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Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) decision to drop out of the speakership race moments before the GOP vote shocked political observers and Congress alike. Twitter did not take kindly.
Throughout the day, tweets from congressional staffers gradually shifted from initial surprise to tolerant cynicism, eventually culminating in House of Cards references and nominations for Brett Favre and Don Rickles as the next speaker.
"WHAT THE ACTUAL FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF is going on in the House right now?"
"It's days like today that I'm sad I don't work on the house side."
"Wait, so Kevin McCarthy met with the Pope yesterday???"
"Safe to assume productivity has dropped significantly on Capitol Hill in the last 30 minutes. #McCarthy #House #speakersrace"
"Man, House Republicans won't even let Speaker Boehner resign."
"McCarthy: 'I don't want to get 220 votes...We've got to be 100% united.' Good. F---ing. Luck."
"Everyone thought McCarthy was unbeatable. But then we created the Benghazi Select Committee, and look where his Speaker chances are now"
"Music blaring in House gym "Another one bites the dust" as some of my GOP colleagues exercise. I suggested they consider another song."
"Surprise of McCarthy dropping out of Speaker race on level of @HouseofCards metro scene with Zoe. Hopefully not as equally foreshadowing"
"Urgent alert: there were other artistic portrayals of political machinations before Game of Thrones and House of Cards. Some are... better?"
"@HouseGOP can't find anyone to be Speaker. Sounds like a job for an immigrant... #SpeakerSchwarzenegger #hellbeback"
"We need a constitutional amendment clarifying the Speaker MUST be a member of the House. It would eliminate half the nonsense in my feed."
"Political irony: the only thing standing between a new Speaker vs continuation of Boehner as Speaker is House Freedom Caucus"
"Anything new going on in the House?"
Rep. Jan Schakowsky's (D-Ill.) search for a new staffer this month has led her down J Street.
Schakowsky hired former J Street lobbyist Shannon Kellman to be her legislative assistant. Kellman had been working for J Street since late last year. During her time at the self-described "pro-Israel pro-peace" group, she lobbied Congress on issues relating to the Iran nuclear deal, boycott and divestment movement against Israel and American aid to Israel and Palestine. J Street has recently come out in favor of the Iran deal while their less reconciliatory counterpart, AIPAC, has been staunchly opposed.
Kellman joined J Street after leaving the office of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) shortly before his retirement in January 2015. She had been with Levin since 2013, first working as a staff assistant and then as a legislative correspondent. Kellman had also previously served as an intern for the House Democratic Caucus in 2006.
Schakowsky has received support from J Street in recent years and even caused a minor fracas in March when she addressed a conference hosted by the firm. She was criticized for remarks that some commenters interpreted as negative towards Orthodox Jews. Both she and Levin have come out in support of the Iran deal.
An aide to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) left his office last month to work for an organization looking after millions of cases ... of beer.
Zuzy Zvarova joined the National Beer Wholesalers Association last month as a federal affairs assistant. She had been working for Leahy as an assistant to his chief of staff, John Dowd, since 2014 and served as a staff assistant in the office for the year prior. Zvarova also started her Hill career as an intern with Leahy in 2011 before rejoining the office after graduating from the University of Vermont in 2013.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association serves as an advocacy and lobbying organization for independent beer distributors. The Alexandria, Va.-based trade association most recently lobbied on a variety of alcohol regulation issues, including the Small BREW Act. The senior Vermont senator is a co-sponsor of the bill, which was referred to the Senate Finance Committee in February, would reduce the rate of the excise tax for certain qualified domestic brewers.
The three candidates vying to be House speaker have considerably fewer staff ties with K Street than the man one of them will replace.
Since he took office in 1991, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has had at least 13 staffers in his personal office and an additional 51 staffers in his other offices who worked as lobbyists before or after their Hill position. Because lobbying and staff salary records are not readily available for much of the 1990s, the figures understate his lobbying ties.
With the Republican vote for speaker looming on Thursday, we have taken a look at how speaker candidates Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) stack up.
McCarthy, who took office in 2007, has had a total of 10 revolvers on his staff either in his personal or leadership offices. However, only two current staffers have lobbying experience, his chief of staff, Tim Berry, and a senior policy adviser, Matt Kellogg. Berry served as a lobbyist between 2005 and 2010 for Time Warner, and Kellogg joined McCarthy last month after lobbying for the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Both work for McCarthy in the office of the House Republican Majority Leader.
Chaffetz currently has three former lobbyists working for him on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has seen another come and go since he joined Congress in 2009. His communications director, Rebecca Edgar, and staff director, Sean McLaughlin both joined his committee office earlier this year from Podesta Group Inc, where they worked as lobbyists. His deputy staff director and former senior adviser Rachel Weaver also had a brief foray lobbying on behalf of Airports Council International in 2008.
Joining the House in 2011, Webster is the most junior member of the three, and has only had one revolver ever on his staff. Sam Olswanger worked as a legislative correspondent in the first half of 2011 before lobbying for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP beginning in 2013.
We spend a large part of our days looking at data. Documents often come in by the dozens and hundreds. And while most are boring - how interesting can staring at a phone directory or salary records be, for example? - we find daily reasons for interest, amusement or even concern packed in the documents. So we are launching a new running feature that we call "Caught our Eye."
Longer than tweets but shorter than most blog posts, Caught our Eye items will bring back the interest in reviewing documents and researching people. Some items might bring hard, breaking news. Others will raise eyebrows and lead some into further inquiry. Others might be good for a joke or two around the water cooler. All will enlighten about the people or workings of Capitol Hill.
Caught our Eye items will be published each morning for LegiStorm Pro subscribers. Non-Pro site users will be able to receive the news items a few hours later. In addition to having immediate access to the news, LegiStorm Pro users will have a handy way to search and browse all past items.