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False alarm triggers rare book scare at Library of Congress

November 5, 2012 A fire alarm inside the Library of Congress' Rare Book Division was triggered on Monday, according to the Architect of the Capitol. It was false but that didn't stop police from evacuating the building, blocking First Street S.E. and calling in a hazardous-material truck. The alarm sounded--but the automatic sprinklers ...

Congressional staffers wish for work-life balance

October 24, 2012 Thirty-eight percent of staffers say they would leave the Hill for a job where they could better balance their work and personal lives, according to a new study. A report released Wednesday from the Congressional Management Foundation found that overall office culture, paid time off, and work-life flexibility were most ...

Capitol Hill offices lagging in staff diversity

October 5, 2012 Gearing up for the debate over extending federal transportation programs last spring, Jose Parra, deputy communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, listened to his boss run through a list of the consequences of the proposed cuts. He couldn’t help but chime in. “Hispanic communities are overrepresented in the ...

Booze, cologne and cuff links: House offices plagued by thefts

October 2, 2012 The office of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., is the first Democrat's, and fifth member's overall, to be burglarized since a spree hit House office buildings in April, according to a U.S. Capitol Police report obtained by National Journal on Tuesday. Items went missing from McIntyre's Rayburn office between Aug. 3 ...

Buildup for inauguration begins at the Capitol

August 30, 2012 Weeks before one of them is tapped by voters as the next president, the stage is being set for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to take the oath of office at the Capitol in January. Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers announced on Thursday that construction will begin on the ...

Liberal group attacks GOP on disaster relief

August 27, 2012 With ill weather looming over the Republican National Convention, a liberal advocacy group is attacking the GOP for its emergency disaster-relief funding policies. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched online ads in Florida on Monday morning that read, “Republicans voted against disaster relief. Thank them here" -- with a link ...

Stopgap spending bill may delay repairs to Capitol dome

August 6, 2012 A plan for Congress to use a stopgap spending measure to keep government funding at the same level for six months would snub a long list of appropriations — including one that could keep the roof from falling in. The Capitol Dome needs a $61 million repair job that would ...

House members vote to freeze their own salaries

June 8, 2012 House members voted on Friday to pass the Legislative Branch budget for fiscal year 2013, which includes their own salaries as well as those of their staff. Though funding across the House of Representatives has been reduced by 10.5 percent since Republicans took control of the chamber in 2011, according ...

Food fight waged over congressional utensils

June 8, 2012 On the Hill, even the kind of cup you prefer can be a weapon on the political battleground. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., wants to ban Styrofoam cups and other items made from the chemical polystyrene from cafeterias throughout the House side (the Democratic-controlled Senate already bans such products on its ...

Waste charges rattle Library of Congress

June 8, 2012 Management at the Library of Congress, the world’s largest storehouse of knowledge, has a poor memory. For a decade, problems of overspending, no-bid contracts, and improper care for some of mankind’s rarest books and artifacts have been brought to upper-level attention—but problems have only worsened. The library’s inspector general, Karl ...