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110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-896
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

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



 
   CHARLES H.W. MEEHAN LAW LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT AND MODERNIZATION ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 27, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on House Administration, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6589]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 6589) to provide financial support for the 
operation of the law library of the Library of Congress, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment (stated in terms of the page and line numbers 
of the introduced bill) is as follows:
  Page 2, line 6, strike ``building, maintaining, and 
administering'' and insert ``maintaining and administering''.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    The Charles H.W. Meehan Law Library Improvement and 
Modernization Act (H.R. 6589) aims to modernize and maintain 
the operations and functions of the Law Library of the Library 
of Congress.

                              BILL SUMMARY

    The Committee strongly urges the House to pass this bill, 
which will provide resources to improve the Law Library (``Law 
Library'') of the Library of Congress.
    H.R. 6589 authorizes $3,500,000.00 to the Librarian of 
Congress to build, maintain and administer the operations of 
the Law Library. Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
bill's authorization will be available without fiscal year 
limitation until spent. Further, section 2 of the bill provides 
for the cataloging and archiving of nonproprietary material in 
the collection of the Law Library.
    The bill also provides the Law Library with a line item 
appropriation ensuring that all amounts appropriated are 
attributed solely to the Law Library. The line item would begin 
in 2010 and continue for each succeeding fiscal year.
    Section 4 establishes the Charles H.W. Meehan Program. The 
program calls for the implementation of enhanced or special 
services and programs for the Law Library and otherwise 
supports the mission of the Law Library through a public 
private partnership.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On July 30th, 2008, the Committee considered H.R. 6589 and, 
by voice vote, ordered the bill reported favorably with an 
amendment. No recorded votes were taken during consideration of 
the bill.

                   BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR H.R. 6589

    The Law Library of the Library of Congress was established 
in 1832 to address Congress's need for readily accessible legal 
information. Today, the Law Library of the Library of Congress 
is the largest legal library in the world, with a collection of 
over 3 million volumes that cover almost every jurisdiction 
worldwide. While the strides the Law Library has made in its 
almost 200 years of existence are remarkable, there is still 
much work to be done.
    The Law Library is currently in the process of organizing 
all materials using the uniform K classification system as most 
law libraries use today. At present, with current staffing 
levels and appropriated funds, the K Classification will be 
complete in approximately 25 years. Passing H.R. 6589 would 
complete this essential process sooner.
    The Law Library occupies a unique position, not just with 
respect to library science or the legal profession, but within 
the nation as a whole. H.R. 6589 will provide the Law Library 
the resources necessary not just to maintain this distinctive 
position but also to offer new and innovative services for 
years to come.
    The line item appropriation will ensure that all funds for 
the Law Library will be received by the Law Library and the 
Charles H.W. Meehan Program will ensure the continued 
availability of and access to this amazing collection of legal 
materials for future generations.

                   ANALYSIS OF THE BILL (AS REPORTED)

    Section 1. Short title (``The Charles H.W. Meehan Law 
Library Improvement and Modernization Act''), named in honor of 
the first Law Librarian of Congress.
    Section 2. Section 2 of the bill provides new financial 
support mechanisms for the Law Library. In addition to other 
funds available for financial support of the Law Library, the 
bill authorizes a onetime appropriation of $ 3,500,000.00 to be 
used for maintaining and administering Law Library services. 
Upon introduction, the language read ``for building, 
maintaining and administering the operation of the Law 
Library'', which triggered an additional referral to the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. An amendment 
adopted by voice vote during the Committee on House 
Administration mark-up on July 30th, 2008 struck the word 
``building'' in order to eliminate any confusion.
    Further, section 2 of the bill provides for the cataloging 
and archiving of nonproprietary material to the extent 
practicable in the collection of the Law Library.
    Section 3. Section 3 of H.R. 6589 provides for a line item 
appropriation for the Law Library. Currently, funding for the 
Law Library is drawn from the Library of Congress's general 
budget. Section 3 gives the Law Library a separate appropriated 
amount.
    Section 4. Section 4 establishes the Charles H.W. Meehan 
Program (``Program''). The Program calls for the implementation 
of enhanced or special services and programs for the Law 
Library and otherwise supports the mission of the Law Library.
    Funding for the Program will come in the form of 
appropriations as well as private donations of funds or in-kind 
contributions. These contributions will be accepted by the 
Library of Congress Trust Fund Board and by the Librarian of 
Congress. Any amount accepted in support of the Program by 
either the Trust Fund Board or the Librarian of Congress will 
be subject to disbursement upon the recommendation of the Law 
Librarian. The Librarian of Congress can also accept voluntary 
services in support of the Program.
    The bill also provides for a separate account in the 
Treasury for the Program, which will consist of amounts 
accepted by the Trust Fund Board, amounts accepted by the 
Librarian of Congress, amounts appropriated and interest on the 
balance of the account. Any funds in the account shall be used 
solely in support of the Law Library.
    No later than April 30th of each year, beginning in 2009, 
the Librarian of Congress shall submit a report on the Program 
funding and activities to the Committee on House 
Administration, the Committee on Rules and Administration in 
the Senate, the American Bar Association and the American 
Association of Law Libraries. The report shall include:
     A listing of all donations received during the 
previous year;
     Total obligations during the previous year;
     The amount appropriated pursuant to the 
authorization under subsection (f) for the fiscal year 
beginning on the previous October 1;
     A list of Program activities, along with budget 
information for each such activity, planned for the calendar 
year; and
     Any finding in the most recently completed audit 
with respect to the Law Library or Programs funds or 
investments.
    Finally, the bill authorizes to be appropriated for the 
Program an amount equal to 40% of the amount of the donations 
accepted by the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board in support 
of the Program

             MATTERS REQUIRED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE

                        CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY

    Clause 3(d)(1) of House Rule XIII requires each committee 
report on a public bill or joint resolution to include a 
statement citing the specific constitutional power(s) granted 
to the Congress on which the Committee relies for enactment of 
the measure under consideration. This bill relies upon the 
legislative authority granted to the Congress in Article I, 
Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of House Rule XIII requires the results of each 
recorded vote on an amendment or motion to report, together 
with the names of those voting for and against, to be printed 
in the committee report. No recorded votes were taken during 
the Committee's consideration of H.R. 6589.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    Clause 3(c)(3) of House Rules XIII requires the report of a 
committee on a measure which has been approved by the committee 
to include a cost estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act (``CBA''), if timely submitted. The 
Director submitted the following estimate:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 12, 2008.
Hon. Robert A. Brady,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6589, the Charles 
H.W. Meehan Law Library Improvement and Modernization Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Anthony.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6589--Charles H.W. Meehan Law Library Improvement and 
        Modernization Act

    H.R. 6589 would authorize the appropriation of $3.5 million 
for the law library of the Library of Congress, and would 
establish a Charles H.W. Meehan program to support the mission 
of the law library. The library could receive donations of 
funds and in-kind support, and could spend those funds (and the 
interest earned on them) without future appropriation. In 
addition, the bill would authorize appropriations equal to 40 
percent of the donations received for support of the law 
library.
    Based on the nature of previous donations in support of the 
law library and historical spending patterns, and assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 6589 would cost $3.5 million over the 2009-
2013 period.
    Because H.R. 6589 would allow the Librarian to accept and 
spend donations for projects, enacting H.R. 6589 could affect 
direct spending and receipts, but the spending and the receipts 
would offset each other. In addition, the bill would allow the 
Librarian to spend any interest earned on the donations. CBO 
expects that such spending would be negligible. Thus, CBO 
estimates that changes in direct spending and receipts from 
enacting the bill would not have a significant net effect on 
the federal budget.
    H.R. 6589 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Christina Hawley 
Anthony. This estimate was approved by Keith Fontenot, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Health and Human Resources, Budget 
Analysis Division.

                            FEDERAL MANDATES

    Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any 
public bill or joint resolution that includes a federal mandate 
to include specific information about such mandates. The 
Committee states that H.R. 6589 includes no federal mandates.

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any 
public bill or joint resolution to include a committee 
statement on the extent to which the measure is intended to 
preempt state or local law. The Committee states that H.R. 6589 
is not intended to preempt any state or local law.

                           OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII requires each committee report 
to contain oversight findings and recommendations required 
pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of House Rule X. The Committee has 
general oversight responsibility for the Library of Congress. 
The Committee conducted a hearing on October 24th 2007 and 
reviewed the status of the Law Library of the Library of 
Congress and its need for additional resources. Therefore, the 
Committee finds that a line item would best enhance the Law 
Library's ability to meet its financial obligations.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Clause 3(c)(4) of House Rule XIII requires committee 
reports to include a statement of general performance goals and 
objectives. The performance goals and objectives for this bill 
are described in the Bill Summary above.

                       CONGRESSIONAL ``EARMARKS''

    Clause 9 of House Rule XXI requires committee reports on 
public bills and resolutions to contain an identification of 
congressional ``earmarks,'' limited tax benefits, limited 
tariff benefits, and the names of requesting Members. The bill 
contains no such items either as introduced or as reported to 
the House.

             CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT APPLICABILITY

    Section 102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act 
of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-1) (CAA) requires each report on a public 
bill or joint resolution relating to terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services or accommodations to 
describe the manner in which the legislation applies to the 
Legislative Branch. The bill contains no such items either as 
introduced or as reported to the House.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    As required by clause 3(e) of House Rule XIII, H.R. 6589 
makes no changes to existing law.