Capitol Hill Intern Update (August 31, 2020)


Well, friends, that’s a wrap for August! This week is all about getting ready for what’s ahead. After Labor Day, Congress will be heading back to DC with a FULL agenda and a sprint through the last legislative days until the election. We’ve got you covered with the bullet point version of the big issues and deadlines ahead. Make sure to check out a new podcast, “Why Public Service” from our friends at R Street, and join a College to Congress discussion with former staffer-turned-tech-entrepreneur, Melissa Medina on “Innovating in Congressional Offices — How to think different and stand out.”

Wishing you an excellent week! Got questions, suggestions, or ideas? We want to hear it!

What to Watch this Week


House and Senate are out for August recess but will return with 24 hours notice if a deal on coronavirus relief is reached.


TUESDAY: “Hybrid Hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin” in House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus @ 1 PM ET


Looming deadlines and big issues:

Government funding expires September 30: Before that date, Congress must either pass twelve appropriations bills to fund government operations or a “continuing resolution” (CR) to extend spending authority at current levels to a date in the future. Failure to act would result in a government shutdown.

  • The White House supports a short-term CR
  • Democrats are saying that any CR should run through March 2021 (well past the election, any potential lame duck session and into a new Congress)
  • Some are speculating that the pending deadline could help Congress get to a deal on a mammoth spending bill + coronavirus relief package

Negotiations continue on coronavirus response package:

  • The House passed its $3 trillion “HEALS” Act on May 15
  • Senate Republicans introduced, but did not vote on, a $1 trillion bill on July 27
  • Negotiations between the House and White House broke down as many CARES Act provisions expired July 31
  • In the past week, Democrats said they would accept a $2.2 trillion package; the White House countered with an offer of $1.3 trillion

Congress must pass a defense authorization bill — the “NDAA” (National Defense Authorization Act)

“Like that 50-page research paper you knew you should have started earlier but waited until a few nights before to write, the government funding deadline is in the not-too-distant future.”

“Yes, you’ve seen this before. But have you seen it happen during a global pandemic, an economic crisis and a presidential election — when “normal” activities, from sending your children to school to casting a ballot this November — all seem to hang in some hazy balance?” — Federal News Network

Virtual Intern Project in the News:

Remote internships are expanding opportunity and bridging the traditional gulf between Capitol Hill and members’ offices in their districts, although they can be tough for offices — and interns — to navigate. Several organizations are stepping up to provide resources and support to ensure that offices are able to continue their internship programs in these exceptional times.


All About Interns!

Of Interest

  • The University of Arizona stopped a student COVID outbreak on campus before it started — by testing sewage
  • With a decline in local media, college newspapers “have increasingly become the default for how students and community members get their news”
  • Would you let Elon Musk put “a Fitbit in your skull”?
  • DNC warned campaign staffers that they could be targeted on dating sites
  • On finding your purpose: watch Chadwick Boseman give commencement address at Howard University
  • Memorial tweet confirming the death of Chadwick Boseman became the “most liked” tweet ever


From our Partners

New podcast: Why Public Service?

Have you ever wanted to advise a president? Serve in Congress Help craft public policy behind the scenes?

Every week “Why Public Service?” will introduce you to these career paths, and more, and the color cast of characters behind them who chose to improve our nation through public service.

The podcast is a product of the R Street Institute, a free market think tank in Washington, D.C.

Is your boss a “Congressional Champion”?

Over 70 members are working with College to Congress to promote socioeconomic diversity on Capitol Hill.

Not on the list? Ask your intern coordinator to share this information with the chief!

“Innovating in Congressional Offices — How to think different and stand out”

On September 1 at 4 PM ET, join TourTrackr founder, Melissa Media, and College to Congress for a discussion about being an innovator as an intern. Offices look for self-starters who are looking to make constituent services more efficient. Sometimes finding a new way to do things helps you stand out! Register

Events This Week

Still a super slow end-of-recess week around these parts — and that means it’s a great time to get smart with briefings, webinars, and roundtables!

AUG 31
1 PM ET: Crisis in the College Vote 2020
National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker event

AUG 31
2 PM ET: Socially Distanced Voting: How We Can Vote at the Polls This November
Bipartisan Policy Center and the MIT Election Data and Science Lab

AUG 31
3 PM ET: Innovation Nation: A 2020 Vision for a Clean Energy Economy, Job Growth, and Technology Acceleration
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum and National Association of State Energy Officials

2 PM ET: Political Digital Ads: Disclosure, Free Speech and Legislation
National Council of State Legislatures

5 PM ET: The America We Need: Creating More Equitable Cities
New York Times Opinion virtual event

5 PM ET: Shut Out or Shut Down?: Challenges in Ensuring Public Access During COVID
Council for Court Excellence

1 PM ET: A Conversation on Ratifying and Implementing the USMCA: A View From Congress
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

3 PM ET: Where are the Black Financial Regulators?
Georgetown Law’s Institute of International Economic Law and the Brookings Institution

10 AM ET: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey on the Future of Cryptocurrencies and Stablecoins
Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings

11 AM ET: Meritocracy and Its Discontents: A Book Event with Michael J. Sandel


This newsletter is brought to you by these organizations. We know today’s interns are tomorrow’s Congressional staffers. And we want you to have a great experience — no matter where the internship happens!

Advocacy Blueprints

Congressional Management Foundation

College to Congress

Democracy Fund

Modernization Staff Association

Pay Our Interns





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