Interviews of Senator Warren Magnuson’s Commerce Committee Staff for When the Senate Worked for Us
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Between the early 1960s and the late 1970s an impressive number of consumer and environmental protection laws come out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Michael (Mike) Pertschuk worked for the Committee for thirteen years. The Committee was chaired by Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington. Pertschuk interviewed a representative sampling of the most entrepreneurial of the Magnuson Commerce Committee staffers for his 2017 book When the Senate Worked for Us. Pertschuk donated transcripts of those interviews to the Senator Warren G. Magnuson Archives at the University of Washington Library in Seattle, Washington. These interviews join other materials from Magnuson staffers. The Magnuson Archives offer a rich history of Washington. Magnuson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1936 and to the Senate in 1944. He served as chairman of the Commerce Committee between 1955 and 1977. Much of the consumer protection and automobile safety legislation was enacted by the Committee during Magnuson’s chairmanship. He was also responsible for significant health care legislation and funding. Magnuson was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1977 to 1981. He was President pro tempore of the Senate from 1978 to 1981.