A picture of Senator Patrick J. Leahy
Patrick L.
Democrat VT

About Sen. Patrick
  • Tribute to Jim Fransen

    by Senator Patrick J. Leahy

    Posted on 2014-12-12

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    LEAHY. Madam President, there is no shortage of attorneys here in Washington, DC, but some of the most talented lawyers work in the Office of Legislative Counsel here in the Senate. Drafting legislation is often a complicated exercise. It takes years under the mentorship and tutelage of others to grasp the difficult process of drafting complicated bills. At the end of this Congress, after nearly 40 years of service, legislative counsel Jim Fransen will retire. His family's gain will be the Senate's loss.

    Jim first joined the Office of Legislative Counsel in 1975--the same year Vermonters elected me to the Senate. He served as an assistant counsel and a senior counsel, rising to become the finance and tax team leader. For the last 15 years, he has served as legislative counsel. He is the second longest serving legislative counsel, and his career has seen many accomplishments.

    Jim has been one of the key drafters of Federal tax legislation since joining the office in 1975. He has had a hand in drafting such monumental bills as the Tax Reform Acts of 1976 and 1986, the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He helped to draft the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and he was a key drafter of the most sweeping health reform legislation in generations, the Affordable Care Act.

    Through Republican and Democratic administrations, Republican and Democratic Senate majorities, Jim has been a true public servant. I know in his retirement, he will enjoy spending time with his family: his wife Margaret, his three daughters and his two grandsons. Wherever his retirement travels may take him, Marcelle and I wish him the best.


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