CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, September 10, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 6112, to revise the authority of the Librarian of Congress to accept gifts and bequests on behalf of the Library, and for other purposes, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) on July 26, 2012, and referred to the Committee on House Administration, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote on July 19, 2012.
H.R. 6122 would amend “An Act to create a Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, and for other purposes in order to authorize the Librarian of Congress to accept gifts of securities for immediate disbursement, personal property valued at $25,000 or less, nonpersonal services, and voluntary and uncompensated personal services. Any donation of securities would require that the Librarian sell the securities and provide the donor with a receipt from the proceeds of the sale. Additionally, the Librarian would be required to include a description of each gift or bequest valued at $1,000 or more in the Annual Report of the Library of Congress.
According to House Report 112-624, the Librarian of Congress was authorized in 1925 to accept gifts of money and that authority has remained essentially unchanged. The Library has been offered various types of donations not suitable to be handled as Trust Funds that it lacked proper authority to accept. These include: donations of IT equipment, audiovisual equipment, and volunteer services outside of the American Folklife Center or the Center for the Book.
According to CBO, because the bill would allow the Librarian to accept and use more types of donations, enacting H.R. 6122 would affect direct spending and receipts; however, CBO estimates that the net effects would be insignificant for each year.