When the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act cleared Congress in March, Republican House staffer James Hall breathed a sigh of relief.
As legislative director for JOBS Act author Representative Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Hall played a key role in working out a bipartisan version of the job creation legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law on April 5. The measure is “vital to getting…emerging growth companies the break they need to grow,” Fincher said in a news release in March.
“That was a really big achievement for [Fincher] and all of us,” Hall said of the bill, adding that it was “a really positive piece of legislation.”
Fincher said in a written statement that he “couldn’t be more pleased” with Hall’s work for him since the staffer joined his office last year. “When I came to Congress, I hired Jim as I knew his legal background would be a strong asset to get things done on Capitol Hill,” he said. “His legal experience has been very helpful in assisting me in the passage of my legislative priorities.”
A 1998 graduate of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Hall has helped mold a variety of bills since he came to Capitol Hill the following year, including measures on economic development, transportation and American Indian affairs.
Hall spent his first year in Washington as an aide to then-Representative George Gekas (R-Pa.), whose district included Bucknell University, where the staffer earned his undergraduate degree. Hall, a California native, then moved in 2000 to the office of Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), whose district includes American Indian tribes. Hall took on Native American issues, developing expertise in matters affecting tribal communities. That know-how led him to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2002 as Republican counsel.
He worked two stints with the committee, from 2002 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2011. In between, he assisted the Republicans on the House Resources Committee (now called the House Natural Resources Committee) with Native American matters.
David Mullon Jr., the Republican chief of staff on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said Hall was a “very hard worker” during his time at the committee. “He’s a dedicated Hill staffer.”
Despite working at a place where turnover is high, Hall, 39, said he doesn’t have any plans to leave the Hill. For now, Hall said, his life as a congressional staffer isn’t getting old. “It’s just a great education,” he said. “You never stop learning stuff.” — Andrew Ramonas