The House is back in session and is already getting to work. Yesterday, they voted on and passed H.R. 35, Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009 and H.R. 36, Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2009.
H.R. 35 revokes President Bush’s executive order (E.O. 13233). This ruling invalidates part of E.O. 13233 that allows former Presidents and Vice Presidents to review executive records before they are released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Presidential records are an important resource for historians and the larger public, and it is vital that these papers are made available. H.R. 35 passed (359-58) and hopefully will have similar success in the Senate.
Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2009, sponsored by Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Towns, makes it mandatory to disclose all donations to charities set up to build presidential libraries. It passed the House (388-31).
Now is the time to reach out to your Senators and ask them to support these bills. Visit the ALA Legislative Action Center to learn more about contacting your elected officials.
Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director
ALA Office of Government Relations