Behind the Scenes

Image courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
The legislative process of the U.S. Congress is often associated with roll call votes, speeches, and intense floor debates. Much of the work, however, occurs outside of the House Chamber where committees, leadership, and congressional offices engage in lawmaking. These clips dive into the institutional side of the House, as interviewees share behind-the-scenes stories of whip operations, committee deliberations, and legislative accomplishments.

Video

Careful Consideration of Committee Assignments

The Honorable Beverly Barton Butcher Byron explains how she received her committee assignments.

The Honorable Beverly Barton Butcher Byron, U.S. Representative of Maryland
Interview recorded June 15, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

The "Gypsy Moths"

The Honorable Claudine Schneider recalls being noticed by President Reagan for her coalition-building skills.

The Honorable Claudine Schneider, U.S. Representative of Rhode Island
Interview recorded January 20, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Casework

Linda Steele describes how she helped constituents over the phone.

Linda Steele, Deputy Chief of Staff, Representative Bob Michel of Illinois
Interview recorded June 7, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

How to Whip a Bill

Kathy Gille outlines the process of whipping a bill.

Kathy Gille, Executive Floor Assistant, Representative David Bonior of Michigan
Interview recorded February 25, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Running for the Ways and Means Committee

The Honorable Barbara Bailey Kennelly explains the challenges she faced to get a seat on the Ways and Means Committee.

The Honorable Barbara Bailey Kennelly, U.S. Representative of Connecticut
Interview recorded September 9, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Breast Cancer Stamp

The Honorable Susan Molinari describes how the Breast Cancer Stamp bill passed with bipartisan support.

The Honorable Susan Molinari, U.S. Representative of New York
Interview recorded January 8, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Behind Closed Doors

The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman provides insight on the workings of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation into the Watergate scandal.

The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, U.S. Representative of New York
Interview recorded March 10, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

A Woman Representative on the Agriculture Committee

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the obstacles she faced on the Agriculture Committee.

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton, U.S. Representative of North Carolina
Interview recorded May 15, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Overcoming Resistance

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson describes the way she maneuvered for a seat on the Ways and Means Committee.

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson, U.S. Representative of Connecticut
Interview recorded December 3, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Audio

"Not In Tune with the Times"

The Honorable Martha Elizabeth Keys describes the changing atmosphere in the House during the post-Watergate era and its effect on committee chairmen.

The Honorable Martha Elizabeth Keys, U.S. Representative of Kansas
Interview recorded June 14, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

New Perspective in the Whip's Office

The Honorable Sue W. Kelly describes the Republican whip operation under Representative Tom DeLay of Texas while she served in the House.

The Honorable Sue W. Kelly, U.S. Representative of New York
Interview recorded June 23, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)