March 10th, 2017
U.S. Representative Long’s “Short Report” 3/10/17
I am often asked by constituents what role staff plays in my office. Below is a list of each position in my D.C. office and what the role involves.
Chief of Staff: Joe Lillis
The primary role of a Chief of Staff is to make sure that the office is running smoothly while also having an active role in policy objectives and strategies to execute those policy objectives. Along with those responsibilities, a Chief of Staff manages both the D.C. and district office staffs, oversees the office budget and works with me on long-term legislative plans.
Joe Lillis has been my Chief of Staff since I first became a Representative. Previously he worked in Representative Lynn Westmoreland’s office as his Legislative Director.
Legislative Director: Pete Stehouwer
A Legislative Director’s job is to oversee the legislative staff, which includes Legislative Assistants and Legislative Correspondents. While also overseeing the legislative staff, a Legislative Director serves as my lead policy advisor by helping formulate positions on a variety of legislative issues.
Pete Stehouwer began his time in my office as a Senior Legislative Assistant. Shortly after, he was promoted to Legislative Director. Pete serves as my staffer for my role on the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health. He also is responsible for tax, trade, appropriations, commerce, and budget issues.
Press Secretary: Hannah Smith
The role of a Press Secretary is to manage press-related activities while also acting as my spokesperson. In addition to these duties, a press secretary is responsible for monitoring social media and drafting press releases and media advisories.
Hannah Smith, from Webb City, Mo., graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she majored in journalism. Hannah was the Staff Assistant in my office before becoming Press Secretary.
Scheduler: Drew McDowell
The primary role of a Scheduler is to manage and maintain my DC office schedule, which includes booking flights to and from Springfield, votes, hearings and meetings. Along with those responsibilities, the Scheduler acts as a liaison for me. He is responsible for making sure the rest of the staff is aware of what my schedule involves.
Drew McDowell joined the office as my Scheduler. He previously worked for Representative Renee Ellmers as her Scheduler and Executive Assistant.
Legislative Assistant: Ben Elleson and Tanner Warbinton
A Legislative Assistant’s role is to advise me on a variety of policy related issues. This includes drafting policy memos, meeting with constituents and different stakeholders, writing legislation, as well as staffing me for my role on the Energy & Commerce Committee.
Ben Elleson, a graduate of Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., started in my office as a Staff Assistant, then moved to scheduler, and shortly after was promoted to Legislative Assistant. Ben serves as my staffer for the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. He also is responsible for education, labor, immigration, judiciary, and transportation issues.
Tanner Warbinton, another Webb City, Mo. native, graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University and later got his master’s degree from Missouri State University. He also began his career in my office as a Staff Assistant and was later promoted to a Legislative Assistant. Tanner serves as my staffer for the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, and he is also responsible for international relations, armed services, veterans, homeland security, financial services, interior and agriculture issues.
Legislative Correspondent: Ross Olchyk
The role of a Legislative Correspondent is to respond to all constituent mail, phone calls and emails. Before responding to inquiries, a Legislative Correspondent must first consult the legislative staff and me.
Ross Olchyk joined my staff in May of 2016 as a Legislative Correspondent. In January Ross became responsible for certain issues, which include science, space, technology, pro-life issues, Social Security and postal issues.
Staff Assistant: Ashley Bailey
A Staff Assistant is the face of the office. They greet visitors, answer phone calls, respond to some constituent requests depending on the issue, provide tours of the U.S. Capitol and assist constituents with other tours Including the White House during their visits to Washington.
Ashley Bailey recently joined our office as a Staff Assistant. Ashley is from Mt. Vernon, Mo., and is a Missouri State University graduate. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., Ashley worked in my district office as an intern in Springfield, Mo.
For more information on my activities in our district and in Washington I encourage you to follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rep.Billy.Long and my Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USRepLong. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter, "Long's Short Report," by visiting https://longforms.house.gov/newsletter-and-email-updates-form.