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Cohen Lauds Growing Bipartisan Support for Federal Medical Marijuana Legislation

Press release from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. 09; March 31, 2015:

Bipartisan, bicameral CARERS Act is now cosponsored by 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats 

[MEMPHIS, TN] – Medical marijuana legislation led in the House by Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) and in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is gaining more and more bipartisan support. Six Republicans and six Democrats have now cosponsored the bipartisan, bicameralCompassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would let states set their own medical marijuana policies, recognize a legitimate medical use for marijuana at the federal level, and allow Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend safe and effective marijuana-related treatments. The CARERS Act would also increase access to a non-psychoactive treatment that might have helped save the life of 3-year-old Memphian Chloe Grauer, who suffered from hundreds of seizures each day before tragically passing away late last year.

“Republicans and Democrats agree: federal law on medical marijuana is outdated, out of touch, and needs to change,” said Congressman Cohen. “Ailing patients deserve compassion, not prosecution, especially when they live in states that have legalized medical marijuana.  I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill and I hope their brave stances cause more Members of Congress help us pass this common-sense bill to respect states’ rights.”

“We need policies that empower states to legalize medical marijuana if they so choose—recognizing that there are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows,” said Senator Booker. “The growing momentum and bipartisan support for the CARERS Act in both the Senate and House are a clear indication that together, we can and will make medical marijuana accessible to the millions of Americans who could benefit from it.”

In addition to lead sponsors Senator Booker and Congressman Cohen, the CARERS Act is cosponsored by Senators Paul (R-KY), Gillbrand (D-NY), Heller (R-NV), and Boxer (D-CA) as well as Representatives Young (R-AK), Conyers (D-MI), Rohrabacher (R-CA), Nadler (D-NY), Hunter (R-CA), Lofgren (D-CA), Hanna (R-NY) and Norton (D-DC). This bipartisan legislation, which builds upon previous House efforts, would not legalize medical marijuana in any state but it would cause the federal government to respect states’ rights to set their own medical marijuana policies and prevent federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in those states.

“I welcome the support H.R. 1538 has received in recent days and look forward to building a broader coalition for states’ rights on the issue of marijuana,” said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said before, my support for the CARERS Act and similar efforts in Congress has always been based upon a strong belief in the 10th Amendment and the principals of federalism.  The CARERS Act is just one step towards protecting states that have legalized marijuana, and would allow them to properly enforce their laws and business practices.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana. Roughly a dozen additional states recognize a medical use for cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic compound derived from marijuana that has virtually no THC, the drug’s psychoactive ingredient, but that families have used successfully to treat their children’s seizures.

Memphis 3-year-old Chloe Grauer suffered from a rare neurological disease that caused her to have 100 to 200 seizures daily. Her family tried dozens of options to treat her disease including medications and surgery, but nothing stopped the seizures. Her family also tried to treat her with CBD, but were unable to because of marijuana’s Schedule I classification—the same highly-restrictive classification as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Sadly, Chloe passed away late last year. Despite current federal limits on marijuana research and medical usage, there is mounting evidence that the drug is an effective and safe treatment for nausea, pain, anxiety, and other disorders including certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

If passed and signed into law, the CARERS Act would:

  • Allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and eliminate federal prosecution of patients, providers, and businesses in states with medical marijuana programs,
  • Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, recognizing legitimate medical use
  • Allow for greater access to cannabidiol (CBD),
  • Allow access to banking services for marijuana-related businesses that are operating pursuant to state law,
  • Allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana, and
  • Cut red tape and expand opportunities for research on marijuana.

When the Controlled Substances Act first became law in 1970, Assistant Secretary of Health Roger Egeberg recommended that marijuana be placed on Schedule I temporarily until the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (known as the Shafer Commission) reported its findings on the drug. The Commission’s 1972 report recommended decriminalizing the drug, though that recommendation was never acted upon.

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Cohen Co-sponsoring U.S. House Version of Paul/Booker Federal Medical Marijuana Legislation

Press release from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. 09; March 24, 2015:

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation would increase states’ rights to regulate marijuana and allow veterans and other patients to access safe, effective & state-legal treatments without risking federal prosecution

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Don Young (AK-AL) have introduced H.R. 1538, the bipartisan House companion to the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act that Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced in the Senate this month. The legislation would let states set their own medical marijuana policies, recognize a legitimate medical use for marijuana at the federal level, allow Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend safe and effective marijuana-related treatments, let states set their own medical marijuana policies, and increase access to a non-psychoactive treatment that could have helped save the life of 3-year-old Memphian Chloe Grauer, who suffered from hundreds of seizures each day before tragically passing away late last year.

“Drug policy reform is long overdue, but I am pleased that today it is an issue that unites both Democrats and Republicans,” said Congressman Cohen. “The science has been in for a long time, and keeping marijuana on Schedule I—with heroin and LSD—is ludicrous. I am pleased to join with Congressman Don Young in introducing this important bill to bring the federal government in line with the science and the American people, respect states’ rights, remove the threat of federal prosecution in states with medical marijuana, and help our citizens access the treatments they need.”

“The topic of medical and recreational marijuana has always been an issue of state’ rights for me, a position based upon a strong belief in the 10th Amendment and the principals of federalism established by our Founders,” said Congressman Don Young.“The CARERS Act aims to protect states that have legalized medical marijuana and allow them to properly enforce their own laws. My position aims to reaffirm the states’ rights to determine the nature of criminal activity within their own jurisdictions, which I believe is critical for states to effectively legislate within their borders.”

This bipartisan legislation, which builds upon previous House efforts, would not legalize medical marijuana in any state but it would cause the federal government to respect states’ rights to set their own medical marijuana policies and prevent federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in those states. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana. Roughly a dozen additional states recognize a medical use for cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic compound derived from marijuana that has virtually no THC, the drug’s psychoactive ingredient, but that families have used successfully to treat their children’s seizures.

Memphis 3-year-old Chloe Grauer suffered from a rare neurological disease that caused her to have 100 to 200 seizures daily. Her family tried dozens of options to treat her disease including medications and surgery, but nothing stopped the seizures. Her family also tried to treat her with CBD, but were unable to because of marijuana’s Schedule I classification—the same highly-restrictive classification as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Sadly, Chloe passed away late last year. Despite current federal limits on marijuana research and medical usage, there is mounting evidence that the drug is an effective and safe treatment for nausea, pain, anxiety, and other disorders including certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

If passed and signed into law, the CARERS Act would:

  • Allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and eliminate federal prosecution of patients, providers, and businesses in states with medical marijuana programs,
  • Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, recognizing legitimate medical use
  • Allow for greater access to cannabidiol (CBD),
  • Allow access to banking services for marijuana-related businesses that are operating pursuant to state law,
  • Allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana, and
  • Cut red tape and expand opportunities for research on marijuana.

When the Controlled Substances Act first became law in 1970, Assistant Secretary of Health Roger Egeberg recommended that marijuana be placed on Schedule I temporarily until the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (known as the Shafer Commission) reported its findings on the drug. The Commission’s 1972 report recommended decriminalizing the drug, though that recommendation was never acted upon.

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Press Releases

Blackburn Files Legislation to Block Net Neutrality

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 4, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has reintroduced legislation to block the Obama Administration’s efforts to take over the Internet by implementing new Net Neutrality regulations. H.R. 1212, the Internet Freedom Act, would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules by stating that they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.

Blackburn’s legislation, which has 19 original co-sponsors, comes in response to last week’s 3-2 vote by the FCC to implement rules regulating the Internet as a utility.

“Last week’s vote by the FCC to regulate the Internet like a 1930s era public utility is further proof that the Obama Administration will stop at nothing in their efforts to control the Internet,” Blackburn said. “There is nothing ‘free and open’ about this heavy-handed approach. These overreaching rules will stifle innovation, restrict freedoms, and lead to billions of dollars in new fees and taxes for American consumers.

“Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”

Blackburn, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s Net Neutrality regulations since they were first proposed in 2010 by Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski. Despite being struck down by a Federal Appeals Court in January of 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pushed forward in an effort to implement President Obama’s net neutrality rules. Blackburn introduced the Internet Freedom Act in both the 112th Congress and 113th Congress.

Read the full text of the legislation HERE.

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Blackburn files Bill to Require More Transparency from United States Preventative Services Task Force

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 4, 2015:

Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) last week introduced H.R. 1151, the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation would amend title IX of the Public Health Service Act to require more transparent operations at the United States Preventative Services Task Force.

H.R. 1151 would fundamentally reform the Task Force by requiring a balanced and relevant representation of medical personnel, requiring members to disclose conflicts of interest, and requiring consultation with those who treat the specific disease in question.

“I am concerned that decisions are being made without proper input from the specialists who treat these diseases,” Blackburn said. “Our legislation would require common sense coordination among relevant agencies and stakeholders while protecting the doctor-patient relationship. I’m happy to join Congressman Rush in introducing this legislation to ensure that preventive care recommendations are not made in a vacuum. Patients and their physicians have the right to choose which tests are best for them.”

“This bill will bring the appropriate specialists and stakeholders to the table, and add clarity to the process of making recommendations on the preventative services that should be available to the American people, said Rep. Rush. “I am pleased to work with Rep. Blackburn to ensure preventive service recommendations are informed by the right people and that choice remains a hallmark of the doctor/patient relationship.”

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Black Condemns Persecution of Religious Minorities in Middle East, Calls on Obama to Act

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; March 4, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) announced the introduction of H. Res. 139, a resolution strongly condemning the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to providing protection and relief for those who are targeted because of their faith. Congressman Black released the following statement:

“While President Obama quibbles about the most politically correct way to describe our enemies and uses the National Prayer Breakfast to criticize Christianity, religious minorities continue to face extreme persecution in the Middle East and far corners of the world. From the kidnapping of Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram, to the unjust imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran, to the savage beheading of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of ISIS, there is an urgent need for both Congress and this Administration to speak out and engage in this fight to protect religious freedom abroad,” said Congressman Diane Black.

“We must send a message to those who are attacked for their faith that we stand with them and that we will not remain idle in the face of this injustice,” added Congressman Black. “A House resolution alone doesn’t solve this crisis, but we need to start the conversation now and plant a stake in the ground declaring the will of Congress on this critical issue. We need sanctions against nations like Iran that allow this persecution to continue. We need a robust plan to eradicate ISIS and, as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bold speech to Congress reminded us yesterday, we need continued support for our allies like Israel that face grave  dangers as they seek to live in peace in this unstable part of the world. I am hopeful that this resolution will spur us on towards taking these important next steps.”

Background:

Congressman Black’s resolution will:

  • Condemn violence against religious minorities in the Middle East and any actions that limit the free expression and practice of faith by these minorities;
  • Reaffirm the commitment of the United States to promoting religious freedom and tolerance around the world;
  • Call on the governments of the Middle East to uphold the internationally recognized human right to freedom from religious persecution and to end all forms of violence and discrimination against religious minorities;
  • Urge the Obama administration to appoint a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Middle East, as Congress called for in 2014 with the passage of the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act.
  • Congressman Black’s resolution is supported by Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and Coptic Solidarity.
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Fleischmann, Black, Blackburn Opposed to DHS Funding Bill that Allows Obama Amnesty

Press release from U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn. 03; March 3, 2015:

WASHINGTON− This afternoon, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted against H.R. 240, Senate-passed legislation that does not stop President Obama’s executive amnesty. After the vote, Rep. Fleischmann released the following statement.

“As a member of Congress, I swore to support and defend the Constitution, and my vote today did just that. The President’s attempt to bypass the U.S. immigration system through executive action is unconstitutional, and I could not support legislation that did nothing to stop his overreach.”

“In January, the House passed a bill to fund DHS while defunding the President’s illegal executive action. It’s unfortunate Senate Democrats filibustered that bill and refused to go to conference, pushing DHS to the brink of shutdown. I am hopeful that moving forward our chambers will be able to work together and stop governing from conflict to conflict.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn 06: March 3, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement on her vote against the Senate-passed “clean” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) full-year funding bill that failed to address President Obama’s immigration overreach. Earlier today, Rep. Black also voted for a motion by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to table consideration of the Senate’s version of this legislation. The motion was not adopted.

“I told my constituents that I would stand against any long-term DHS funding measure that allowed President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty to go unchecked – and I meant it,” said Congressman Diane Black. “We in Congress swore an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’ and the President’s unilateral actions are an affront to this document’s clearly established separation of powers. Tennesseans know that I vote my convictions, even when that means standing opposite party leadership in Washington. This ‘clean’ appropriations bill does nothing to combat the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty and, as such, it did not earn my support.”

Congressman Black added, “The House voted back in January to fully fund DHS while addressing the President’s immigration overreach. Senate Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for spending a month filibustering our original funding bill and refusing to go to a conference committee to resolve our differences through regular order. It’s time to stop these legislative hijinks that prevent Congress from doing the work of our constituents. A 60-vote threshold for invoking cloture is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. If Senate Democrats won’t allow for an open, honest debate on House-passed legislation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should enact a change in the Senate rules to help put an end to this obstructionism and political gamesmanship once and for all.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 3, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement on her vote in opposition to funding President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.

“A majority of the American public wants the President’s lawless and unconstitutional amnesty program stopped.The House acted appropriately on January 14th when we passed a bill to fund the DHS while also blocking amnesty policies that make our nation less safe.

“It is outrageous that Senate Democrats continue to put partisanship ahead of people by ignoring the law and taking actions to protect the President’s executive amnesty. It is noteworthy that two federal judges, one in Texas and one in Pennsylvania have each found the amnesty to be unconstitutional. Instead of working with House and Senate Republicans to solve this problem, the Senate Democrats have spent the last several weeks preaching to conservatives about the importance of protecting the country while turning a blind eye to the threat visited on this country every day by the President’s open borders policy. The duplicity of their actions is shameful. Any country that cannot protect their borders can not defend against threats, terrorists such as ISIS, and sleeper cells.”

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Cooper, Cohen Split on Israeli PM’s Congressional Address

Tennessee’s only two Democratic legislators in Washington have taken divergent positions on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pending speech to Congress Tuesday.

Memphis Rep. Steve Cohen, a Jewish American and self-described “supporter of the state of Israel,” has announced his intention to boycott because he believes “the speech is political theater” for Netanyahu’s re-election efforts.

Cohen also took umbrage with Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invitation to the Israeli leader in light of the Obama administration’s ongoing negotiations in the Middle East. He accused House Republicans of “giving a foreign leader the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as a forum to present a counterargument to the foreign policy peace efforts” of President Barack Obama.

“My lack of attendance does not mean I will not be aware of the content of the speech nor does it mean I won’t follow the commentary both pro and con but I will not be part of the spectacle,” Cohen said in a release.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, on the other hand, plans to attend, as he said he always does when a foreign leader addresses Congress. Cooper’s also planning to bring along the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville to the speech as his guest.

According to a media advisory e-mailed late Monday, House Democrats, led by Cohen, will make a response to Netanyahu’s speech early Tuesday afternoon.

Dozens of Democrats from both chambers of Congress — the count has fluctuated over the past month from 54 members of congress to 34  — have announced that they will not attend Netanyahu’s speech.

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Cooper: Treasury Report Shows U.S. Unfunded Liabilities at $64.4T, up $2.8T from 2013

Press release from U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. 05; February 27, 2015:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) highlighted this week’s release of the U.S. Treasury Department’s annual Financial Report of the United States, indicating $64.4 trillion in total unfunded liabilities, an increase of $2.8 trillion over 2013.

The Financial Report is the only annual government financial statement published in public-company format, which accounts for unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare.

Unfunded liabilities rose at a rate of nearly $8 billion per day last year.

“These are the real numbers, and they are terrible. Washington is still refusing to keep up with the national credit card,” Cooper said. “Most small businesses have better accounting standards than the federal government. Folks who read or hear this should tell their elected representatives or favorite trade associations to wake up, smell the coffee and tell the truth about America.”

Cooper has been a longtime advocate of the federal government using accrual (or “real”) accounting instead of the cash accounting method it currently uses, which hides the true cost of our national debt.

Cooper is a longtime advocate for a balanced, bipartisan debt reduction plan. In 2006, he published a foreword to the 2005 Financial Report of the United States. Six years later, Cooper and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced a bipartisan budget based on the proposal from the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Cooper-LaTourette budget would have reduced the debt by more than $4 trillion over the following decade.

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Black, Others Introduce Health Care Conscience Rights Act

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; February 26, 2015: 

Bill Offers Full Exemption from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate, Conscience Protections for Health Care Entities that Refuse to Provide Abortions 

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-01), and Congressman John Fleming (R-LA-04) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. The bill would protect Americans’ freedom of conscience and stop the Obama Administration’s attack on religious liberty. H.R. 940 offers full exemption from Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and ensures protections for individuals and healthcare entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply held beliefs.

The legislation would also specifically address the unlawful violation of religious freedom in California, where the state Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) issued a directive requiring that all insurance plans offered on the state exchange include coverage for abortions, including plans provided by churches, religious entities, and others with conscionable objections to such procedures. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act has the bipartisan support of 110 cosponsors.

“Religious freedom is a bedrock value of our society but, on President Obama’s watch, this time-honored principle is under assault,” said Congressman Diane Black. “From Obamacare’s coercive HHS mandate to the unlawful, pro-abortion directive by the state boards in California, it is clear that Congress must act where the White House will not and reverse this infringement of our First Amendment rights. That is why our bill offers full exemption from the HHS mandate and provides needed legal protections for healthcare entities who refuse to partake in the barbaric practice of abortion. As a nurse for more than 40 years, I am proud to introduce this legislation that will safeguard the conscience rights of every American and ensure that more unborn lives can be saved in the process.”

“The rights of conscience and religious freedom preexist the government. They are rights grounded by the demands of human dignity and are enshrined in our Constitution. It is a true poverty—that in the name of health care—this most cherished American principle is under assault, violating longstanding legislative agreement and precedent. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act restores this principle for all Americans,” said Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.

“The Administration’s actions are a direct assault on Americans’ religious liberties, forcing people of faith to violate their deeply held religious beliefs,” said Congressman John Fleming. “H.R. 940 will get at the heart of the issue: providing protections against coercive government practices; codifying the Weldon amendment to allow physicians and health care entities to provide quality care without being forced to participate in an abortion;  and providing a private right of action so that victims of government discrimination can seek justice.”

Relevant Background:

Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling
The Supreme Court rejected Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate in favor of family businesses in last year’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stories, Inc. verdict, however Congressional action is still needed to bring clarity to this debate. Following the court’s ruling, HHS devised an “accommodation” that still requires closely held, faith-based businesses to contract out with insurance companies that will provide coverage for the morally objectionable drugs and devices. The Obama Administration’s workaround does nothing to allow small business owners the freedom to provide health care plans that match their values, it simply removes the employers’ “fingerprints” from the transaction.

California Abortion Directive
On August 22, 2014, California’s DMHC issued a directive requiring that all plans offered on their exchanges – including those purchased by churches and religious charities – to include coverage for abortion. This is a direct violation of a longstanding federal law known as the Weldon Amendment. Reps. Fleming, Black, and Fortenberry – among other members – led a November 25, 2014 letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell calling attention to this injustice. To date, the Administration has not responded.  The Health Care Conscience Rights Act would specifically address this overreach.

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Duncan Seeks Transparency in Presidential Library Fundraising

Press release from U.S. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn. 02; February 25, 2015:

WASHINGTON – Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to shine light on the closed and secretive process of presidential library fundraising.

The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2015 would require presidential library fundraisers to disclose any donation of more than $200.  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, joined as the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the bill.

“Presidential library fundraising organizations are formed while a president is in office and collect donations from individuals, corporations and foreign governments with no limit on the contribution amount.  When there is no requirement for disclosing the donor or the amounts being donated, there is great potential for abuse,” Duncan said.

“I first introduced this bill in 1999 after learning that foreign governments from the Middle East were making very large donations to the proposed library for President Clinton. However, this is not a partisan issue. I introduced and have supported this legislation under both Democratic and Republican presidents,” Duncan continued.

“The Presidential Library Donation Act is a bipartisan, good government bill that would bring transparency to the process under which presidential libraries are built,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “The bill would require that the identities of those who donate to help construct a president’s library be disclosed.”

In 2013, Sunlight Foundation Policy Director Daniel Schuman endorsed this bill during a hearing on federal government transparency in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying it “would provide valuable information on special interests whose donations put them in close proximity with presidents.”

Swift action on the measure is expected in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Rep. Duncan’s presidential library transparency bill passed the U.S. House with large bipartisan majorities in 2002, 2007, and 2009.

Watch Rep. Duncan speak about this bill on the House floor HERE.