Nation: An Army of Experts Storms Capitol Hill

They have been dubbed "the invisible Government" or "the hidden power elite" or "the shadow lawmakers."

Yet, although they are nameless and faceless figures to the public, the more than 13,000 people who staff the committees and offices of members of Congress are neither malign nor inconspicuous. Many of them can be seen standing behind the rail at the rear of the House, and slipping in formation to Senators on the floor of the other chamber.

They often seem to dominate congressional hearings as they lean forward to supply legislators with shrewd questions that befuddle...

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