Responsibilities of the Legislative Drafter

Legislative drafting for Congress is an exacting occupation. Effective drafting requires careful analysis of the legal problems involved, arrangement of matter in a logical sequence, and accurate expression of the concepts set forth. Constitutional limitations must always be observed. Most legislative proposals deal with matters that have been the subject of one or more previous enactments. A new measure must be carefully related to earlier enactments to produce, as far as possible, a consistent body of law that will achieve the congressional purpose without producing unintended consequences. Often, the drafter must work under severe time limitations.

The volume of work of the Office has dramatically increased in recent years. The number of requests for assistance each Congress has nearly doubled during the last five Congresses, rising from 20,757 to 40,079. In addition to the increase in the number of drafts, the drafting of new legislation is becoming increasingly more difficult and time-consuming because of the addition of a number of new subjects of Federal legislation and the increasing technical complexity of Federal statutory law.

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