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The Government Printing Office has appointed Robert Tapella deputy chief of staff. He reports to Chief of Staff Frank Partlow Jr. and assumes primary responsibility for strategic planning.

Tapella, who hails from the Golden State, arrives at GPO with several years of Hill experience under his belt.

The former professional staffer on the House Oversight Committee also served as chief of staff to then-Rep. Bill Redmond (R-N.M.) and as special assistant to the Clerk of the House, where he focused on information technology issues.

Earlier, Tapella worked in the district office of Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), now chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

A member of California Polytechnic State University’s class of 1991, Tapella holds a bachelor’s in graphic communications and printing management.

Let’s Get Physical. Reps. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) are on a mission to shape up Congress — literally.

“Are you one of the few who regularly visit the House gym? How recently have you taken the stairs to your office rather than the elevator? Far too many of us are guilty as charged,” the pair wrote in a recent “Dear Colleague” letter.

“Like most Americans, we are faced with crowded schedules that can leave little or no time for being active,” continues the letter, which announces the formation of a new Congressional Fitness Caucus.

Wamp and Udall co-chair the group. Their mission, they say, is “simple.”

The informal, bipartisan group will increase awareness and promote the benefits of physical activity and highlight programs that have led people to a healthy, active lifestyle.

What’s Up, Doc? Speaking of health, the cost of utilizing the Office of the Attending Physician is going up this year.

House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) notified Members and staff that the annual fee will be $418.18 for 2003.

That’s an almost $100 increase since 2001, when the fee was $323.99, but it still amounts to a good deal.

The services provided by the House physician include physical therapy, accident care, routine checkups, specialty care and prescriptions.

Meet and Greet. Congressional spouses might want to show up a little early for Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Ney is hosting a special “meet and greet” reception for husbands and wives in his committee’s hearing room, Room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building.

The event, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., will feature cocktails, refreshments and hors d’oeurves.

— Bree Hocking and Amy Keller

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