Parliamentarian of the United States Senate

The Parliamentarian of the United States Senate is the official advisor to the United States Senate on the interpretation of Standing Rules of the United States Senate and parliamentary procedure.

As the Presiding Officer of the Senate may not be fully aware of the parliamentary situation currently facing the Senate, staff from the Senate Parliamentarian's office sit on the Senate dais to advise the Presiding Officer on how to respond to inquiries and motions from Senators. The role of the parliamentary staff is strictly advisory; the Presiding Officer is in no way required to follow their advice, though they almost always do so. The office also refers bills to the appropriate committees on behalf of the Senate's Presiding Officer. If facing the dais, the Parliamentarian is the second from the left.

The current parliamentarian is Elizabeth MacDonough. MacDonough is the first female parliamentarian and was preceded by Alan Frumin and Robert Dove, who was Parliamentarian in the mid-to-late 1990s. Frumin also preceded him in the late-1980s as Parliamentarian, insofar as they switched positions as the Parliamentarian and the second most senior parliamentarian due to changes in partisan control over the Senate.[1] The first female assistant parliamentarian of the United States Senate was Gail M. Cowper in the early 1980s.

There are two Senior Assistant Parliamentarians: Leigh Hildebrand and Michael Beaver. There is also one Assistant Parliamentarian: Allison Markoski.


Years Parliamentarian
1937–1964 Charles Watkins
1964–1974 Floyd Riddick
1974–1981 Murray Zweben
1981–1987 Robert Dove
1987–1995 Alan Frumin
1995–2001 Robert Dove
2001–2012 Alan Frumin
2012 - present Elizabeth MacDonough[2]


The Parliamentarian's current salary is $171,315 per year.[3]

See also



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