We are pleased to announce this December 9th DC Bar program based on a recent ACUS project.
This program will highlight important new research on how agencies assist Congress in drafting legislation. This work provides insights for congressional staff in better utilizing agencies. Professor Chris Walker, from The Ohio State University, will do a short presentation on agency participation in the legislative drafting process. There will be time afterwards for discussion and for a reception.
Chris Walker’s discussion and his article, “Legislating in the Shadows” (forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, April-June 2017) emerge from a report, “Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process: Technical Assistance in Statutory Drafting,” prepared in connection with the Conference’s project on Technical Assistance by Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process. The report is a groundbreaking empirical study of the role legislative counsels and offices of legislative affairs play in providing technical drafting assistance on proposed legislation to congressional staffers. While it is well known federal agencies play an important part in drafting the substantive legislation the Administration submits to Congress, the extent to which agencies provide technical assistance in statutory drafting at the request of Congress, is comparatively obscure (or “in the shadows,” as Professor Walker phrases it). Professor Walker interviewed officials at twenty executive departments and agencies to better understand this consequential but seldom studied practice. The report provided the basis for Recommendation 2015-2, Technical Assistance by Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process, which offers best practices for agencies when providing Congress with expert technical feedback on proposed legislation.
This empirical project illustrates the unique role the Administrative Conference plays by engaging premier legal academics to study, illuminate, and improve the most complex processes and procedures of the administrate state.