In stark contrast to Tuesday’s full House Appropriations Committee markup – which, as previously reported, featured almost 30 minutes of hot debate over legislative report language intended to bar the Library of Congress (LC) from retiring the subject headings “Aliens” and “Illegal aliens” — the Senate
Appropriations Committee took scarcely 3 minutes on Thursday to call up, “debate” and pass its version of the “Leg Approps” bill devoid of the House’s controversial provision. As in the earlier debate, the presidents of ALA and ALCTS wrote to key Members of the Senate Committee prior to the vote asking them not to incorporate language like that adopted by the House.
Both bills are now in line to be considered on the floors of their respective chambers but no timetable has yet been set . . . and that could take some time. Even if passed by both bodies, House and Senate negotiators will then need to reconcile differences between the bills, hot button LC subject heading report text included. Congressional insiders forecast that, if necessary, no such negotiations are anticipated until after November’s elections. ALA and ALCTS will continue to educate all Members of Congress in the intervening months, however, about the House’s folly in countermanding the Library of Congress’ solidly reasoned, professional cataloging judgement.