The GOP has assembled a list of 75 to 80 staffers for incoming freshman members in anticipation of a nationwide sweep during today’s midterm elections. RollCall reports:
In anticipation of major GOP gains in [today’s] elections, House Republican leaders have put together a list of experienced Washington hands to help fill top staff positions for the surge of newly elected outsiders.
Leading the effort are Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The leaders have put together a list of about 75 to 80 potential chiefs of staff, including current and former Capitol Hill staffers and lobbyists who have been recommended or have inquired about working for an incoming Member, according to several Republicans familiar with the document.
“There will be a lot of new, energetic Republicans coming to town — some of whom will have staff, others who will begin to assemble their teams,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said in an e-mail. “There’s a lot of important work to get done right out of the gate, so it’s important that newly elected Republicans have access to experienced, competent staff so that they can hit the ground running.”
One former GOP staffer said leadership has been actively, but informally, seeking individuals to fill the chief of staff positions for new Members from tough districts. The goal is to help the freshmen navigate Washington and to guide them through future election cycles.
It’s not necessarily the type of story that Republicans may want to get out because of several reasons: 1. It comes off as a bit presumptuous that despite indication and report that the Democratic base my come out to the polls, they are still pretty certain of recouping a substantial number of wins; and 2. It wreaks a bit of hypocrisy that those who are very anti-Washington and anti-established political workers are rounding up top insiders to help them navigate the system.
However, given that some newly elected officials will have to begin work on November 3, there may not be much time to scramble for aides to fill top spots. It is normal for either party to prepare well in advance of an election. Rollcall quotes a senior Democratic aide stating, “[a]s recently as 2008, Democrats helped the new class to fill top staff positions.”
Without assistance from veteran staffers, new lawmakers who have never worked on Capitol Hill before may have a difficult time adjusting to the various procedures and order of business in Congress.