As part of the biennial Senate office lottery, junior members are obligated to show their office suites to more senior members, who then have 24 hours to decide whether to claim that space as their own. Heller’s office suite — which he inherited after the scandal-fueled resignation of Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. — may be particularly attractive to other senators because its floor plan includes a larger-than-average member office.
Though special courtesies are usually extended to aides and members visiting offices, Heller staffers repeatedly tried to keep them from seeing the spacious member office, sources reported, saying meetings were ongoing and could not be interrupted.
Several Senate offices lodged complaints with the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, according to several sources familiar with the attempted visits to Heller’s office.
“This is beyond silly. We’re disappointed that this has become fodder for pettiness among staff members,” Heller spokeswoman Chandler Smith said. “Our office has worked hard to balance the busy and demanding work of running a Senate office, hosting meetings and greeting constituents while accommodating members and numerous staffers from nearly 20 offices who want to see the space.”