As Brown, 35, puts it, she does a "whole lot of everything" in her job. She works on all the legislation that goes to the House floor, staffs bill markups, and coordinates activities with leadership and members' offices. Hailing from Huntington Woods, Mich., Brown has climbed a number of rungs as a Democratic staffer, dating from her arrival in 2001 as a nonlawyer after a stint in the office of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Among other duties, she has handled press for the Democratic side. Eventually, Brown took two years off to finish law school and came back as a counsel and then as the committee's deputy parliamentarian, when Democrats were in the majority. No matter how harried she might get, Brown often takes comfort from a faithful friend back in her office — her greyhound, Lucy. "She's been coming here for about nine years," Brown says. "Good for morale."