Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2017 Passes
Duncan Transparency Bill Passes House
Would require presidential library donor disclosure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2017
CONTACT: Don Walker
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed without opposition Wednesday a bill introduced by Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) to bring transparency to presidential libraries.
The measure—H.R. 73, the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2017—would require any donation to a President’s library greater than $200 be disclosed to the public and posted online.
The measure had wide bipartisan support and was one of the first bills passed by the House in the 115th Congress.
“Presidential library fundraising organizations are formed while a president is in office and collect donations from individuals, corporations and foreign governments with no limit on the contribution amount. When there is no requirement for disclosing the donor or the amounts being donated, there is great potential for abuse,” Duncan said.
“I first introduced this bill in 1999 after learning that foreign governments from the Middle East were making very large donations to the proposed library for President Clinton. However, this is not a partisan issue. I introduced this legislation under both Democratic and Republican presidents and it has passed the House under both Democratic and Republican Speakers,” Duncan continued.
In 2013, Sunlight Foundation Policy Director Daniel Schuman endorsed this 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.”