WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Appalachian State University student is coming to the end of a nine-week internship program with the Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FLa).
Walt Grayson, 21, is a political science senior from Charlotte and started his internship with Nelson on June 2. Grayson served as deputy director of canvassing for the Watauga County Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign cycle. Grayson said he became interested in the inter-workings of the legislative process after interning last summer with the Domnick Cunningham and Whalen law firm in Florida.
Throughout his internship, Grayson’s responsibilities have included attending Nelson’s committees and floor speeches — Finance, Commerce, Aging and Armed Services — conducting legislative research on nominations and bills, shadowing Defense and Foreign Policy aides and Commerce, Finance, and Banking aides and handling constituent correspondence.
“One of my more memorable experiences while on Capitol Hill was participating in an activity with the office’s interns to name a piece of legislation being proposed,” Grayson said. “Each intern proposed names and ideas, and a final name was democratically selected. The title I created — “The Student Loan Relief Act” — was chosen and Senate Bill 1521 was introduced on July 10.”
Grayson said he was present during some historical events such as the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian involvement in the 2016 election, where Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey testified, passage of the Russia and Iran sanctions bill and the various efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“While working in the Senate I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of work being done and the level of productivity in Congress,” Grayson said. “I was also pleasantly surprised with the level of bipartisanship and camaraderie amongst senators and on committees.”