Monday, January 12, 2009

presidential records and donation reform

On January 7, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 35, the "Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009," and H.R. 36, the "Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2009." These were chosen by the House leadership as the first pieces of substantive legislation passed in 2009 as a symbol of government transparency.

The Presidential Records Act Amendments restores meaningful public access to presidential records by nullifying a 2001 Bush executive order, and the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act requires the disclosure of big donors to presidential libraries. The Senate still has to pass its versions of the bills before they can go to soon-to-be-President Obama to be signed, which he has apparently indicated that he would.

The National Coalition for History provides a good overview of the Records Reform Act. The House Speaker's site provides an overview of both.

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