A picture of Representative Nick J. Rahall II
Nick R.
Former Democrat WV 3
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    In Praise of Congressional Staff

    by Former Representative Nick J. Rahall II

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    RAHALL II of west virginia in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, throughout my tenure in the House of Representatives, I have been continually impressed by the legions of staffers who eagerly sign up to serve in the ranks of Congressional aides.

    Having started my own career of public service as a staffer in the U.S. Senate, I know a little about laboring behind the scenes, answering the phones, responding to the mail, enduring the long hours of sometimes mundane, often utterly thankless tasks that keep this place running for the people we were elected to serve. These eager, bright minds come to this place looking to make a difference in the world. They sacrifice higher paying jobs in the private sector, and precious time with their family and friends, in order to work without applause for the betterment of our Nation.

    These members of our staffs do their work anonymously and generally do their work exceedingly well, putting their heart and soul into fighting for the people we were elected to serve. Frankly, they put up with a lot and Members of Congress ought to do more to defend these loyal employees. When the slings and arrows of public anger are aimed at this institution, these staffers have demonstrated, time and again, a selfless willingness to stand silently as their jobs and benefits are slashed in some ill-conceived sacrificial exercise. They are not our political shields. It is the lot of a leader--a true leader--to take the hits.

    Before retiring this year, I want to acknowledge and express my deep gratitude to the staff members who have been by my side throughout my career. And I take this moment to express my undying thanks to those who stayed with me until the very end--never wavering in their loyalty to me and the constituency we served together. These are outstanding and dedicated individuals who deserve the highest praise for their selfless sacrifice and service in behalf of the people of southern West Virginia.

    David McMaster, my Chief of Staff Kent Keyser, my longtime aide and trusted advisor Kate Denman, my Deputy Chief of Staff Diane Luensmann, my Communications Director Carol Wallace, my Projects Director Josh Sutherland, my Legislative Correspondent Megan Price, my Staff Assistant Andy Mollohan and Rachel Meyer, my Legislative Assistants, Kelly Dyke, my District Director, and Greg Crist, Kim McMillion, and Larone Alexander, who worked in the Congressional Office in Beckley Debrina Workman, Teri Booth, and Debbie Stevens--my longtime district aides who staffed the Congressional Offices in Logan, Huntington, and Bluefield Jim Zoia, Ann Adler, Ward McCarragher, Ed Gilman, Lisa James, and Luke Strimer on my Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff.


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