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Campus Notebook: A Heavy Lift

“Technical issues— have delayed the installation of a hydraulic lift in the House chamber, forcing the Architect of the Capitol to continue work in the coming weeks.

[IMGCAP(1)]Once complete, the lift will enable disabled Members to reach the rostrum — most notably, Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) — whose wheelchair has prevented him from presiding over the chamber during his eight years in office. Officials had originally planned for Langevin to ascend the rostrum this month.

AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki said officials won’t know when the lift will be completed until the manufacturer identifies the problem. Work will be done when the House isn’t in session, such as nights and weekends.

But other work on the House chamber was completed in time for Members’ return from August recess, including new microphones (to decrease feedback from BlackBerrys) and cabling for a new camera.

Hatching Anew. The House passed a bill Tuesday that would require Washington, D.C., to operate under a local version of the Hatch Act rather than the federal statute.

Introduced by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the D.C. Hatch Act Reform Act directs city officials to pass a local Hatch Act. Right now, the District is technically supposed to follow the political restrictions outlined in the federal laws. But that setup has caused confusion over the years. For example, the federal law restricts certain officials from holding political and appointed positions simultaneously. But taken literally, that would mean Advisory Neighborhood commissioners, who are nonpartisan and unpaid advocates for D.C. neighborhoods, could not take some government jobs.

Norton’s bill moved easily through the House. The Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed it unanimously in June, and it passed the House by voice vote Tuesday.

Kemp’s Return. The family of the late Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Jack Kemp (N.Y.) has announced its intention to donate the records from Kemp’s 18-year Congressional career — plus odds and ends from his personal and professional life — to the Library of Congress. Kemp died in May at age 73.

The deal is not yet final, but LOC spokesman Matt Raymond said the family seems “genuinely excited about the Library’s becoming home to the Jack Kemp papers.—

Much of the collection focuses on the New York Republican’s work in Congress, with papers on Watergate and President Ronald Reagan’s economic agenda. It also includes records from Kemp’s time as a presidential candidate in 1988, former Sen. Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996 and secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

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