On my final day on Capitol Hill, I want to write a brief reflection on my time here this summer. Since I have worked on the Hill before, I knew the ropes for the most part. The biggest difference was that I switched chambers, now working in the Senate rather than the House of Representatives. In the House I worked for Congressman Leonard Lance, who represents my district in New Jersey.
This summer I worked in a committee, which is a very different environment than a personal office for an elected member. In a member office, the phones ring off the hook, interns are constantly sorting through mail, both physical mail as well as a deluge of emails. I have found that in a committee office, it is a much more relaxed environment. Days in which our committee is holding a hearing are hectic, and there is always work to be done. Not only during the preparation for the hearing, compiling comprehensive binders for the Senators in our committee, but also during the hearing, when we have to make sure everything runs smoothly. The hearings are, after all, broadcast live.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Senate, learning the legislative procedure and how it differs from the House. After working in both chambers, I can say definitively that I would prefer to work in the Senate if I find myself back on the Hill someday. One of the biggest reasons is the nature of debate. The members of the House are elected every two years, designed so that members are representative of the passions of the people. In the Senate, on the other hand, they are elected every six years. The purpose being that Senators are supposed to be more deliberative in their debate, and are able to focus on the big picture, long term trajectory of the country. Each Senator also has more individual power, to continue debate on important issues, and to deny unanimous consent. The Senate also has the unique constitutional authority to confirm presidential appointees, and to negotiate trade with other nations. Since there are fewer members in the Senate, 100 as opposed to 435 in the House, there is generally more prestige.
This internship has offered me valuable insight into the legislative affairs of the federal government, at a rather tumultuous time when the President and the Senate have had a rocky relationship, and big issues have been debated such as healthcare. I could not have asked for a more rewarding professional experience, and I have to thank Dickinson for the support they gave me throughout this whole process. I look forward to what is in store for me down the road.