Richard A. Arenberg retired after more than thirty-four years on Capitol Hill in senior staff positions with Majority Leader Senator George Mitchell (Maine) and Senators Carl Levin (Michigan) and Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts). He served on the Senate Iran-contra Committee in 1987 and helped Senators Mitchell and William Cohen write Men of Zeal analyzing those hearings. He was a principle negotiator of the Alaska Lands Act, which President Carter called “the most important piece of conservation legislation passed in the 20th Century.”
Arenberg authored Congressional Procedure: A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress (2018, TheCapitol.Net).The book was awarded five national awards including the Ben Franklin Book Award Gold Medal. He co-authored Defending the Filibuster: Soul of the Senate (2012, Indiana U. Press). The authors were awarded a Congressional research award by the Dirksen Congressional Center in 2010. Defending the Filibuster was named “Book of the Year in Political Science” by Forewords Reviews in 2012. Defending the Filibuster, Revised and Updated Edition was published in 2014. Richard A. Arenberg: Oral History Interviews was published by the Senate Historical Office in 2011 and can be read or heard on the U.S. Senate website.
Arenberg served as the Interim Director of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University from July 2020 to July 2021.
Arenberg has significant experience in intelligence matters, Congressional history, procedure, rules and protocol, and the role and impact of Congress on public policy. Arenberg teaches a number of courses related to Congressional politics and policy, the presidency, political communication and campaigns and elections in Brown’s public policy program and the political science department.
Arenberg has previously taught at Northeastern and Suffolk Universities. He serves on the Board of Directors of Social Security Works and the Board of Directors of Social Security Works Education Fund, and a Senior Congressional Fellow at the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. He is an affiliate at the Taubman Center for American Politics & Policy. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Providence Journal, Politico, and The Boston Globe. He is a Contributor at Newsmax and The Hill.
Richard Arenberg is focuses on the U.S. Congress, particularly the use of abuse of Congressional procedure, appropriations and budget processes, oversight of the executive branch, and political polarization.
POLS 1822C Congress
POLS 1130 The American Presidency
POLS 1120 Campaigns and Elections
POLS 1824C Political Communication
POLS 1090 Polarized Politics
POLS 0010 Introduction to the American Political Process
PLCY 2650 Congress and the Federal Budget: Procedure, Politics and Public Policy
PLCY 1701H Congressional Leadership, Policy, and Public Policy
PLCY 1702F Political Communication
GISP 0006 Campaign Strategy- Media and Message
Congressional Procedure: A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress, TheCapitol.Net Publishers, 2018.
Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate (revised and updated edition), co-authored with Robert B. Dove, Indiana University Press, 2014.
Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate, co-authored with Robert B. Dove, Indiana University Press, 2012.
Richard A. Arenberg: Staff of Senator Paul Tsongas, George Mitchell and Carl Levin: Oral History Interviews with Donald A. Ritchie, Historian of the U.S. Senate, U.S. Government Printing Office, 2011.
Talks & Media
May 15, 2023
Richard Arenberg comments for Associated Press, “In the absence of a detailed budget proposal it is hard to know for sure."
May 5, 2023
Richard Arenberg comments for Associated Press, “The Democrats make a credible argument which the vagueness of the bill leaves open. At the same time, the lack of specificity undercuts any definitive statement about where the cuts might fall.”
January 31, 2023
Richard Arenberg comments for The Hill, “We slap the label of ‘independent’ on anybody and anything that isn’t a registered Democrat or Republican."
May 15, 2022
South China Morning Post
Richard Arenberg in South China Morning Post, "It can’t just be the Democrats negotiating with themselves,"
January 10, 2022
Richard Arenberg provided commentary in this article stating, "It really comes down to this fundamental question of whether or not you think it’s a good thing for a president with a legislative majority to be able to do things without any bipartisan input."
January 4, 2022
Richard Arenberg penned this article on the history of the filibuster over the past 40 years.
November 17, 2021
Richard Arenberg offered commentary on how the rise in inflation could complicate the politics on a spending bill.