Jennifer Safavian, Majority Staff Director and General Counsel

Jennifer Safavian, Majority Staff Director; General Counsel
National Journal
Stacy Kaper
See more stories about...
Stacy Kaper
Oct. 23, 2013, 2 p.m.

As staff dir­ect­or, Safavi­an co­ordin­ates schedul­ing for hear­ings and markups, handles all per­son­nel mat­ters and com­mit­tee budget­ing, and above all en­sures that the agenda of Ways and Means Chair­man Dave Camp, R-Mich., is on track.

Safavi­an’s oth­er job as gen­er­al coun­sel is just as in­volved. She combs through all of the le­gis­la­tion sent over from the Sen­ate to en­sure that any rev­en­ue pro­vi­sion ori­gin­ates in the House, as re­quired un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion. This is no small mat­ter, be­cause any bill that raises fees or im­poses fines — like im­mig­ra­tion re­form — could be con­sidered a rev­en­ue bill.

Some­times the Sen­ate does not even send bills with rev­en­ue im­pacts over to the House and oth­er times bills go to the House without be­ing re­ferred to the com­mit­tee. Al­though Safavi­an could make a stink far more of­ten, the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee rather spar­ingly uses its “blue slip” power to send bills back to the Sen­ate — per­haps once every few years for a sig­ni­fic­ant mat­ter.

Safavi­an also nav­ig­ates all of the pan­el’s par­lia­ment­ari­an is­sues in com­mit­tee and on the floor, and gets in­volved when an­oth­er com­mit­tee’s jur­is­dic­tion over­laps with Ways and Means, such as En­ergy and Com­merce on health care mat­ters or For­eign Af­fairs on trade.

Safavi­an, 43, is from St. Louis and star­ted work­ing on Cap­it­ol Hill in 1997. She joined the Ways and Means staff in 2011 as staff dir­ect­or for the Over­sight Sub­com­mit­tee and moved up to staff dir­ect­or for the full com­mit­tee last year when Jon Traub left Cap­it­ol Hill for the private sec­tor. Safavi­an’s back­ground on what is now the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee has made her a valu­able as­set in the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee’s in­vest­ig­a­tion of the In­tern­al Rev­en­ue Ser­vice.

What We're Following See More »
70,000 Have Missed American Airlines Flights This Year
8 minutes ago

"Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday. A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours."

Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
1 hours ago

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

What Did Sen. Cotton Say About Harry Reid?
2 hours ago

That the minority leader curses the Senate with his "cancerous leadership." After Reid tried to halt a defense bill, Cotton took to the floor and blasted Reid, adding, "As a junior senator, I preside over the Senate. I usually do in the morning, which means I'm forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the Minority Leader. Normally, like other Americans, I ignore them."

Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 hours ago
California: It’s Not Over Yet
3 hours ago

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.