Last November, I drafted a letter to Rep. Stephen Horn, Chairman of the
House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government
Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Reform,
expressing opposition to President Bush's E.O. 13,233 relating to
implementation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA). The executive
order prevents the disclosure of records unless both the former and
incumbent Presidents affirmatively approve their release. It also
requires that federal officials honor executive privilege claims by a
former President regardless of the merits of the claim. The letter is part of the subcommittee's record for an oversight hearing on the
executive order that was held last November.
Noting that E.O. 13, 233 violates both the letter and the spirit of the
Presidential Records Act, Rep. Horn introduced H.R. 4187, the
"Presidential Records Act Amendments" on April 11, 2002. The bill
nullifies the executive order and establishes procedures to govern the
assertion of executive privilege claims by a former or incumbent
President in a way that is fully consistent with the Presidential
Records Act. It also recognizes that a former or incumbent Vice
President cannot claim presidential privileges.
A hearing on H.R. 4187 is scheduled for next Wednesday, April 24th, and
we're looking for as many additional cosponsors as we can get. H.R.
4187 was introduced with 22 cosponsors, so please check the listing
below for the name of your representative.
If your representative is not listed, please contact him/her through the
Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and urge that he/she cosponsor H.R.
4187, the "Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2002."
If your representative is listed, please contact him/her through the
Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and express your appreciation for
their support of this very important piece of legislation.