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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.

                               BILL SUMMARY

      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 
each chamber.
      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 
of Representatives.

                         COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

      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 
Columbia.
    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 
Representative.
    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

Constitutional authority

    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 18.

Committee votes

    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

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               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.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                              (for Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director).
    Enclosure.

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 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

Federal mandates

    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.

Preemption clarification

    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.

Oversight findings

    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.

Congressional ``earmarks''

    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 
the House.