Reforming Congress – Sandra Strokoff, Former Legislative Counsel of the House of Representatives

May 10, 2022   Matthew Chervenak

  • Congressional Reform
  • Video
  • 00:09 – Intro
  • 00:16 – What is your background?
  • 04:30 – Describe the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC)
  • 07:55 – How segmented was the role?
  • 10:15 – How detailed are the notes you receive from committees, staff, and Members to craft the legislative language they are seeking to create?
  • 14:15 – An example of the legislative drafting process
  • 19:19 – Checklist of questions and drafting guidelines
  • 23:07 – Who are the audiences of legislation?
  • 33:27 – What is the revision process to draft legislation language?
  • 38:12 – The role of the OLC on the House Floor
  • 41:43 – Working on the conference bill
  • 44:50 – What tools do you have to do your job?
  • 49:38 – What tools do you wish you had?
  • 52:06 – “Good” and “Bad” legislation
  • 56:11 – What the Office of Legislative Counsel does and does not do
  • 1:00:11 – The importance of conciseness
  • 1:03:00 – What is the most fundamental unit of a bill?
  • 1:05:09 – Legislative “debris” definition
  • 1:07:14 – Does there need to be any clean up of the current US Code to reconcile irregularities?
  • 1:08:39 – What has changed with the OLC in recent years?
  • 1:12:34 – How should a Member or staffer prepare before they talk to the OLC?
  • [Lightning Round]
  • 1:15:12 – What do you think congressional representation should mean?
  • 1:18:38 – How would your ideal Congress allocate its time?
  • 1:20:07 – How should debate, deliberation, or dialogue occur or be structured in Congress?
  • 1:22:18 – What fundamental institutional improvement should Congress make in the next 50 years?
  • 1:24:41 – What book or article most-shaped your thinking with respect to congressional reform?
  • 1:25:48 – Long term plans