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111th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 111-65
DANIEL WEBSTER CONGRESSIONAL CLERKSHIP ACT OF 2009
March 30, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on House Administration,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 151]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on House Administration, to whom was
referred the bill (H.R. 151) to establish the Daniel Webster
Congressional Clerkship Program, having considered the same,
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that
the bill do pass.
PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION
H.R. 151 would create the Daniel Webster Congressional
Clerkship Program, which would bring the most talented law
school graduates from accredited law schools to Washington,
D.C. to serve in the legislative branch. These law school
graduates would be offered an opportunity to be employed as
Congressional Clerks in the Senate or House of Representatives.
This program is intended to facilitate the work of the
Congress, to encourage talented new attorneys to immerse
themselves in public service, and to expose them to policy
formulation and the legislative process.
H.R. 151 would bring to Washington, D.C. the most
talented law school graduates of accredited law schools in the
country to serve in the legislative branch of government.
H.R. 151 would establish ``Selection Committees,''
comprised of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
and the Committee on House Administration. The Selection
Committees of each House would select no fewer than six law
school graduates to serve as Congressional Clerks for a 1-year
period in their respective chambers. The Selection Committees
would also ensure that these Congressional Clerks are
apportioned equally between majority and minority offices of
The Congressional Clerks would receive compensation and
benefits comparable to judicial clerks for the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia. The program would
be funded through the applicable accounts of the House of
Representatives and the contingent fund of the Senate.
Congressional Clerks would be subject to all laws, rules, and
regulations governing other employees of the Senate and House
On March 25, 2009, the Committee considered H.R. 151 and,
by voice vote, ordered the bill reported favorably without
amendment. No recorded votes were taken during the
consideration of the bill.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR H.R. 151
Judicial clerkship programs have long provided the
judiciary with access to a pool of exceptional young lawyers at
a relatively low cost, while providing these clerks with
invaluable insight into the functioning of the court system.
Congressional Clerkships would expose young lawyers to the
functions and operations of the Federal legislature.
The White House, many administrative agencies of the
Executive Branch, the Administrative Office of the United
States Courts, the Federal Judicial Center and the United
States Sentencing Commission, all operate parallel clerkship or
fellowship programs. The Congress is without a similar program.
ANALYSIS OF THE BILL
Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2009--
Establishes the Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Program
for the appointment of individuals who are graduates of
accredited law schools to serve as Congressional Clerks in the
Senate or House of Representatives.
Section 1. Section 1 states the short title of the Act, the
``Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2009.''
Section 2. Section 2 provides the findings as they pertain
to other judicial clerkship programs.
Upon graduating from law school, many of the most talented
law school graduates begin their legal careers as judicial law
clerks. These same lawyers go on to become leaders in their
respective professions or specialties, where they serve a
critical role in helping to educate the public about the
judiciary and the judicial process.
At a time when our Nation faces considerable challenges,
the Congress and the public would benefit immeasurably from a
program modeled after the judicial clerkship program.
Section 3. Section 3(a) requires the Senate Committee on
Rules and Administration and the House Committee on House
Administration to serve as the ``Selection Committees''.
Section 3(b) establishes the program.
Section 3(c) requires each chamber's Selection Committees
to select at least six individuals to serve as employees in
their respective chambers for a one-year term.
Section 3(d) specifies the eligibility criteria for a
Congressional Clerk, including a requirement that the candidate
be a graduate of an accredited law school as of the starting
date of the clerkship.
Section 3(e) specifies the process for selection.
Section 3(f) requires the Selection Committees to ensure
that Congressional Clerks are apportioned equally between
majority and minority.
Section 3(g) establishes compensation parity with judicial
clerkships for the U.S. District Court for the District of
Section 3(h) requires Congressional Clerks to conform to
laws, regulations, and rules in the same manner and to the same
extent as other employees of the Senate or House of
Section 4. Section 4 specifies use of the applicable
accounts of the House of Representatives and the use of the
contingent fund of the Senate to support the program in fiscal
year 2010 and each succeeding fiscal year.
MATTERS REQUIRED UNDER RULES OF THE HOUSE
Clause 3(d)(1) of House rule XIII requires each committee
report on a public bill or joint resolution to include a
statement citing the specific constitutional power(s) granted
to the Congress on which the Committee relies for enactment of
the measure under consideration. The Committee cites the
legislative power granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8,
Clause 3(b) of House rule XIII requires the results of each
recorded vote on an amendment or motion to report, together
with the names of those voting for and against, to be printed
in the committee report. No recorded votes were taken during
the Committee's consideration of H.R. 151.
Congressional Budget Office estimate
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, March 27, 2009.
Hon. Robert A. Brady,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 151, the Daniel
Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2009.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
Robert A. Sunshine
(for Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director).
H.R. 151--Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2009
H.R. 151 would direct the House of Representatives and the
Senate to hire a total of 12 law-school graduates as clerks for
one-year terms. The clerks would be compensated at the same
rate as clerks employed by the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia. For this purpose, the bill would
authorize the appropriation of whatever amounts are necessary
for fiscal year 2010 and each year thereafter.
Assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO
estimates that carrying out H.R. 151 would cost about $1
million a year beginning in 2010. This estimate is based on the
assumption that most of the first group of clerks would be
hired near the beginning of that year. Based on information
provided by the U.S. courts, we expect that each clerk would
receive a salary of about $60,000 plus benefits. Enacting the
bill would have no effect on revenues or direct spending.
H.R. 151 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any
public bill or joint resolution that includes a federal mandate
to include specific information about such mandates. The
Committee states that H.R. 151 includes no federal mandates.
Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any
public bill or joint resolution to include a committee
statement on the extent to which the measure is intended to
preempt state or local law. The Committee states that H.R. 151
is not intended to preempt any state or local law.
Clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII requires each committee report
to contain oversight findings and recommendations required
pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of House rule X. The Committee has
general oversight responsibility for administrative matters of
the House of Representatives. The Committee states that the
findings are contained in the body of the report.
Statement of general performance goals and objectives
Clause 3(c)(4) of House rule XIII requires committee
reports to include a statement of general performance goals and
objectives. The Committee states that the subject is contained
in the body of this report.
Clause 9 of House rule XXI requires committee reports on
public bills and resolutions to contain an identification of
congressional ``earmarks,'' limited tax benefits, limited
tariff benefits, and the names of requesting Members. The bill
contains no such items either as introduced or as reported to