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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     110-44

======================================================================



 
              PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2007

                                _______
                                

 March 9, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Waxman, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1255]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 1255) to amend chapter 22 of title 44, 
United States Code, popularly known as the Presidential Records 
Act, to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of 
constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of 
Presidential records, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Legislative History..............................................     5
Section-by-Section...............................................     5
Explanation of Amendments........................................     6
Committee Consideration..........................................     7
Rollcall Votes...................................................     7
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     7
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     7
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     7
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     7
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     7
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     7
Earmark Identification...........................................     8
Committee Estimate...............................................     8
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     9
Additional views of Representative Tom Davis.....................    12

    The amendments (stated in terms of the page and line 
numbers of the introduced bill) are as follows:
    Page 5, line 4, insert the following:

    (b) Restrictions.--Section 2204 of title 44, United States Code 
(relating to restrictions on access to presidential records) is amended 
by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(f) The Archivist shall not make available any original 
presidential records to any individual claiming access to any 
presidential record as a designated representative under section 
2205(3) if that individual has been convicted of a crime relating to 
the review, retention, removal, or destruction of records of the 
Archives.''.

     Page 5, line 5, strike ``(b)'' and insert ``(c)''.
     Page 5, line 11, strike ``(c)'' and insert ``(d)''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1255, the ``Presidential Records Act Amendments of 
2007,'' was introduced March 1, 2007, by Reps. Henry A. Waxman, 
Todd Russell Platts, Wm. Lacy Clay, and Dan Burton. The 
legislation amends the Presidential Records Act of 1978 to 
establish a process whereby incumbent and former presidents 
can, within specified time limits, review records prior to 
their public release under the Act and determine whether to 
assert constitutional privilege claims against release of the 
records. The bill nullifies Executive Order 13233, which 
established a nonstatutory process for review of presidential 
records and assertion of privilege claims.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The retention and management of presidential records has 
evolved since the earliest days of our nation. Until the 
establishment of the first presidential library for Franklin D. 
Roosevelt in 1939, there were few protocols or systems in place 
to archive or maintain the executive records of former 
presidents.
    Following the Watergate scandal and the subsequent 
resignation of President Nixon in 1974, Congress enacted the 
Presidential Records Act of 1978, which made clear that these 
records belong to the American people, not to the president. 
The Act gave the Archivist of the United States custody of the 
records of a former president and imposed on the Archivist ``an 
affirmative duty to make such records available to the public 
as rapidly and completely as possible consistent with the 
provisions of this Act.'' \1\ Under the Act, a president may 
restrict access to records for up to 12 years. Following that 
period, records are to be released in accordance with the 
Freedom of Information Act, except that the ``deliberative 
process'' exemption does not apply. In addition, the Act 
recognizes presidential authority to assert executive 
privilege, providing that: ``Nothing in this Act shall be 
construed to confirm, limit, or expand any constitutionally-
based privilege which may be available to an incumbent or 
former President.'' \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ 44 U.S.C. 2203(f)(1).
    \2\ 44 U.S.C. 2204(C)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Presidential Records Act first applied to the records 
of former President Ronald Reagan. On January 18, 1989, 
President Reagan issued Executive Order 12667. This executive 
order established a process to deal with potential executive 
privilege claims over records covered by the Presidential 
Records Act. The order required the Archivist to give the 
incumbent and former presidents 30 calendar days advance notice 
before releasing presidential records. The order authorized the 
Archivist to release the records at the end of that period 
unless the incumbent or former president claimed executive 
privilege, or unless the incumbent president instructed the 
Archivist to extend the period indefinitely. If the incumbent 
president decided to invoke executive privilege, the Archivist 
would withhold the records unless directed to release them by a 
final court order. If the incumbent president decided not to 
support a former president's claim of privilege, the Archivist 
would decide whether or not to honor the claim.
    Before he left office, President Reagan exercised his right 
under the Presidential Records Act to restrict access to some 
of his records for 12 years. This 12-year restriction period 
expired in January 2001. In February 2001, the Archivist 
provided the 30-day notice required by Executive Order 12667 of 
his intent to release about 68,000 pages of former President 
Reagan's records. In March, June, and August of 2001, the 
Counsel to the President instructed the Archivist to extend the 
time for claiming executive privilege.
    In November 2001, President George W. Bush issued Executive 
Order 13233--Further Implementation of the Presidential Records 
Act.\3\ The order overturned the Reagan order and gave current 
and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to 
withhold presidential records or delay their release 
indefinitely.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ 3 C.F.R. 2001 Comp., pp. 815-819.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Executive Order 13233 extends the review period for former 
presidents to 90 days and allows former president to extend 
that time indefinitely. In addition, it provides for a 
unlimited review period for the current president. It requires 
the Archives to honor the assertions of executive privilege 
made by either the incumbent or former president. Even if the 
incumbent president disagrees with the former president's 
claim, the Archivist must honor the claim and withhold the 
records.
    Also, unlike the Reagan order which stated that records 
were to be released on a schedule unless action occurred, the 
Bush executive order states that records will be released only 
after actions by the former and current presidents have 
occurred. Therefore, if either the current or former president 
simply does not respond to the Archivist, the records would not 
be released.
    Moreover, under the Bush executive order, designees of the 
former president may assert privilege claims after the death of 
the president, in effect making the right to assert executive 
privilege an asset of the former president's estate. 
Furthermore, the order authorizes former vice presidents to 
assert executive privilege claims over their records.
    Historians and scholars immediately raised concerns about 
the potential impact the Bush executive order would have on the 
future release of presidential records. These concerns continue 
five years after the order went into effect. At a March 1, 
2007, hearing before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, 
the Census, and the National Archives, presidential historian 
Robert Dallek expressed concern that current policies carry 
``the potential for incomplete and distorted understanding of 
past presidential decisions, especially about controversial 
actions with significant consequences.'' He noted further:

          Consider what difference the release of the Kennedy, 
        Johnson, and Nixon tapes has made in our understanding 
        of the decision-making on Vietnam in these 
        administrations. Consider how much we will lose if 
        representatives of the Reagan, Clinton, and current 
        Bush administrations were in the future to use 
        Executive Order 13233 to hold back documents on the 
        Reagan administration's decision-making relating to 
        Iran-contra or the Clinton administration's response to 
        intelligence about a potential Al Qaeda attack, or the 
        current administration's decision to fight in Iraq. It 
        is understandable that every presidentand his heirs 
wants to put the best possible face on his administration, but an 
uncritical or limited reconstruction of its history does nothing to 
serve the long-term national interest.

    H.R. 1255 would nullify Executive Order 13233 and establish 
procedures to ensure the timely release of presidential 
records. The bill requires the Archivist to provide advanced 
notice to the former and incumbent presidents before the 
presidential records are released. This gives the former and 
incumbent presidents the time to review the records and decide 
whether to claim privilege. Also, the bill requires the 
Archivist to withhold records (or parts of records) for which 
the incumbent president claims privilege. In this event, a 
requester would have the burden of challenging a claim of 
executive privilege in court.
    H.R. 1255 makes several important changes in how release of 
these records is managed. Unlike the Bush executive order, the 
bill establishes a deadline for review of records. Under the 
Bush executive order, the Archivist must wait for both the 
current and former president to approve the release of 
presidential records, a review process that can continue 
indefinitely. Under the bill, the current and former president 
would have a set time period of no longer than 40 business days 
to raise objections to the release of these records by the 
Archivist. If no objections were raised, the records would 
automatically be released, whether or not there was a specific 
request.
    Second, the bill limits the authority of former presidents 
to withhold records. Under the Bush executive order, the 
Archivist must withhold records if a former president claims 
privilege, and the requester must challenge the privilege claim 
in court. The bill reverses the legal burden, requiring the 
former president to protect a privilege claim with a court 
order. Under the bill, if a former president claims privilege, 
the Archivist will withhold the records for an additional 20 
days in order to give the former president time to file suit to 
enforce his privilege claim. However, the Archivist will 
release the records absent a court order to the contrary or 
absent the current president claiming privilege on that same 
record. This is the same approach followed in the Reagan order.
    Third, the bill clarifies that the incumbent and former 
presidents must make privilege claims personally. The bill 
would make clear that the right to claim executive privilege is 
personal to current and former presidents and cannot be 
bequeathed to assistants, relatives, or descendants.
    And finally, the bill eliminates executive privilege claims 
for vice presidents. The bill restores the long-standing 
understanding that the right to assert executive privilege over 
presidential records is a right held only by presidents.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 1255, legislation to improve public access to 
presidential records, was introduced on March 1, 2007, by Reps. 
Henry A. Waxman, Todd Russell Platts, Wm. Lacy Clay, and Dan 
Burton, and referred to the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform. H.R. 1255 is substantively identical to 
legislation introduced by Rep. Horn in the 107th Congress as 
H.R. 4187 and favorably reported by the Committee.
    The Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census, and the 
National Archives held a hearing on March 1, 2007, on the issue 
of public access to presidential records. The witnesses were 
Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, National 
Archives and Records Administration; Harold Relyea, Specialist 
in American National Government, Congressional Research 
Service; Thomas Blanton, Director, National Security Archive, 
George Washington University; Scott Nelson, Senior Attorney, 
Public Citizen Litigation Group; Robert Dallek, Author/
Historian; Anna K. Nelson, Distinguished Historian in 
Residence, American University; and Steve L. Hensen, Director 
of Technical Services, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special 
Collections Library, Duke University (on behalf of the Society 
of American Archivists).
    The Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census, and the 
National Archives held a markup to consider H.R. 1255 on March 
6, 2007. The Subcommittee approved the bill without amendment 
and reported it favorably to the full Committee. The full 
Committee held a markup to consider H.R. 1255 on March 8, 2007, 
and approved it, as amended by voice vote.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the short title of H.R. 1255 is 
the ``Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007.''

Section 2. Procedures for consideration of claims of constitutionally 
        based priviledge against disclosure

    Section 2(a) adds a new section 2208 to chapter 22 of title 
44, United States Code, popularly known as the Presidential 
Records Act of 1978, establishing how records will be reviewed 
by a former or current president prior to the public release of 
those records under the Presidential Records Act.
    Subsection (a)(1) provides that, when the Archivist of the 
United States determines to make records publicly available, he 
will promptly give advance notice to the applicable former 
president and the incumbent president. The Archivist will make 
the notice available to the public. Subsection (a)(2) provides 
that the notice will be in writing and contain pertinent 
information as determined by the Archivist.
    Subsection (a)(3)(A) requires the Archivist to make the 
records available after 20 working days following notice unless 
the Archivist has received a claim of constitutional privilege 
by a former or incumbent president. There are two exceptions to 
the 20-day deadline. Under subparagraph (a)(3)(B), a former or 
incumbent president may extend the deadline for up to 20 
additional working days by filing a statement with the 
Archivist that the additional time is needed for adequate 
review of the records. Under subparagraph (a)(3)(C), a deadline 
for review cannot expire before July 20th of the year that an 
incumbent president first takes office.
    Subsection (b) requires the former or incumbent president 
to assert any claim of privilege personally. Also, the former 
or incumbent president must notify the Archivist, the House 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate 
Committee on Homeland and Governmental Affairs of the privilege 
claim on the same day that it is asserted.
    Subsection (c) provides that if the former president 
asserts a privilege claim, the Archivist must withhold release 
of the records covered by that claim for another 20 working 
days. Upon the expiration of this 20-day period, the Archivist 
must release the records unless otherwise directed by a court 
order in an action initiated by the former president.
    Subsection (d) provides that if the incumbent president 
asserts a privilege claim, the Archivist must continue to 
withhold the records unless and until the incumbent president 
withdraws the claim or the Archivist is otherwise directed by a 
final and non-appealable court order. Subsection (d) does not 
apply to records required to be made available in connection 
with judicial or congressional proceedings.
    Subsection 2(b) clarifies that authority to claim executive 
privilege is personal to a former or incumbent president and 
cannot be delegated to their representatives. In addition, it 
clarifies that a former or incumbent vice president cannot 
claim presidential privileges.
    Subsection 2(c) makes a clerical amendment to the 
Presidential Records Act.
    Subsection 2(d) prevents the Archivist from making any 
original presidential records available to individuals claiming 
access to the records as a designated representative of a 
president if that individual has been convicted of a crime 
related to the review, retention, removal, or destruction of 
records of the Archives.

Section 3. Executive order of November 1, 2001

    Section 3 provides that Executive Order 13233, dated 
November 1, 2001, shall have no force or effect.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    Ranking Minority Member Davis offered an amendment, which 
was accepted by voice vote, to prevent individuals who have 
been convicted of a crime related to the review, retention, 
removal, or destruction of records of the Archives from 
accessing original copies of presidential records as a 
designated representative of a president. The amendment was 
accepted by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Thursday, March 8, 2007, the Committee ordered the bill 
reported to the House by a voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    No rollcall votes were taken on this legislation.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill provides for increased public access to presidential 
records. As such this bill does not relate to employment or 
access to public services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Under clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee must include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to Congress to enact the law 
proposed by H.R. 1255. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants the Congress the power 
to enact this law.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement whether 
the provisions of the reported include unfunded mandates. In 
compliance with this requirement the Committee has received a 
letter from the Congressional Budget Office that is included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 1255 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1255. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 1255 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                                     March 9, 2007.
Hon. Henry A. Waxman,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1255, the 
Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orzsag.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1255--Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007

    H.R. 1255 would amend the Presidential Records Act and 
nullify Executive Order 13233 to establish a statutory process 
for reviewing Presidential records. The bill would require the 
Archivist of the United States to provide notice to the former 
and incumbent President and the public 20 days before making 
Presidential records public. During that 20-day period, a 
former or incumbent President could claim a constitutionally 
based privilege against disclosure of the information. If the 
claim is made by a former President, the Archivist could 
release the material at the end of an additional 20-day period 
unless otherwise directed by a court order. If the claim is 
made by an incumbent President, the Archivist could not release 
the material unless the claim is withdrawn or the Archivist is 
otherwise directed by a final court order that is not subject 
to appeal. H.R. 1255 also would allow a newly elected President 
additional time--until July 20 of the first year in office--to 
review Presidential records that would otherwise be made public 
during that time.
    Based on information from the National Archives and Records 
Administration, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1255 would 
have no significant impact on federal spending. In addition, 
the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect 
the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments. H.R. 1255 
would impose private-sector mandates, as defined by UMRA, on 
former Presidents, their designees and families, and former 
vice presidents by changing the procedure or eliminating the 
ability to claim constitutionally based privileges related to 
the disclosure of Presidential or Vice-Presidential records. 
CBO estimates that the direct cost to comply with those 
mandates would be minimal, if any, and well below the annual 
threshold established by UMRA ($131 million in 2007, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Matthew 
Pickford (for federal costs) and Paige Piper/Bach (for the 
private-sector impact). This estimate was approved by Peter H. 
Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 44, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 22--PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec.
2201. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *
2208. Claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2204. Restrictions on access to Presidential records

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Upon the death or disability of a President or former 
President, any discretion or authority the President or former 
President may have had under this chapter, except section 2208, 
shall be exercised by the Archivist unless otherwise previously 
provided by the President or former President in a written 
notice to the Archivist.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) The Archivist shall not make available any original 
presidential records to any individual claiming access to any 
presidential record as a designated representative under 
section 2205(3) if that individual has been convicted of a 
crime relating to the review, retention, removal, or 
destruction of records of the Archives.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2207. Vice-Presidential records

  Vice-Presidential records shall be subject to the provisions 
of this chapter in the same manner as Presidential records. The 
duties and responsibilities of the Vice President, with respect 
to Vice-Presidential records, shall be the same as the duties 
and responsibilities of the President under this chapter, 
except section 2208, with respect to Presidential records. The 
authority of the Archivist with respect to Vice-Presidential 
records shall be the same as the authority of the Archivist 
under this chapter with respect to Presidential records, except 
that the Archivist may, when the Archivist determines that it 
is in the public interest, enter into an agreement for the 
deposit of Vice-Presidential records in a non-Federal archival 
depository. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to 
authorize the establishment of separate archival depositories 
for such Vice-Presidential records.

Sec. 2208. Claims of constitutionally based privilege against 
                    disclosure

  (a)(1) When the Archivist determines under this chapter to 
make available to the public any Presidential record that has 
not previously been made available to the public, the Archivist 
shall--
          (A) promptly provide notice of such determination 
        to--
                  (i) the former President during whose term of 
                office the record was created; and
                  (ii) the incumbent President; and
          (B) make the notice available to the public.
  (2) The notice under paragraph (1)--
          (A) shall be in writing; and
          (B) shall include such information as may be 
        prescribed in regulations issued by the Archivist.
  (3)(A) Upon the expiration of the 20-day period (excepting 
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) beginning on the 
date the Archivist provides notice under paragraph (1)(A), the 
Archivist shall make available to the public the record covered 
by the notice, except any record (or reasonably segregable part 
of a record) with respect to which the Archivist receives from 
a former President or the incumbent President notification of a 
claim of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure 
under subsection (b).
  (B) A former President or the incumbent President may extend 
the period under subparagraph (A) once for not more than 20 
additional days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public 
holidays) by filing with the Archivist a statement that such an 
extension is necessary to allow an adequate review of the 
record.
  (C) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), if the period 
under subparagraph (A), or any extension of that period under 
subparagraph (B), would otherwise expire after January 19 and 
before July 20 of the year in which the incumbent President 
first takes office, then such period or extension, 
respectively, shall expire on July 20 of that year.
  (b)(1) For purposes of this section, any claim of 
constitutionally based privilege against disclosure must be 
asserted personally by a former President or the incumbent 
President, as applicable.
  (2) A former President or the incumbent President shall 
notify the Archivist, the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate of a 
privilege claim under paragraph (1) on the same day that the 
claim is asserted under paragraph (1).
  (c)(1) The Archivist shall not make publicly available a 
Presidential record that is subject to a privilege claim 
asserted by a former President until the expiration of the 20-
day period (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public 
holidays) beginning on the date the Archivist is notified of 
the claim.
  (2) Upon the expiration of such period the Archivist shall 
make the record publicly available unless otherwise directed by 
a court order in an action initiated by the former President 
under section 2204(e).
  (d)(1) The Archivist shall not make publicly available a 
Presidential record that is subject to a privilege claim 
asserted by the incumbent President unless--
          (A) the incumbent President withdraws the privilege 
        claim; or
          (B) the Archivist is otherwise directed by a final 
        court order that is not subject to appeal.
  (2) This subsection shall not apply with respect to any 
Presidential record required to be made available under section 
2205(2)(A) or (C).
  (e) The Archivist shall adjust any otherwise applicable time 
period under this section as necessary to comply with the 
return date of any congressional subpoena, judicial subpoena, 
or judicial process.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF REPRESENTATIVE TOM DAVIS

    This legislation is identical to legislation (H.R. 4187) 
introduced in the 107th Congress and approved by the Committee 
under Rep. Dan Burton's (R-IN) leadership. I commend him for 
his work in this area. We need to ensure that the public's 
interest remains paramount. As Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) noted in 
Subcommittee, it is important that we distinguish the Nation's 
interest from a former President's interest. I offered an 
amendment to this bill (H.R. 1255), which was approved by the 
Committee on a voice vote that I would like to highlight.
    My amendment will close a loophole in the Presidential 
Records Act, which allows those individuals previously 
convicted of a crime relating to mishandling Archives records 
to continue to have special access to Presidential records. The 
amendment states that the Archivist shall not make available 
any original Presidential records to any individual claiming 
access as a designated representative under Section 2205(3) of 
title 44, if that individual has been convicted of a crime 
relating to the review, retention, removal, or destruction of 
Archives records.
    In short, if you are convicted of mishandling Archives 
records, we should not give you special access to original 
Presidential records. We should take the simple step of 
blocking your access to them. You are a risk, and we are 
obligated to mitigate risks of this type. Given the critical 
importance of Presidential records to the public, to 
researchers, and to the press, we must ensure no one can tamper 
with history.

                                                         Tom Davis.