[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 2016)]
[Pages H247-H249]


  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 1069) to amend title 44, United States Code, to require 
information on contributors to Presidential library fundraising 
organizations, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1069

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Presidential Library 
     Donation Reform Act of 2016''.


       (a) In General.--Section 2112 of title 44, United States 
     Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
       ``(h) Presidential Library Fundraising Organization 
     Reporting Requirement.--
       ``(1) Reporting requirement.--Not later than 15 days after 
     the end of a calendar quarter and until the end of the 
     requirement period described in paragraph (2), each 
     Presidential library fundraising organization shall submit to 
     the Archivist information for that quarter in an electronic 
     searchable and sortable format with respect to every 
     contributor who gave the organization a contribution or 
     contributions (whether monetary or in-kind) totaling $200 or 
     more for the quarterly period.

[[Page H248]]

       ``(2) Duration of reporting requirement.--The requirement 
     to submit information under paragraph (1) shall continue 
     until the later of the following occurs:
       ``(A) The Archivist has accepted, taken title to, or 
     entered into an agreement to use any land or facility for the 
     Presidential archival depository for the President for whom 
     the Presidential library fundraising organization was 
       ``(B) The President whose archives are contained in the 
     deposit no longer holds the Office of President.
       ``(3) Information required to be published.--The Archivist 
     shall publish on the website of the National Archives and 
     Records Administration, within 30 days after each quarterly 
     filing, any information that is submitted under paragraph 
     (1), without a fee or other access charge in a downloadable 
       ``(4) Submission of false material information 
       ``(A) Individual.--
       ``(i) Prohibition.--It shall be unlawful for any person who 
     makes a contribution described in paragraph (1) to knowingly 
     and willfully submit false material information or omit 
     material information with respect to the contribution to an 
     organization described in such paragraph.
       ``(ii) Penalty.--The penalties described in section 1001 of 
     title 18, United States Code, shall apply with respect to a 
     violation of clause (i) in the same manner as a violation 
     described in such section.
       ``(B) Organization.--
       ``(i) Prohibition.--It shall be unlawful for any 
     Presidential library fundraising organization to knowingly 
     and willfully submit false material information or omit 
     material information under paragraph (1).
       ``(ii) Penalty.--The penalties described in section 1001 of 
     title 18, United States Code, shall apply with respect to a 
     violation of clause (i) in the same manner as a violation 
     described in such section.
       ``(5) Prohibition on contribution.--
       ``(A) In general.--It shall be unlawful for a person to 
     knowingly and willfully--
       ``(i) make a contribution described in paragraph (1) in the 
     name of another person;
       ``(ii) permit his or her name to be used to effect a 
     contribution described in paragraph (1); or
       ``(iii) accept a contribution described in paragraph (1) 
     that is made by one person in the name of another person.
       ``(B) Penalty.--The penalties set forth in section 309(d) 
     of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 
     437g(d)) shall apply to a violation of subparagraph (A) in 
     the same manner as if such violation were a violation of 
     section 316(b)(3) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 441b(b)(3)).
       ``(6) Regulations required.--The Archivist shall promulgate 
     regulations for the purpose of carrying out this subsection.
       ``(7) Definitions.--In this subsection:
       ``(A) Information.--The term `information' means the 
       ``(i) The amount or value of each contribution made by a 
     contributor referred to in paragraph (1) in the quarter 
     covered by the submission.
       ``(ii) The source of each such contribution, and the 
     address of the entity or individual that is the source of the 
       ``(iii) If the source of such a contribution is an 
     individual, the occupation of the individual.
       ``(iv) The date of each such contribution.
       ``(B) Presidential library fundraising organization.--The 
     term `Presidential library fundraising organization' means an 
     organization that is established for the purpose of raising 
     funds for creating, maintaining, expanding, or conducting 
     activities at--
       ``(i) a Presidential archival depository; or
       ``(ii) any facilities relating to a Presidential archival 
       (b) Applicability.--Section 2112(h) of title 44, United 
     States Code (as added by subsection (a))--
       (1) shall apply to an organization established for the 
     purpose of raising funds for creating, maintaining, 
     expanding, or conducting activities at a Presidential 
     archival depository or any facilities relating to a 
     Presidential archival depository before, on, or after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act; and
       (2) shall only apply with respect to contributions (whether 
     monetary or in-kind) made after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act.


       No additional funds are authorized to carry out the 
     requirements of this Act and the amendments made by this Act. 
     Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts 
     otherwise authorized.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Utah (Mr. Chaffetz) and the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia 
(Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Utah.

                             General Leave

  Mr. CHAFFETZ. I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 
legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Utah?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Duncan), the gentleman who has championed this issue as 
the prime sponsor.
  Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Chaffetz for 
his support and for yielding me this time.
  This is a bill that has passed in three separate Congresses with 
overwhelming bipartisan support and very, very little opposition. In 
fact, in this Congress, it is cosponsored by Ranking Member Elijah 
Cummings. In past Congresses, it has been cosponsored by Ranking Member 
Edolphus Towns; and in one Congress, Chairman Waxman became the primary 
sponsor. So it is a very bipartisan bill.
  It is a very simple bill, one that I think can be supported by anyone 
who is opposed to secrecy in government and believes in an open, 
transparent system. The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act simply 
requires that donations to a President's library greater than $200 be 
disclosed to the public and posted online.
  It is very surprising to people that there are no laws governing 
these donations at this time. In fact, any person, corporation, or 
foreign government can donate any amount, unreported, while a President 
is still in office.
  I first introduced this bill in the 106th Congress after reading a 
front-page story in The Washington Times reporting that foreign 
governments from the Middle East were making very large donations to 
the proposed library for President Clinton. I was concerned about the 
influence of donations being made by foreign governments. However, I 
hasten to say this is not directed toward former President Clinton or 
anyone else. This bill has been introduced and passed, and I have 
sponsored this bill under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.
  I did read at one point that after I introduced this bill that 
President Clinton's library had received a $450,000 contribution from 
the ex-wife of Marc Rich, who had fled the country to evade $40 million 
in taxes. So these types of things have certainly raised concern.
  In 2013, the Sunlight Foundation's policy director endorsed my bill 
during a hearing on Federal Government transparency in the House 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying: ``It would provide 
valuable information on special interests whose donations put them in 
close proximity with Presidents.''

                              {time}  1715

  Presidential libraries were once modest structures, but they have 
grown rapidly over the years into megamuseums devoted to a President's 
life and legacy. President George W. Bush's library topped $500 million 
in costs. That is seven times the cost of his father's library. A 
recent report in The New York Times noted that President Obama's 
library could end up costing $1 billion.
  As costs soar, clearly there is potential for abuse, no matter who is 
President. This is, as I said, not a partisan issue. It is not directed 
at any President. It is simply a good government bill that I think 
almost everyone can support, and certainly they have in the past.
  I urge support for this legislation.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I support this bill, Mr. Speaker.
  I want to thank Representative Duncan and Ranking Member Cummings for 
sponsoring this legislation. Representative Duncan first sponsored a 
bill to improve Presidential libraries 16 years ago. What has happened 
that we can't get this bill through the Congress? I hope this bill this 
year will prove different. This Congress, I hope we can finally get 
this important reform on the President's desk where I am sure it will 
be signed.
  The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act would provide 
transparency to the process for building Presidential libraries. The 
practice of creating a Presidential library began decades ago with 
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The tradition has carried on 
through every President since that time, and it is going to continue.
  Presidential libraries have become increasingly more expensive as 

[[Page H249]]

have evolved into multipurpose centers that do more than simply house 
Presidential records. For example, the William J. Clinton Library cost 
an estimated $165 million, while the George W. Bush Presidential Center 
cost an estimated $250 million to build, with President Bush having 
raised approximately half a billion dollars for his library, museum, 
and institute. We can expect that with each new President, these 
libraries are going to cost more. That is just natural.
  Under current law, there is no requirement to disclose the identities 
of those who donate to a Presidential library, and a President is able 
to secure an unlimited amount of private donations while still in 
  The bill before us would make a simple but very important change in 
existing law. Under this bill, organizations that raise money to build 
Presidential libraries would be required to disclose the identity of 
any individual who donates more than $200. It seems reasonable to me, 
Mr. Speaker. The National Archives and Records Administration would 
then be required to post the donation information in a manner that is 
free to access and downloadable.
  Additionally, this legislation would create criminal penalties for 
individuals who report false information on donations and for 
fundraising organizations that omit donation information.
  A group of 15 good government organizations, including Citizens for 
Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Sunlight Foundation, 
sent a letter urging the House to support this bill. Here is what they 
  ``Under the current opaque system, Presidents raise funds privately 
to establish their Presidential libraries. These efforts, which often 
begin long before they leave office, are unregulated and undisclosed, 
creating opportunities for, or the appearance of, influence-peddling. 
Improved transparency would help reduce the appearance of impropriety 
and help deter inappropriate behavior.''
  The appearance is just as important as the behavior itself, I 
emphasize, Mr. Speaker.
  This bill was approved without opposition by the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform in March and has passed the House 
several times before.
  As I noted, companion legislation sponsored by Senators Corker and 
Johnson was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 
Committee earlier this year.
  It looks like this bill may become law after all, Mr. Duncan.
  I urge every Member of this body to support transparency by voting 
for this important legislation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I urge its passage. It is high time that this passed. It is 
bipartisan, it is bicameral, and it is done with some good leadership 
from Mr. Duncan. I urge its adoption.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Chaffetz) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 1069, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.