Kelly Dixon Chambers brings 25 years of Capitol Hill experience to heading up the staff at the House Rules Committee, from walking into Rep. Kevin Calvert’s (R-Calif.) office to ask for a job up through working floor operations and then legislative operations for Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) when he was the Republican whip and majority leader.
Her strengths lie in a combination of expertise in floor procedure and policy — being able to not only understand the technical procedures required to achieve certain legislative outcomes, but also being able to marry that to the policy and political priorities when speaking with members.
As staff director for the House Rules Committee under Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) — the last stop for legislation before the House floor — Dixon Chambers brings deep institutional knowledge about how the House has operated.
“It’s an ever-evolving place,” she said of Capitol Hill.
She noted, for example, House Rules Committee hearings that can stretch into the wee hours of the morning used to be much worse, with meetings in previous years starting just before midnight.
Through it all, it is the wonder of the Capitol — and being part of it — that has kept Dixon Chambers on the Hill for more than two decades. She recalled a tough day on the House floor in 2011 after the rise of the Tea Party, when a member asked her: “How do you do this?”
“I remember sort of looking around the chamber and being like, ‘The worst day I ever had is still here,’” she said.
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