June 11, 2017
As most Capitol Hill professionals can attest, Congressional staffers are stretched pretty thin these days. With today's 24/7 news cycle, seemingly constant international crises and partisan politics reaching fever pitch, there's plenty of work to go around in Congressional offices. With that said, there are other factors that contribute to the heavy workloads on the Hill. Staff turnover and stagnant pay has become a real problem in Congress and has led to a widening gap in institutional knowledge. A study from the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) found that there are fewer House staff and fewer legislative support agency personnel now than at any time since 1979. The effect of this lack of support staff is felt most acutely in the staffs for the Congressional Research Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Congressional Budget Office who have lost 45% of their combined staff from 1975 to 2015.
The issue is exacerbated by the fact that on average each House member represents about 200,000 more constituents today than they did 30 years ago, while the average Senator represents 1.6 million more. 63% of the DC staffers polled by the CMF stated that they wanted to find another job, most often due to the fact that salaries have gone unchanged (and in some cases decreased) in the past two decades. With a competitive and thriving market for former Hill talent, staffers can easily find higher pay in the private sector. Because of this, the average age for a DC-based Hill staffer is only 31. Fortunately, most professionals on the Hill are called to this line of work not because of the financial benefits, but due to the unique opportunity to make a true difference in the direction of the country. In fact, 94% of Congressional staffers choose to stay in their jobs rather than test the private sector, “because they believe what they’re doing is meaningful”.
This gap in experience and education is making it more and more difficult for Members to get the information they need for important legislative actions like determining voting positions and drafting new bills. More and more Congressional offices are turning to lobbyists, interest groups and private sector resources for help, allowing these groups to exert a unique influence in the halls of Congress. Most Members of Congress would probably agree that relying on outside experts for legislative guidance is not always ideal.
Fortunately, there is an option to provide fair, accurate and unbiased data to Congress when staffers don't have the bandwidth or expertise. Quorum Analytics provides the world’s most comprehensive database of legislative information on an intuitive, web-based platform, allowing easy access to bills, votes, Tweets, Facebook posts, press releases, floor statements, hearing schedules and transcripts, committee reports, Dear Colleague letters, CRS reports and much more. Bill text comparison allows Congressional staff to effortlessly highlight additions, subtractions, and modifications to every bill so they never miss a thing as the bill makes its way to the floor. Integrated Legislative outreach allows staffers to easily help the Member prepare for meetings and update colleagues, making it easier to find and share what’s most important. Quantitative legislative targeting provides actionable insights to help you identify active Members, affected constituents and key relationships, providing you with key demographic data to allow you to make more informed legislative decisions. With those available features and the fully functional mobile app, it’s never been easier to provide the best possible and most informed service for your constituents.
Leidos is pleased to be the exclusive reseller of Quorum Analytics on Capitol Hill and we'd love to provide a short demo to show you how Quorum Analytics can be your legislative team's best friend. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a demo.