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111th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 111-170
WILLIAM ORTON LAW LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT AND MODERNIZATION ACT
June 19, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on House Administration,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 2728]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 2728) to provide financial support for the
operation of the law library of the Library of Congress, and
for other purposes, having considered the same, report
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill
as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Amend section 5 to read as follows:
SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF LAW LIBRARY OF LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AS NATIONAL
The law library of the Library of Congress shall be known and
designated as the ``National Law Library'', and any reference to the
law library of the Library of Congress in any law, rule, regulation, or
document shall be deemed to be a reference to the National Law Library.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION
H.R. 2728 (The William Orton Law Library Improvement and
Modernization Act) would authorize $3,500,000.00 to the
Librarian of Congress for maintaining and administering the
operations of the Law Library. Any amounts appropriated
pursuant to the bill's authorization would be available without
fiscal year limitation until spent. Further, section 2 of the
bill provides for the cataloging and archiving of
nonproprietary material in the collection of the Law Library.
The bill also would provide the Law Library with a line
item appropriation ensuring that all amounts appropriated are
attributed solely to the Law Library. The line item would begin
in 2010 and continue for each succeeding fiscal year.
Finally, the bill would establish the William Orton
Program, named after former Representative William Orton who
represented Utah's 3rd District from 1991-1997. Representative
Orton served on numerous task forces for the American Bar
Associations Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.
The program would implement enhanced or special services and
programs for the Law Library and otherwise supports the mission
of the Law Library through a public-private partnership.
The Committee strongly supports this bill.
On June 10th, 2009, the Committee considered H.R. 2728 and,
by voice vote, ordered the bill reported favorably with one
amendment. No recorded votes were taken during consideration of
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR H.R. 2728
The Law Library of the Library of Congress was established
in 1832 to address Congress's need for readily accessible legal
information. Today, the Law Library of the Library of Congress
is the largest legal library in the world, with a collection of
over 3 million volumes that cover almost every jurisdiction
worldwide. While the strides the Law Library has made in its
almost 200 years of existence are remarkable, there is still
much work to be done.
The Law Library occupies a unique position, not just with
respect to library science or the legal profession, but within
the nation as a whole. H.R. 2728 will provide the Law Library
the resources necessary not just to maintain this distinctive
position but also to offer new and innovative services for
years to come.
The Law Library is currently in the process of organizing
all materials using the uniform K classification system as
university law libraries do. Law Library estimates state that
this process could be completed in 6.5 years with 6 full-time
The line item appropriation will ensure that all funds for
the Law Library are received by the Law Library and the William
Orton Program and will ensure the continued availability of and
access to this amazing collection of legal materials for future
ANALYSIS OF THE BILL (AS REPORTED)
Section 1. Short title (``The William Orton Law Library
Improvement and Modernization Act'').
Section 2. Section 2 of the bill provides new financial
support mechanisms for the Law Library. In addition to other
funds available for financial support of the Law Library, the
bill authorizes a onetime appropriation of $3,500,000.00 to be
used for maintaining and administering Law Library services.
Further, section 2 of the bill provides for the cataloging and
archiving of nonproprietary material in the collection of the
Section 3. Section 3 of H.R. 2728 provides for a line item
appropriation for the Law Library. Currently, funding for the
Law Library is drawn from the Library of Congress's general
budget. Section 3 gives the Law Library a separate appropriated
amount beginning in fiscal year 2011.
Section 4. Section 4 establishes the William Orton Program.
The program calls for the implementation of enhanced or special
services and programs for the Law Library and otherwise
supports the mission of the Law Library.
Funding of the Program will come in the form of
appropriations as well as private donations of funds or in-kind
contributions. These contributions will be accepted by the
Library of Congress Trust Fund Board and by the Librarian of
Congress. Any amount accepted in support of the Program by
either the Trust Fund Board or the Librarian of Congress will
be subject to disbursement upon the recommendation of the Law
Librarian. The Librarian of Congress can also accept voluntary
services in support of the Program.
The bill also provides for a separate account in the
Treasury for the Program, which will consist of amounts
accepted by the Trust Fund Board, amounts accepted by the
Librarian of Congress, amounts appropriated and interest on the
balance of the account. Any funds in the account shall be used
solely in support of the Law Library.
No later than April 30th of each year, beginning in 2010,
the Librarian of Congress shall submit a report on Program
funding and activities to the Committee on House
Administration, the Senate Committee on Rules and
Administration, the American Bar Association and the American
Association of Law Libraries. The report shall include:
Listing of all donations received during the
Total obligations during the previous year;
The amount appropriated pursuant to the
authorization under subsection (f) for the fiscal year
beginning on the previous October 1;
List of Program activities, along with budget
information for each such activity, planned for the calendar
Any finding in the most recently completed Library
audit with respect to the Law Library or Programs funds or
The bill also authorizes to be appropriated for the Program
an amount equal to 40% of the amount of the donations accepted
by the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board in support of the
Section 5. The introduced version of Section 5 of the bill
was amended at mark-up to strike the existing language and
insert new language to change the name of the Law Library of
the Library of Congress to the National Law Library.
MATTERS REQUIRED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE
Clause 3(d)(1) of House rule XIII requires each committee
report on a public bill or joint resolution to include a
statement citing the specific constitutional power(s) granted
to the Congress on which the Committee relies for enactment of
the measure under consideration. The Committee on House
Administration finds that Congress has the authority to enact
this measure pursuant to its powers granted under article I,
section 8 of the Constitution.
Clause 1(j)(4) of House rule X charges the Committee on
House Administration with jurisdiction of the Library of
Congress, including management thereof.
Clause 3(b) of House rule XIII requires the results of each
recorded vote on an amendment or motion to report, together
with the names of those voting for and against, to be printed
in the committee report. No recorded votes were taken during
the Committee's consideration of H.R. 2728.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE
Clause 3(c)(3) of House rule XIII requires the report of a
committee on a measure which has been approved by the committee
to include a cost estimate prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 403 of the CBA,
if timely submitted. The Director submitted the following
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, June 18, 2009.
Hon. Robert A. Brady,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2728, the William
Orton Law Library Improvement and Modernization Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina
Douglas W. Elmendorf.
H.R. 2728--William Orton Law Library Improvement and Modernization Act
H.R. 2728 would authorize the appropriation of $3.5 million
for the law library of the Library of Congress, and would
establish a William Orton program to support the mission of the
law library. The library could receive donations of funds and
in-kind support, and could spend those funds (and the interest
earned on them) without future appropriation. In addition, the
bill would authorize appropriations equal to 40 percent of the
donations received for support of the law library.
Based on the nature of previous donations in support of the
law library and historical spending patterns, and assuming
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that
implementing H.R. 2728 would cost $3.5 million over the 2009-
Because the bill would allow the Librarian to accept and
spend donations for projects, enacting H.R. 2728 could affect
direct spending, but gross outlays would be offset by the
donations. In addition, the bill would allow the Librarian to
spend any interest earned on the donations, though CBO expects
that such interest would be negligible. Thus, CBO estimates
enacting the bill would not have a significant net effect on
the federal budget.
H.R. 2728 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Christina Hawley
Anthony. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine,
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any
public bill or joint resolution that includes a federal mandate
to include specific information about such mandates. The
Committee states that H.R. 2728 includes no federal mandates.
Section 423 of the CBA requires a committee report on any
public bill or joint resolution to include a committee
statement on the extent to which the measure is intended to
preempt state or local law. The Committee states that H.R. 2728
is not intended to preempt any state or local law.
Clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII requires each committee report
to contain oversight findings and recommendations required
pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of House rule X. The Committee has
general oversight responsibility for the Library of Congress.
The findings in support of this legislation are incorporated in
the body of this report.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Clause 3(c)(4) of House rule XIII requires committee
reports to include a statement of general performance goals and
The goal and objective of H.R. 2728 is to modernize the Law
Library of the Library of Congress and to ensure the Law
Library is provided with adequate funding to fully carry out
Clause 9 of House rule XXI requires committee reports on
public bills and resolutions to contain an identification of
congressional ``earmarks,'' limited tax benefits, limited
tariff benefits, and the names of requesting Members. The bill
contains no such items either as introduced or as reported to
CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT APPLICABILITY
Section 102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act
of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-1) (CAA) requires each report on a public
bill or joint resolution relating to terms and conditions of
employment or access to public services or accommodations to
describe the manner in which the legislation applies to the
Legislative Branch. The bill contains no such items either as
introduced or as reported to the House.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
The bill makes no changes to existing law.