Library in the News, 6/6/07

John McArdle of Roll Call today writes the first story I have seen on the appropriations bill that is taking shape in the Legislative Branch subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.? (The link is here, but is subscription-only.)

According to the article, the bill ?is expected to increase overall legislative branch spending by $251 million to $4.02 billion.?

McArdle focuses on two potential amendments as the spending bill moves forward in committee:

The first ? expected to be offered by Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois ? would reverse the de-funding of the Open World Leadership Center ($14.4 million) which, as the article points out, ?operates out of the Library of Congress but is funded separately from the LOC.?? Open World brings officials from the former Soviet Union to the United States under exchanges to expose them to American democratic institutions.

The second, to be offered by Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee, would change the name of the ?Great Hall? in the under-construction Capitol Visitors Center (CVC).? From the article:

Since early in the appropriations cycle, Wamp has argued that naming the CVC space the Great Hall is not only confusing but also does a disservice to the older, much venerated space in the LOC?s Thomas Jefferson Building.

?The Great Hall of the Library of Congress has this unbelievable history,? Wamp said. ?There are people in this city that can tell you every fresco on the ceiling and what it means. ? And here [at the CVC] somebody in their arrogance named this hall the Great Hall. It is a huge mistake left unfixed as we move forward.?

(Committee Chair Debbie) Wasserman Schultz has said that a renaming effort likely will not be approved mostly because of the fact that $250,000 already has been spent on ordering signs for the CVC Great Hall.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz stated that the funding priorities in the bill are those that meet the ?life-safety and security test?:

?Unfortunately [the Open World program] is one of those things that was in the ?it would be nice to have? category as opposed to the ?gotta have? category,? Wasserman Schultz said of the decision to cut the program?s funding this year.

One Comment

  1. John Wonderlich
    June 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Some additional detail on the Legislative Branch Appropriations markup (starting, incidentally, at 3 pm today) can be found on http://www.theopenhouseproject.com, where we’re discussing the possible re-funding of the Office of Technology Assessment, and other topics germane to the LOC.

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