Congressional correspondents have elected two new members of the Standing Committee of Correspondents. The members have also elected new officers, leading to a new chair for the second session of the 115th Congress. For the first time in the Committee’s history, the board is all-female.
The first newly-elected member is Emma Dumain of McClatchy who covers the South Carolina delegation in Congress. The second is Kellie Mejdrich, a budget and appropriations reporter for CQ Roll Call.
The new chair is Deirdre Shesgreen of Gannett. She takes over for Billy House of Bloomberg News. During his tenure, House saw encroaching restrictions on press access and escalating tensions with Capitol Police. House said one of the top issues he is passing onto his successor is “Efforts to slow down the ongoing security-excuse ‘creep’ by Capitol Police to undermine credentialed press access and movements within the building, in various new ways, for often ludicrous reasons.”
When TKNN asked Shesgreen about her top priorities for the year, she declined to comment. However, she did tweet, “Press access will be a major focus of my tenure.”
In even-numbered years, correspondents elect two new members. Three members are elected in odd-numbered years. The new committee then elects the officers — president and secretary — for that year.