Key Experience

  • Spent nearly 13 years conducting and overseeing congressional investigations.
  • Served as former general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and chief counsel to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
  • Counsels clients who may find themselves subjects of congressional probes or who are contending with potential associated regulatory, legislative or litigation challenges.

Practice

Karen brings her background to bear to advise clients in congressional investigations and related oversight. She helps them develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses parallel civil, criminal, state attorneys general, inspector general, Government Accountability Office and other regulatory investigations. She also lends her experience to formulate defensive and/or affirmative corresponding legislative strategy and to address a broad range of regulatory issues.

Representative Work

  • Briefed the chairman and Committee members on legal, ethical and policy matters, in particular, the use of compulsory process to secure cooperation with the Committee’s oversight requests.
  • Drafted, developed and vetted legislation; managed Committee markups, including advising the chairman on procedure during the process; and coordinated with the House leadership to ensure that Energy and Commerce legislation was scheduled for floor consideration.
  • Was responsible for negotiating jurisdictional conflicts with other House committees and managing conference committees for which Energy and Commerce members were conferees.
  • Advised on regulatory and policy issues under the very broad jurisdiction of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including consumer protection, health care/Food and Drug Administration, energy/Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, environmental, telecommunications and cybersecurity.
  • In her earlier role as chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, spearheaded all Committee investigations, including:
    • General Motors ignition switch safety failures
    • Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program, including the failed loan guarantee to Solyndra
    • Cybersecurity, including related data breach and privacy matters
    • Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the failed launch of HealthCare.gov.
    • Fungal meningitis outbreak due to contaminated drugs
    • Comprehensive review of mental health care and treatment, including federal programs related to mental health and serious illness
    • The opioid addiction epidemic
    • The Environmental Protection Agency’s consideration of carbon capture technologies in developing greenhouse gas emissions standards for new power plants.

Speeches