WASHINGTON -- Six months after the 114th Congress first convened, Arkansas' two U.S. senators have moved into new offices.
On Thursday, Sen. Tom Cotton's staff members were unpacking boxes and arranging furniture in the office that last belonged to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Capitol employees were drilling holes to hang photos, and a 4-foot tall copy of the Arkansas State Seal leaned against a wall in the lobby.
Senate office space is determined on the basis of seniority, and Cotton spent the past five months in a temporary office off a brick-walled basement hallway in the Russell Senate Office Building waiting for his turn to move in.
His spokesman, Caroline Rabbitt, said the Dardanelle Republican likes the historic office building, and the quick walk to the Capitol for votes. His new office, 124 Russell Senate Office Building, is just one floor up and near other new members.
"Pickings were kind of slim by the time you got to the 94th person, so it's not exactly like we had a huge number of options," she said. "But he liked it."
Cotton picked out the paint (yellow with a subtle, light-colored stripe) and the light fixtures -- with assistance from his wife Anna -- Rabbitt said. His personal office has a marble fireplace and two overstuffed leather armchairs. Furniture belongs to a Senate office, so when a challenger beats an incumbent he gets his job and his furniture. Cotton inherited a lot of furniture from his predecessor, Mark Pryor, some of which will be reupholstered, Rabbitt said.
In early May, Sen. John Boozman moved to 141 Hart Senate Office Building, on the first floor and behind a bank of elevators.
The Hart building, which opened in 1982, is the largest and newest Senate building and features a 40-ton sculpture in the atrium designed by Alexander Calder.
This is the first time the Rogers Republican has moved offices since being sworn in as a freshman, moving two floors down in the same building. The senator was persuaded to move by the new office's large and multiple conference rooms, his spokesman Patrick Creamer said.
Having so many meeting spaces means Boozman can "pop" from meeting to meeting and see more constituents, Creamer said.
Staff offices have sliding glass doors and Boozman's personal office has floor-to-ceiling windows framed by sheer curtains and a yellow accent wall behind his desk.
Creamer said the new office makes better use of space on its second story, and legislative assistants will work from there. It was hard to fit people on the second story of the old office, so interns used the space, he said.
Both spokesmen said once the senators picked the locations, and made decisions about wall colors and light fixtures, the moving of boxes and furniture was handled within 24 hours by the Senate sergeant-at-arms staff.
"You can tell they've done this a few times," Creamer said.
The family of former east Arkansas U.S. Rep. Marion Berry announced Tuesday that it had awarded the Marion and Carolyn Berry Endowed Scholarship for Public Service to Vontia Mitchell of North Little Rock. Mitchell is the first recipient of the scholarship, which was established in 2014 to help a qualifying Arkansas State University student pursue an education and career in public service.
Mitchell earned her bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in Spanish from ASU in May 2014 and plans to receive her master's degree in public administration next May.
SUNDAY MORNING SHOW
Cotton is to appear today on CNN's State of the Union with Dana Bash. The show airs at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
On Tuesday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee met with South Carolina's state House GOP caucus in Columbia. On Saturday, he was scheduled to attend a "Roast and Ride" hosted by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst in Boone, Iowa. Cotton also was scheduled to attend.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended fundraisers Wednesday in Albuquerque, N.M., and San Antonio. Clinton received the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award on Thursday at Texas Southern University and gave a speech about voting rights. On Friday she attended a fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn.
USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley of England testified Tuesday before the House Agriculture Committee's General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee, about the financial health of farm country. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford is the committee chairman.
Cotton met Tuesday with Christa Neal of Arkadelphia and Jennifer Long of Little Rock with the Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas, and Wednesday with Al Johnson of Marion from the Arkansas Recreation Vehicle Association. On Friday, Cotton spoke about foreign policy at an event held by Financial Times and the Johns Hopkins Center on Politics and Foreign Relations.
Wednesday, Boozman met with Vincent Leist, CEO of North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, and Thursday with Jim Seratt of Springdale and Daniel Robbins of Russellville with the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad.
On Saturday, Boozman was scheduled to join Gov. Asa Hutchinson at an economic announcement at Ozark Mountain Poultry in Batesville. He also planned to speak at the Craighead County Lincoln Day Dinner.
The Arkansas Catfish Farmers' Bari Cain from McCrory, Joey Lowery from Searcy, and Wayne Branton from Wilmot visited with several members of the delegation last week.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, a Republican from Hot Springs, sat down Tuesday with Hot Springs National Park Superintendent Josie Fernandez who was in Washington while on duty with the Air Force Reserve. She is a colonel assigned to the office of public affairs for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Westerman also met with Philander Smith College President Roderick Smothers. Westerman is vice chairman of the Congressional Historically Black Colleges Caucus and represents the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
He met Thursday with Russ Melton of Little Rock from the Arkansas Brewers Guild, and Park Tipton of Monticello and Wesley Northey of Rogers from the American Physical Therapy Association.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Rogers, gave the keynote speech at the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce First Friday breakfast. Saturday afternoon, Womack was scheduled to host a reception for the 14 students from the 3rd District he nominated to a military service academy.
Crawford, a Republican from Jonesboro, met Tuesday with Rob Merrifield, the province of Alberta's U.S. representative, and escorted Bryson Randall of Austin on a White House tour Wednesday.
Crawford announced his summer interns Friday. They are Mitchell Edwards of Jonesboro, who's studying biology at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Grace Lee of Gosnell, who's studying politics at Hendrix College in Conway; James Joseph Campbell of Jonesboro, who's taking international studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, and Charles Stroud III of Mountain View, who's studying history and political science at Harding University in Searcy.
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Metro on 06/07/2015
Print Headline: Boozman, Cotton move bag, baggage to new digs