OnPolitics: 100+ days of trauma for Capitol Hill staffers

Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY
·3 min read

It's a new week, OnPolitics friends.

Every U.S. adult is eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine starting today. New Jersey, Massachusetts and Oregon were among a handful of states making the vaccine available to every adult on Monday, the deadline set by President Joe Biden.

Now the White House has turned its attention to persuading Americans to get the jabs.

Plus, Matthew McConaughey has said he would be a fool not to honestly consider running for governor in his home state of Texas. (Yes, you read that right.)

It's Mabinty, bringing you the day's top news.

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SCOTUS' nine justices will stay that way — for now

In last week's newsletter, I wrote about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi throwing cold water on legislation to expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13.

USA TODAY Supreme Court reporter John Fritze has the details on why Biden's commission to study the high court is already facing resistance before it convenes its first meeting. On the right, it's been seen as an effort to "pack the court" with additional justices. And on the left, the 36-member group has drawn fire for its composition of academics, its limited mandate and the six-month timeline to finish its work.

Though expanding the court is controversial, there has been bipartisan support for other changes to the federal judiciary. Some of those ideas have been deeply intertwined with constitutional debates since the nation's founding.

Reminder: Expanding the court hasn't been attempted since President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and polls show it's extremely divisive. Biden has signaled he's not prepared to spend political capital on the idea.

More news about the Supreme Court:

When trauma doesn't go away

Exhaustion. Anxiety. Fear. Those feelings, paired with declining morale, have haunted congressional staffers in the just more than 100 days since a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. They were revived just weeks ago, when a car rammed into a security border outside the building.

USA TODAY interviewed Republican and Democratic staffers from Capitol Hill in the days following the April 2 attack that left both Capitol Police Officer William Evans and the suspect dead, and another officer injured. Most interviewed asked to not be named so they could share their thoughts candidly.

Largely, opinions on morale differed based on political party: Democratic staffers said the mood among Hill staffers started deteriorating at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the low morale has been enhanced by the attacks. Republicans largely disagreed the attacks would be the root of a current problem.

Stories you may have missed but need to know:

Take it easy this week. We could all use a little more kindness. —Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme Court commission faces resistance, trauma on Capitol Hill