CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 151 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) on January 6, 2009.
H.R. 151 establishes the "Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Program" which directs the House of Representatives and the Senate to hire at least twelve graduates of accredited law schools to serve as Congressional Clerks for a one-year period.
Graduates hired through the program will be divided evenly between the House and Senate, and evenly between the majority and minority parties. The Clerks will receive compensation and benefits comparable to individuals holding judicial clerkships for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia within three months of graduating law school.
The bill authorizes such sums as may be necessary to carry out the program for Fiscal Year 2010 and each succeeding fiscal year.
A similar bill to this legislation (H.R. 6475) was passed by the House on September 11, 2008, by unanimous consent. The Senate never considered that bill.
While programs similar to the Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Program are currently operated by the White House and the administrative offices of the Executive Branch, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress does not currently have a comparable program.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for H.R. 151, but a similar bill last year was estimated to cost $1 million annually.