In addition to the introduction of the Presidential Donations Reform Act of 2007 by Represenatives Waxman, Duncan, Clay, Platts, and Emanuel, which would vastly increase transparency in the funding of presidential libraries, the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 were introduced today by Representatives Waxman, Platts, Clay, and Burton:
Overturning the Bush Executive Order. Under the Presidential Records Act, presidential records are supposed to be released to historians and the public 12 years after the end of a presidential administration. In November 2001, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13233 which overturned an executive order issued by President Reagan and gave current and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to withhold presidential records or delay their release indefinitely. The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 would nullify the Bush executive order and establish procedures to ensure the timely release of presidential records.
UPDATE: Watch Rep. Lacy Clay, who presided over the hearing as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, ask historians about their feelings on President Bush’s executive order and the ramifications for the future: