa and Southwest Waterfront ranked first, second and third, respectively. Georgetown was ranked last.

Democrats Tie Senate Candidates to House GOP Health Care Plan
DSCC memo outlines ‘new health care dynamic’ for 2018

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is a top target for Democrats in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats plan to hold Senate Republicans — and House Republicans who may run for the Senate — accountable for the health care plan proposed by House GOP leadership this week. 

“The new health care dynamic: GOP Senate candidates own this plan” is the subject line of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee memo released to interested parties Thursday and obtained first by Roll Call.

NRCC Staffs Up for 2018
Press and political shops mix fresh faces with NRCC veterans

John Rogers, executive director for the NRCC, is announcing hires for the committee’s press and political shop Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John Rogers, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will announce hires for the committee’s political and communications shops on Friday.

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, are a mix of NRCC veterans and former Hill staffers with a range of experiences working on House, Senate and presidential campaigns.

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

Dick Cheney on New Rep. Cheney: ‘If She Wants My Advice, She’ll Ask for It’
Former vice president accompanies daughter Liz for her swearing in to House

Former Vice President Dick Cheney looks on as daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., takes the oath of office on the House floor on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For an hour on Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney was back in the House chamber where he once served.

Cheney sat on the House floor, second row from the front on the GOP side, playing the role of the proud patriarch to his daughter Liz who took the oath to serve in the job Cheney himself had from 1979 to 1989: sole House member from Wyoming.