Page images
PDF
EPUB

bills. So it is hard to tell how much time is spent on any particular one.

Mr. ANDREWS. You have a total of 18 employees requested for 1968, which is the same number you had in 1967.

Mr. CRAFT. We have carried that figure forward. That is what we have now, except we have a vacancy on the clerical staff as of today.

Mr. ANDREWS. How many people do you have on the payroll now? Mr. CRAFT. We have 17 plus the vacancy and then we have one temporary employee at the present time at an annual rate of $3,149.

Mr. ANDREWS. You plan to have 18 on your payroll during fiscal 1968?

Mr. CRAFT. We hope to add an attorney. We have already selected another attorney. That would make 13 attorneys and six clerks, which has been our regular number. I think we will need to have clerical help too.

Mr. ANDREWS. How many ?
Mr. CRAFT. One additional full time, I would think.
Mr. ANDREWS. That will give you a total of 20 ?
Mr. CRAFT. Yes.

Mr. ANDREWS. The chart shows your business is continuing to climb.
Is that correct?
Mr. CRAFT. Yes, increase.
Mr. ANDREWS. What is the average length of service of your staff,
if you know? Tell us something about your current setup and work-
load.
Mr. CRAFT. We have what we think is a career service.
Mr. ANDREWS. How long have you been with the service?

Mr. CRAFT. I came on December 5, 1941, 2 days before Pearl Harbor and, except for about 2 years in the military service, have been here since. Some of the senior attorneys have been here ranging up to 21 years, and then it ranges down to the attorney we added last summer who has been here not quite a year.

Mr. ANDREWS. How was this office created? Mr. CRAFT. It was created in the Revenue Act of 1918 which became law in February of 1919. Mr. Middleton Beaman came down from Columbia University to demonstrate the value of bill drafting assistance, and as a result of that the office was created.

Mr. ANDREWS. In addition to your office, almost every committee has counsel?

Mr. CRAFT. They have professional staff, yes. Mr. ANDREWS. You are primarily interested in drafting legislation? Mr. CRAFT. Drafting legislation is our function. Mr. ANDREWS. Are there any questions about this item? Mr. WYMAN. I have one question. Mr. Craft, do you operate the Office of Legislative Counsel on a strictly nonpartisan basis? Mr. CRAFT. Yes, sir.

Mr. WYMAN. You furnish the services to members of either party upon request?

Mr. CRAFT. That is correct.

Mr. WYMAN. Is this also true in respect to the time assignments of members of your staff of the Legislative Counsel ? If a Member calls for a bill, equal time is given as the job requires ?

jotention of . 50 a pere comes bacenough

Mr. CRAFT. As the job requires.

Mr. WYMAN. Take a given case. A Member calls up and asks for the draft of a bill, a gun law, say, and he gives a few ideas to a member of your staff. How much experience usually will be available to that Member in the drafting of that legislation in terms of the people who handle it? Is it a young attorney who usually does this or before the job gets through and is returned to the Member's office, has it had the attention of an experienced man? Have you enough experienced men on your staff so a person who has drafted a lot of legislation will take a look at this before it comes back to the Member?

Mr. CRAFT. We don't have enough help in the office to review the work. Of course, we hope the younger men will consult with the older attorneys when they are working on legislation.

Mr. WYMAN. But as things stand now when a bill comes back to the office of the Member the odds are that it will not have had the personal attention of somebody like yourself?

Mr. CRAFT. It is impossible for us to do that. That is one of the reasons we are asking for increased personnel so we can have more review and more doublechecking on the jobs that are done. Mr. WYMAN. But you are asking for only one additional lawyer.

Mr. CRAFT. I think it would be better if we had two. One reason we did not increase the staff before was our lack of office space. With the impending increase in office space we are hoping we can increase the staff during the next few years. One next summer, perhaps two, although it is difficult to find a young man out of law school.

Mr. WYMAN. How long do some of these stay with you after they come with you?

Mr. CRAFT. Our experience has been pretty good. They make it a career.

Mr. WYMAN. How many lawyer members of your staff drafting legislation have had 10 or more years' experience in doing this type of work?

Mr. CRAFT. Eight out of the 12. Mr. WYMAN. For 435 Members? (Discussion off the record.) Mr. CASEY. Do you have a policy now, especially with your younger lawyers, where before anything goes out of your office a group of you or you yourself approves what goes out or does it just go out and hit the fan as it has with some Members ?

Mr. CRAFT. There is no consistent review by older attorneys. We just don't have the manpower.

Mr. CASEY. I think that is the problem. After all, you are responsible for everything that goes out of that office as the head of it. Maybe you are overloaded. I would think for the best results for your office everything that went out of there should be checked by someone to see that the request has been met and responded to to the best of the ability of the office. If you need more time I think the Member would give it to you if you asked him. You could say we would like to do more research or we would like a predraft conference instead of coming in and saying, "Here is your bill."

I don't blame the attorney who handled my request because it was an idea I had of my own. I rewrote the bill but it was not a criticism of him. I think possibly, too, you ought to draft a request form, a

mimeographed form, so the Member can put in exactly what he wants to accomplish. Mr. CRAFT. I don't think the form would be feasible because

Mr. CASEY. When your man calls on him and says, "What do you want?” he fills it out. He goes over it and says, "Do I have your request down right?”

Mr. CRAFT. The big part of the problem is to ask intelligent questions in order to determine what it is the Member wants.

Mr. ANDREWS. Do you have any cases where you draft a bill for a Member and you send it to him and he returns it and expresses his dissatisfaction with it as drafted ?

Mr. CRAFT. Frequently we need discussion drafts and ask policy questions.

Mr. ANDREWS. In other words, you would redraft and confer with a Member and redraft if he told you the original draft you sent him did not satisfy him?

Mr. CRAFT. We hope to do that; yes. Mr. ANDREWS. Let me ask you about your quarters. Where are you quartered now? * Mr. CRAFT. We are in the Cannon Building on the Independence Avenue side.

Jr. ANDREWS. Are you planning to move into the new section and take more space?

Mr. CRAFT. The plan is to move us over into the Longworth Building while the second phase of the remodeling of the Cannon Building proceeds and then we will move back to much more adequate space on the Independence Avenue side.

Mr. ANDREWS. You do work for committees?
Mr. CRAFT. Yes.

Mr. ANDREWS. Which are the principal committee for which you do work?

Mr. CRAFT. Ways and Means, Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Foreign Affairs, Post Office and Civil Service, Education and Labor, Public Works, Veterans' Affairs, and Banking and Currency.

Mr. ANDREWS. I would assume Ways and Means work is the most technical and difficult of any of the committees.

Mr. CRAFT. It would have the heaviest workload, I believe, overall, rear in and year out. Interstate and Foreign Commerce over the years has had a lot of work for the office.

Mr. ANDREWS. Any other questions? Mr. STEED. Some years ago when I was on a legislative committee and we had a major bill in executive session for several weeks, as I remember a couple of legislative counsel experts sat in the executive session with us and would help prepare amendments as we went along. Were these men from your department? Do you do this sort of thing?

Mr. CRAFT. We attend executive sessions when the committee requests that we do that.

Mr. STEED. Frequently we wound up the session by giving them certain assignments to have ready for the next morning and that required a lot of night work on their part.

Do you have any priority system that you are forced to use as to the most urgent part of your work?

Mr. CRAFT. No, sir.

Mr. STEED. I would assume that a committee would have a pretty high priority.

Mr. CRAFT. The committees always have priority over individual work, and committees of conference of course, if there is a conflict, would have priority over the ordinary committee work.

Normally there has not been too much conflict. Mr. STEED. Otherwise, is it a first come, first served sort of system? Mr. CRAFT. The best we can; yes. If something is pending on the floor and a Member calls for an amendment, that would get priority, naturally. Otherwise, if it were put at the end of the list it would be a useless request.

Mr. STEED. That is all.
Mr. ANDREWS. Any other questions?

Mr. WYMAN. I would like to make one observation. It seems to me this is one agency that is a very important adjunct which needs to be considerably helped with additional and vastly more qualified personnel. This is no reflection on Mr. Craft. He has been here and is qualified, and so forth. I think he needs some experienced attorneys to help him so they can help us adequately.

Mr. ANDREWS. I agree with you, Mr. Wyman.

Let me ask you this final question. You have in mind the employment of another attorney. What type of man will you get? How much experience will he have? Do you have a man in mind?

Mr. CRAFT. Yes. It will be a man right out of law school. We have found we need to train them. It takes 2 or 3 years before they can really begin to pull their weight.

Mr. ANDREWS. All right, thank you.

CLERK HIRE, MEMBERS AND RESIDENT COMMISSIONER We shall turn to page 37, clerk hire.

Mr. JENNINGS. For clerk hire necessary for employees of each Member and the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico in the discharge of their official and representative duties, $36 million compared with $35,500,000 appropriated for 1967, or an increase of $500,000. Our estimate is based largely upon experience; although we have no way of knowing exactly how much may be used. The precise amount requested depends upon the salaries designated by the Members to their staffs within the limitation of the law.

As of February 28, 1967, the Members were employing 4,055 clerks at the gross monthly salary of $2,870,440 while under the law 4,886 clerks could be employed. Of this latter number 90 Members with a constituency of over 500,000 could employ 12 clerks each whereas all other Members are limited to 11 clerks.

[blocks in formation]

Mr. ANDREWS. You are requesting $36 million? Mr. JENNINGS. That is the same, Mr. Chairman, as requested for 1967. Mr. ANDREWS. It was $35 million in 1967.

Mr. JENNINGS. Mr. Chairman, it was $35,530,000, but really we took as the basis the supplemental and we jumped the gun when we made this up. Mr. ANDREWS. A pay supplemental was reported Friday. Mr. JENNINGS. It was reported, I understand.

Mr. ANDREWS. What was the total amount of your 1967 appropriation, including the supplemental? Mr. JENNINGS. It was $36 million. Mr. ANDREWS. So you are requesting for 1968 the same amount?

Mr. JENNINGS. The same amount, that is correct. Our estimate is based largely upon experience.

Mr. ANDREWS. My question is, How much did you have available and how much was appropriated for 1967, including the supplemental? Mr. JENNINGS. Mr. Chairman, $36 million was appropriated. Mr. ANDREWS. For 1967?

Mr. JENNINGS. There was $36 million requested. The supplemental was cut by $500,000, which made available $35,500,000 based on the action of your Appropriation Committee last week, which will come before the committee this week. So theoretically we are asking for the same $36 million that we asked for in the appropriation request for 1967 and the supplemental for 1967, but because we have a certain amount carried over the supplemental was cut by $500,000, which really makes available $35,500,000 for 1967. Our estimate for this year is based upon experience, although we have no way of knowing how much is going to be used. The precise amount requested depends upon the salaries designated by the Members to their staff within the limitation of the law. Really we are asking for the $36 million. That is our best estimate based in experience.

Mr. ANDREWS. You state on page 29:

The precise amount requested depends upon the salaries designated by the Members to their staffs within the limitation of the law.

Mr. JENNING:. That is right. Mr. Chairman, the basic clerk hire was increased effective January 4, 1965, from $20,500 to $25,000 per annum and from $23,000 to $27,500 per annum for Members whose constituency is 500,000 or more, and the number of clerks allowed was increased from 10 to 11. The basic clerk hire was again increased effective May 26, 1966, from $25,000 to $32,000 per annum, and $27,500 to $34,500 for Members whose constituency is 500,000 or more, and the number of clerks allowed was increased by one from 11 to 12.

Mr. ANDREWS. Was that done by resolution?
Mr. JENNINGS. That was done by resolution.
Mr. ANDREWS. Dated what?

Mr. JENNINGS. The first resolution was January 4, 1965, and May 26, 1966, was the next one.

Mr. ANDREWS. Were those resolutions from the House Administration Committee? Mr. JENNINGS. Yes.

Mr. ANDREWS. I wish you would place a copy of each one in the record.

« PreviousContinue »