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Latest Taxpayer's Tab: Presidential Library Donations

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Presidential libraries are expensive propositions, and while the federal government foots most of the costs associated with archiving and maintaining the various papers, photos, and memorabilia on display within them, private foundations finance most of the construction and maintenance costs. However, private donors are allowed to give as much as they'd like to a president's library (even those who are still in office) and foundations that accept them do not usually have to identify those who donate large sums of money. This has lead to allegations of donors "buying" perks such as White House access and Presidential pardons, and a call for more transparent financial disclosures.

In this week's edition of The Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF featured Congressman John Duncan's (R-TN) and Senator Tom Carper's (D-DE) Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, which would require presidential library foundations to disclose the names of donors who give more than $200 in any financial quarter. H.R. 1133/S. 2640 would make those disclosures accessible and searchable online, an effort the Congressional Budget Office estimates would cost about $1 million per year.

Also featured this week:

  • Most Expensive: Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the NIST Reauthorization Act, which would provide additional funding to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. H.R. 5035 would increase federal spending by about $260 million per year.
  • Least Expensive: Senator Tim Scott's (R-SC) Charity Care Expansion Act would create a new tax deduction for medical professionals to offset the costs they incur by providing free or reduced cost "charity care" to uninsured Americans. S. 2492 would also repeal the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, which would reduce federal spending by $3 billion over five years.

For more on these bills and the latest NTUF research, check out The Tab online.