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Oral History Project

Arthur J. Rynearson Office of the Senate Legislative Counsel (1976–2003)

Arthur J. Rynearson

Art Rynearson was hired in 1976 to draft foreign policy-related legislation. He joined the Office of Legislative Counsel, which dates back to 1919 and was created to “aid in drafting public bills and resolutions or amendments thereto on request of any committee. ”Over time, the nonpartisan office also provided drafting services for individual senators as well as for committees. To develop expertise, each attorney was assigned to a specific area of statutory law. With a lifelong personal interest in foreign relations and law school training in international legal affairs, Rynearson was well-suited for the Office of Legislative Counsel. In 2003, when he retired after 26 years with the office, the Senate passed a resolution commending his exemplary service as “the primary drafter in the Senate of virtually all legislation relating to international relations, international security, immigration, and the State Department, and all matters relating to Senate consideration of international treaties.”


"Arthur J. Rynearson, Office of the Senate Legislative Counsel, 1976–2003,” Oral History Interviews, April 17 to July 1, 2003, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.