Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 4846) to authorize a grant for contributions toward the establishment of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, as amended.
Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I would yield myself such time as I might consume.
Mr. Speaker, this bill creates, for the first time, a matching grant program administered by the National Archives for the construction of a private Presidential library. I am pleased that the Woodrow Wilson Library Foundation is expanding, and I hope it can develop into a vital research center.
While I fully support the private Presidential libraries and will not oppose this bill, I do, however, want to raise two concerns about this method of funding these libraries.
First, I want us to be clear that we are not establishing a precedent here. Private Presidential libraries have always sought funds from private donors and have been successful in doing so. I do not want passage of this bill to encourage them to turn away from these sources of funding in favor of the Federal Government. The Federal Government simply does not have the resources to support all private Presidential libraries.
Secondly, I have been concerned that this grant would cut into the operating funds of the Archives. The National Archives is the Nation's depository of all valuable and preserved documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the Federal Government. This is a huge responsibility that must be met with its limited budget.
The bill before us is different from the introduced version, and I want to thank the sponsors of the bill for revising the bill to give the Archivist discretion regarding the provision of the grant. This provision ensures that any grant made to the Woodrow Wilson Library Foundation does not jeopardize any of the Archives' important work because it ensures that any grant to the library must be from funds appropriated specifically for that purpose.
Mr. Speaker, with these expressions of concerns and provisions, I would support this legislation.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4846, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Authorization Act, which will authorize grants from the National Archives for the establishment of a Presidential library to provide educational and interpretive service to honor the life of Woodrow Wilson.
As a statesman, scholar and President, Woodrow Wilson faced economic crisis, democratic decay, and a world war. Presidential historians agree that World War I and President Wilson's leadership radically altered the role of diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy, a policy that established a new path for America's role in promoting democracies throughout the world. So, too, did Wilson's high-minded ideals craft a legacy that shaped the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch in times
Mr. Speaker, as a professor and President of Princeton University, Wilson created a more selective and accountable system for higher education. By instituting curriculum reform, Wilson revolutionized the roles of teachers and students and quickly made Princeton one of the most renowned universities in the world.
Due to Wilson's legacy at Princeton, I am pleased to have the support of the current Princeton President, Shirley Tilghman, as we establish this library.
H.R. 4846 gives the National Archives the authority to make pass-through grants for the establishment of a Presidential library in Staunton, Virginia, Woodrow Wilson's birthplace, and does not create a new program.
In addition, to ensure that a public-private partnership exits, this legislation mandates that no grant shall be available for the establishment of this library until a private entity has raised at least twice the amount to be allocated by the archives.
Quite frankly, more Federal public-private programs should operate in this manner.
Finally, and to ensure that the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is not part of the Presidential library's system, this legislation states that the Federal Government shall have no role or responsibility for the ongoing operation of the library.
I am also pleased to have the support of several other Presidential sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, known as the Birthplace of Presidents, including Monticello, Poplar Forest, Montpelier, Ash-Lawn, and Mount Vernon.
Mr. Speaker, in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the life and principles and accomplishments of the 28th President of the United States, I ask that you join me in voting for this legislation in the 150th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson's birth year.
I would also like to thank the Woodrow Wilson Library Foundation for their help in this cause, including Eric Vettel, Don Wilson, honorary officers, board members, and trustees. I want to thank House leadership for scheduling this bill today, cosponsors, which includes the entire Virginia delegation and the staff of the Government Reform Committee and the Office of Legislative Counsel for their assistance in crafting this bill.
Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support the passage of H.R. 4846, as amended, and I yield back the balance of my time.