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Hill Climbers: Eyes on Finance

With the focus of the country seemingly on one thing, many people are learning a bit more about subprime mortgages, credit and the national debt than they probably would have liked. But Travis Windle willingly stepped into the economic fray.

[IMGCAP(1)]Windle recently became the Republican press secretary for the House Financial Services Committee. He had been press secretary for the House Republican Conference, but when former

Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) announced he would not seek the position again, Windle realized it was time to start looking for a new job.

When he got the opportunity to work for the Financial Services Committee, he knew it would be a demanding position. But he was ready.

“It seemed like a great challenge, given the financial climate,— Windle said.

He got that right. As press secretary, Windle has the none-too-easy job of “making complex issues understandable to reporters, to staff and to myself.—

“Wrapping your mind around these things and making them understandable is a challenge,— he said.

Windle was quick to add that he has found “great resources— in professional staff members who can break down some of the issues that the committee deals with. That’s a good thing because it doesn’t look like he will be slowing down anytime soon.

[IMGCAP(2)]“It’s been nonstop, on the go. It’s been a great challenge, and I’m learning a lot,— he said of his first two months on the job.

Windle originally hails from Beaver, Pa., a small town outside of Pittsburgh. The dedicated Steelers fan got his first taste of Capitol Hill when he interned for Republican Melissa Hart, his former hometown Representative. That was after his sophomore year at Johns Hopkins University, and he came back the next year to work with the House Rules Committee.

By the time he graduated in 2005, Windle was already hooked and knew he would be coming back to D.C.

“College ended and most of my buddies headed to Wall Street. I packed up my car and came to D.C.,— he said.

Windle landed back in Hart’s office, this time as an aide. In 2007, he moved on to then-Rep. John Peterson’s (R-Pa.) office to work as communications director. He stayed there about a year and then left to work with Putnam at the House Republican Conference.

If you ask Windle whether he has plans to return to the Keystone State, he says his answer “depends on what day of the week it is.— But when he talks about the things that he enjoys about working in Washington, it’s easy to get the impression that he’ll be here for awhile.

“I would never want to work in an office where everyone stares at the clock all day,— he said. “I like the pace, the tempo, the atmosphere— of the Hill.

He also sees a noble element to working in government and policy.

“I like getting to lend a hand in some small way to solving the problems Americans face every day,— he said. “I think it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose focus that that’s why we’re here.—

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