On November 15, the U.S. House of Representatives by a 277-141 vote came two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override President Bush’s veto of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043; H. Report 110-424). The conference agreement included $120 million for the Teaching of Traditional American History program at the Department of Education, a $210,000 increase over the FY 2007 level.
This week, the continuing controversy over the release of records from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library concerning Senator Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) time as First Lady moved to the courts. The conservative public interest group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) seeking to force the release of records related to the National Task Force on Health Care Reform, chaired by then First Lady Clinton.
This week, National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Inspector General (IG) issued an audit report critical of how Presidential Libraries are inventorying and preserving the over 500,000 artifacts entrusted to their care. For example, of the approximately 100,000 artifacts maintained by the Ronald Reagan Library, the IG’s office found the library had the information necessary to locate less than 20 percent of them.
This week, Congress sent to the President, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043; H. Report 110-424). The conference agreement includes $120 million for the Teaching of Traditional American History program at the Department of Education, a $210,000 increase over the FY 2007 level. The conferees also recommended that the Department provide initial three-year grants, with two additional years if a grantee is performing effectively.
On November 7, 2007, the House Administration Committee held a hearing on the role slave labor played in the construction of the United States Capitol. The Slave Laborers Task Force, chaired by Representative John Lewis (D-GA), submitted a report and recommendations to the Committee on how to best commemorate the contribution of enslaved African Americans in building the Capitol.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced a meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Electronic Records Archives (ACERA). The committee serves as a deliberative body to advise the Archivist of the United States, on technical, mission, and service issues related to the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ACERA will meet on November 28-29, 2007, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. The meeting will be held at the National Archives main building in Washington.
The disposition of presidential records was injected into the Democratic presidential campaign when Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was accused in a televised debate of contributing to the delay of the release of her papers as First Lady from the National Archives.
At a Capitol Hill press conference this week, First Lady Laura Bush announced introduction of bipartisan legislation authorizing two complementary historic preservation grant programs–Preserve America established by the Bush Administration and Save America’s Treasures established by the Clinton Administration.