Government Bytes


Profiles in Liberty: Catherine Fitzhugh

by Dan Barrett / /

NTUF research interns often have the opportunity to do work other than BillTally. More than half of our interns have written for the Government Bytes blog, and two compiled the state analyses for the BillTally report, which was released last week. These are only some examples of the work that we encourage our interns to do as part of our holistic internship program.  It’s our goal to give interns every opportunity to develop their skills to spread economic liberty.

NTUF Research Intern Catherine Fitzhugh

Catherine Fitzhugh, a research intern, comes to NTUF from Grove City College, where she is the Secretary of her sorority, Sigma Delta Phi. She is a Student Research Fellow at The Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, where she has assisted two professors with five research projects throughout the school year. These projects included a testimony presented to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and several book projects. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

CF: I have many friends from school who are interning in the Washington, D.C. area this summer, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with them. I’ve also enjoyed sightseeing, particularly on the National Mall, and going to the Smithsonian Museums.

How did you become interested in politics?

CF: I sort of fell into politics. For years, I would listen to my father and brother criticize politics and big government, but I didn’t want to let my family’s ideology be my sole influence, so I set out to discover what I personally believe, and became very interested in policy along the way. Though I chose to major in political science on a whim, I have found that I love studying state and local level politics.

What are your career aspirations?

CF: I’d like to work in a state capital, eventually, because I feel the smaller environment would better suit me. It’s generally noted that more things get done in the states, so I’d have more of an opportunity to influence policy by working at the state level. NTUF has given me the leg-up on policy research that I need to accurately determine how legislation would affect spending and taxpayers.

What projects have you been working on at NTUF?

CF: I’ve been working on BillTally research mostly, and I’ve been writing the Profiles in Liberty series as well. I’ve enjoyed writing about the other interns, as each person is so unique, and it really comes out in their answers to questions.

What have you learned at NTUF that has most interested you?

CF: I’ve been amazed by the number of bills that are introduced in Congress compared to the number that are voted on. Before coming here, I didn’t know how many bills Representatives introduce. I researched three bills in a row, once, that were introduced by the same Congressman. Despite the number of bills introduced, it seems like a relatively small amount go to the floor for votes, and it’s been interesting to see which bills get stuck in committees versus which bills are signed into law.

What is the most interesting bill you have researched this summer?

CF: I researched the authorization act for the U.S. Coast Guard for 2015 and 2016. At first, I was amazed by the amount of money which the Coast Guard needs to operate, but, after some further research, I realized that, as it was originally written, this bill was giving the Coast Guard fewer tax dollars than last year. This bill was also interesting because of the different categories into which the money was portioned. The funds were given to the Coast Guard pre-divided into pools for research and development, maintenance, and for the alteration or removal of bridges over navigable waters which obstruct the flow of boats, to name only a few of the categories.

Why did you choose to work at NTUF?

CF: Several friends who have interned at NTU and NTUF highly recommended NTUF to me. Aside from their recommendations, I wanted experience with reading policy and knowing how legislation works in real life versus in a textbook. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’ve learned a lot through it!

The last of our Profiles in Liberty series for this summer will be highlighting Michael Liguori, an NTU Government Affairs Intern. Be sure to check out our most recent interview with Melodie Bowler.

How can you help? Join with thousands of Americans committed to fiscal transparency by making a tax-deductible contribution. The more you give to NTUF, the less you hand over to Uncle Sam.

Thanks to Catherine Fitzhugh for developing the Profiles in Liberty series and interviewing our interns.