H.R. 1387: Electronic Message Preservation Act

H.R. 1387

Electronic Message Preservation Act

March 17, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.R. 1387 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, under suspension of the rules.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) on March 9, 2009, and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The Committee held a markup of the bill and ordered it to be reported, as amended, by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1387 would amend federal law regarding the preservation and storage of electronic communications.  The bill would direct the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to issue regulations governing the preservation of e-mail and other electronic records in electronic format and establish procedures to prevent the unauthorized removal of classified records from NARA facilities.  The bill also would require federal agencies to manage and preserve their e-mail records electronically.  Finally, H.R. 1387 would amend the Presidential Records Act to give NARA additional authority to oversee management of electronic records of the President, including the authority to restrict access to those records.


H.R. 1387 is substantially similar to H.R. 5811 which passed the House on July 9, 2008.  H.R. 5811 passed the House on July 9, 2008, by a vote of 286-137.


CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1387 would cost $156 million over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.  The legislation could also affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations (such as the Tennessee Valley Authority) or by agencies considered to be off-budget (such as the U.S. Postal Service).  CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not be significant.