Senate Office of Legislative Counsel
Office of the Legislative Counsel
Summary of the Office from the Office of Senate Legislative Counsel:
The Office of the Legislative Counsel provides legislative drafting services for the Committees, Members, and staff of the United States Senate. The Office is strictly nonpartisan and refrains from formulating policy. Legislative drafters strive to turn every request into clear, concise, and legally effective legislative language.
Members and staff of the Senate can rest assured that communication with the Office is always confidential. The Office has a long history of providing unbiased services to all parties using the utmost discretion.
Any Senator or staff member of the Senate may request assistance from the Office. The Office does not interact with members of the public, except indirectly through their Senators.
History of the Office
The Office of the Legislative Counsel was established by statute in 1919 to assist “in drafting public bills and resolutions or amendments thereto” at the request of any Senator, committee, or office of the Senate. The Legislative Counsel of the Senate is appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate solely on the basis of qualifications to perform the duties of the position. The Legislative Counsel is authorized to appoint Senior Counsels, Assistant Counsels, support staff, and other employees, to establish salaries, and to otherwise administer the Office. All appointments are made without regard to political affiliation and are subject to the approval of the President pro tempore of the Senate.
For an in-depth history of the Senate as seen through the eyes of an attorney in the Office of the Legislative Counsel, see Oral History Interviews, Arthur J. Rynearson, Office of the Legislative Counsel, 1976-2003.
Codification to the U.S. Code
CHAPTER 9—OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL (sections 271 to 282e)
SUBCHAPTER I—SENATE (sections 271 to 277)