Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    111-170

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



 
      WILLIAM ORTON LAW LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT AND MODERNIZATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 19, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and 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. 2728]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2728) to provide financial support for the 
operation of the law library of the Library of Congress, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Amend section 5 to read as follows:

SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF LAW LIBRARY OF LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AS NATIONAL 
                    LAW LIBRARY.

  The law library of the Library of Congress shall be known and 
designated as the ``National Law Library'', and any reference to the 
law library of the Library of Congress in any law, rule, regulation, or 
document shall be deemed to be a reference to the National Law Library.

                 PURPOSE AND SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 2728 (The William Orton Law Library Improvement and 
Modernization Act) would authorize $3,500,000.00 to the 
Librarian of Congress for maintaining and administering the 
operations of the Law Library. Any amounts appropriated 
pursuant to the bill's authorization would 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 would provide 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.
    Finally, the bill would establish the William Orton 
Program, named after former Representative William Orton who 
represented Utah's 3rd District from 1991-1997. Representative 
Orton served on numerous task forces for the American Bar 
Associations Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. 
The program would implement enhanced or special services and 
programs for the Law Library and otherwise supports the mission 
of the Law Library through a public-private partnership.
    The Committee strongly supports this bill.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On June 10th, 2009, the Committee considered H.R. 2728 and, 
by voice vote, ordered the bill reported favorably with one 
amendment. No recorded votes were taken during consideration of 
the bill.

                   BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR H.R. 2728

    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 occupies a unique position, not just with 
respect to library science or the legal profession, but within 
the nation as a whole. H.R. 2728 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 Law Library is currently in the process of organizing 
all materials using the uniform K classification system as 
university law libraries do. Law Library estimates state that 
this process could be completed in 6.5 years with 6 full-time 
catalogers.
    The line item appropriation will ensure that all funds for 
the Law Library are received by the Law Library and the William 
Orton Program and 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 William Orton Law Library 
Improvement and Modernization Act'').
    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. 
Further, section 2 of the bill provides for the cataloging and 
archiving of nonproprietary material in the collection of the 
Law Library.
    Section 3. Section 3 of H.R. 2728 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 beginning in fiscal year 2011.
    Section 4. Section 4 establishes the William Orton 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 of 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 2010, 
the Librarian of Congress shall submit a report on Program 
funding and activities to the Committee on House 
Administration, the Senate Committee on Rules and 
Administration, the American Bar Association and the American 
Association of Law Libraries. The report shall include:
     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;
     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 Library 
audit with respect to the Law Library or Programs funds or 
investments.
    The bill also 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.
    Section 5. The introduced version of Section 5 of the bill 
was amended at mark-up to strike the existing language and 
insert new language to change the name of the Law Library of 
the Library of Congress to the National Law Library.

             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. The Committee on House 
Administration finds that Congress has the authority to enact 
this measure pursuant to its powers granted under article I, 
section 8 of the Constitution.
    Clause 1(j)(4) of House rule X charges the Committee on 
House Administration with jurisdiction of the Library of 
Congress, including management thereof.

                            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. 2728.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    Clause 3(c)(3) of House rule 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 403 of the CBA, 
if timely submitted. The Director submitted the following 
estimate:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 18, 2009.
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. 2728, the William 
Orton 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,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2728--William Orton Law Library Improvement and Modernization Act

    H.R. 2728 would authorize the appropriation of $3.5 million 
for the law library of the Library of Congress, and would 
establish a William Orton 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. 2728 would cost $3.5 million over the 2009-
2013 period.
    Because the bill would allow the Librarian to accept and 
spend donations for projects, enacting H.R. 2728 could affect 
direct spending, but gross outlays would be offset by the 
donations. In addition, the bill would allow the Librarian to 
spend any interest earned on the donations, though CBO expects 
that such interest would be negligible. Thus, CBO estimates 
enacting the bill would not have a significant net effect on 
the federal budget.
    H.R. 2728 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 Peter H. Fontaine, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                            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. 2728 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. 2728 
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 findings in support of this legislation are incorporated in 
the body of this report.

         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 goal and objective of H.R. 2728 is to modernize the Law 
Library of the Library of Congress and to ensure the Law 
Library is provided with adequate funding to fully carry out 
its mission.

                       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

    The bill makes no changes to existing law.