Chairs Maloney, Connolly Issue Statements on Revised Agreement Between the National Archives and George W. Bush Foundation

Nov 16, 2022
Press Release
New Agreement on the George W. Bush Presidential Library Will Help Address Concerns About Historical Objectivity Raised by the Committee

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 16, 2022)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerry Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, issued the following statements in response to the revised agreement between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and George W. Bush Foundation regarding the proposal to privatize the George W. Bush Presidential Library by transferring certain operations from NARA to the Bush Foundation.


“I commend NARA and the Bush Foundation for working to collaboratively address the Committee’s concerns about privatizing the George W. Bush Presidential Library,” said Chairwoman Maloney.  “The agreement represents a commitment to presenting presidential materials and historic artifacts in a fair and balanced manner, and I am hopeful that the Bush Foundation will continue to honor this commitment going forward.  Today’s agreement will ensure that the public can learn about the history of our nation’s leaders in a historically objective manner, while also balancing the financial burden on the federal government to maintain the presidential library.” 


“The public has a right to know who is telling the stories of our nation’s history,” said Subcommittee Chairman Connolly.  “This operating agreement, developed with input from the Committee and Subcommittee, ensures that the historical record of our presidential leaders is presented fairly and accurately.  The agreement also ensures Congress is apprised of NARA’s continued efforts to digitize presidential records. I look forward to continued partnership with NARA to highlight invaluable historical lessons that we must continue to hear and heed.”


The revised agreement announced today would:


  • Require physical signage to distinguish between which portions of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum are run by the George W. Bush Foundation or NARA;


  • Engage historians to review changes to the permanent exhibit gallery to provide an independent perspective and a balanced presentation of the historical record; and


  • Require NARA to submit to Congress a plan to digitize the records of the George W. Bush Library and Museum.


This agreement follows oversight from the Committee seeking to ensure that presidential materials and artifacts at the George W. Bush Presidential Library are presented in a fair and balanced manner. 


On July 1, 2022, the Chairs sent a letter to NARA raising concerns about a memorandum of understanding between NARA and the Bush Foundation that specified that the Bush Foundation would assume control over curation and programming for the Museum and education spaces. 


The Committee’s July letter requested a pause on implementation of NARA’s proposal to revert ownership and control of the Bush Presidential Museum and educational spaces within the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to the privately-run Bush Foundation.  NARA complied with this request and worked with the Bush Foundation and the Committee to revise the agreement. 



117th Congress