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Public Statements

Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PRESIDENTIAL HISTORICAL RECORDS PRESERVATION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 27, 2008)

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Mr. DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Like many of our Nation's Presidents, this bill has its roots in Virginia. The important mission of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Virginia, and the determination of the individuals there combined to move this legislation forward.

I want to thank Mr. Goodlatte for his hard work on this legislation. He's really worked many years on this. I also want to recognize the valuable contribution of its sponsor in the other body, Senator Warner, and also recognize and acknowledge the important provisions added by Senators CARPER and LIEBERMAN.

This bill modifies an existing program within the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to ensure that grant funding is available to preserve, and provide public access to, historical documents of Presidents not currently covered under the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955.

The bill makes structural changes to the commission by placing 8-year term limits on members and requires members to recuse themselves from votes that would lead to a conflict of interest.

In addition, it allows the Archivist to publish online the various public cases funded by the commission of the Founding Fathers and any other prominent historical figures.

Finally, the bill grants the Archivist the ability to establish a database for Federal records of servitude, emancipation and post-Civil War reconstruction and provides that the National Historic Publication and Records Commission may make grants to preserve local records of servitude, emancipation and post-Civil War reconstruction.

This bill has solid bipartisan support. I want to thank Chairman Waxman for his support and also Mr. Clay for being here to usher this through today. It has taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes on the part of our staffs in order to increase the awareness and the understanding of the life and principles and accomplishments of our past Presidents. I just want to ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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