Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nearing the end

Well, the end is near. Last night, I attended a reception for the interns from the University of Connecticut's program, including for one of my fellow interns, Eric. Rep. Murphy spoke at the reception, and my entire office came out too. Chris spoke about his time as an intern in Senator Dodd's office in 1995, when our Chief of Staff, Josh, also interned with Dodd, something that they didn't know until two years ago when interviewing staff for the office. He spoke of how that internship inspired him to go into public service as a career, managing a congressional campaign against the woman he would beat ten years later, Nancy Johnson, and in two years, he was running for the State House. It was one of the few times which I have seen him speak about sort of personal issues, as opposed to a short floor speech about a given topic, such as health care, when we all know his position, and the gist of what he is going to say.

It was sad to say goodbye to Eric last night, though he is trying to get work on the Hill as a staffer somewhere, so we hope to stay in touch. I still have about two weeks, so I'll keep on blogging until the very end.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party

As you may know, yesterday, Tax Day, was Tea Party Day for many conservatives upset about the Administration's spending and stimulus policies. For the past several weeks, Murphy's office has received several tea bags in the mail, from people supposedly protesting Congress' actions. Tea bags don't make it through the intense security of the Congressional mail, because of the 2001 anthrax attacks. I don't really understand what these people are protesting, since the original tea party, in 1773, was protesting Taxation without Representation, and the only people who can legitimately complain about that are DC residents.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Congressional Recess

Greetings again, and apologies for my sporadic posting. I've had a busy few weeks, for a variety of reasons, including two papers which I have due this Monday, ahhhh!!

The Congress has passed its budget resolutions for FY 2010, which is only the beginning of the process, which will last at least through September, when the Fiscal Year starts, and that's assuming that the process is on time. The big question on that front is whether Democrats, especially in the Senate, will use the special "reconciliation" process to get universal healthcare reform and some other long-range programs through the budget process, so that it cannot be filibustered by Republicans and conservative Democrats, and only pass with 51 votes in the Senate. Personally, I think that this is a good idea to move forward on sweeping reforms which the country needs right now, and I don't think that people out in the country care how the policies are changed, that's largely just inside baseball, but they want change, and they don't care if some Republicans have hurt feelings at the end of it.

On the internship front, things are progressing along nicely. On Wednesday, I had to go around the three House office buildings getting signatures for a "Dear Colleague" letter about land and water conservation which Rep. Murphy is the point person on. I do not enjoy the Rayburn building, since it is enormous and has many dead ends, so I frequently got lost.

A two week congressional recess has begun, which means no legislation, just some planning for future things, and catching up on old work. Also, it is tour season in DC, especially for congressional tours, which means the other interns and myself will frequently find ourselves spending a few hours per day taking visitors through the capitol, or waiting on line to do so, fun.

I'll try to update soon.