Internship: The Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
The month of February saw a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill. The name of the game was healthcare, and the committee I am interning for was tasked with passing the most substantial portion of healthcare reform, the American Healthcare Act.
This month, I saw everyone from reporters to Senators swarming my office looking for a phony secret room that the draft bill was being held in (this room is apparently so secret that the committee staff cannot find it either).
After several healthcare-related hearings and plenty of speculation about what was in the bill, the time came to amend the bill in a full committee mark-up session. The minority did exactly what a minority is supposed to do, obstruct. The members debated procedure and changing the name of the bill for about twelve hours before moving on to the substance of the bill for the next sixteen hours.
The marathon of a mark-up session ended in grand fashion with the Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan both in attendance. It was an amazing experience to watch a bill work its way through committee. I saw the American Healthcare Act go from being an idea to the floor of the House of Representatives.