Of the Senate’s 336 top staff jobs – the kind that carry six-figure salaries and behind-the-scenes clout – just 24 were held by people of color during the last Congress.
U.S. lawmakers are not subject to some of the government’s most historic, most celebrated anti-discrimination and labor laws. And there’s little momentum on Capitol Hill behind efforts to get Congress in line with the sort of equal access that private employers have had to practice for decades.
The best Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., an outspoken critic of Congress’ practices, could do this summer was to get a House subcommittee to go along with a study of diversity in House offices and how to achieve more of it. And that still needs congressional approval, which is unlikely until at least the fall.
“Too bad that we who make the laws don’t have to comply with those laws,” Lee said.
The Senate figures come from a study conducted by the nonpartisan Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies of black, Hispanic, Native Americans, Asian-American and other non-white staffing on the Hill. No authoritative studies of House hiring exist. (Charlotte Observer)