WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on House passage of the Presidential Records Act Amendments and the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act:
“Two years ago, Democrats were elected to the majority with a pledge to rededicate Congress to high standards of integrity and accountability. We kept that promise, passing a number of significant ethics reforms in the 110th Congress: Today, gifts from lobbyists are banned, the use of corporate jets is prohibited, the earmark process is transparent, all House employees are trained in ethics, and an independent Office of Congressional Ethics has been established.
“Now, at the beginning of the 111th Congress, we are continuing our work to reform government, with two bills designed to increase the transparency of the executive branch. The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009 overturns an executive order from President Bush that would have kept many records hidden indefinitely from the public. The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act requires the disclosure of donors to presidential libraries, closing a potential avenue of unseen influence on the chief executive’s decisions. Together, these bills make for an executive branch more open to scrutiny and more accountable to the public—which is in keeping with President-elect Obama’s pledge to change the way business is done in Washington. I encourage the Senate to pass these bills soon, so that they will be ready for President-elect Obama’s signature.”