Armstrong, Hoeven offer bipartisan, bicameral bill to fund Theodore Roosevelt presidential library

U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) this week proposed a bipartisan, bicameral bill to fund a presidential library in their home state for Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Act, H.R. 7992/S. 4129, would authorize funding for the library’s continued construction in Medora, N.D., and would help preserve President Roosevelt’s history and legacy, said the lawmakers.

Rep. Armstrong on April 15 sponsored H.R. 7992 alongside nine original cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Pete Stauber (R-MN), and Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA). Sen. Hoeven on April 16 sponsored S. 4129 with three original cosponsors, including lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

In a joint statement, Rep. Armstrong and Sen. Hoeven called the measure “a wise investment” in the nation’s historical preservation. 

“It guarantees that future generations of Americans can access the rich history and enduring impact of Theodore Roosevelt,” they said. “As President Roosevelt proudly claimed, he would not have ascended to the presidency had it not been for North Dakota.”

The lawmakers added that they are honored that North Dakota will house the library.

Thus far, the bill has garnered support from North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF), and Theodore ‘Ted’ Roosevelt V, the great-great-grandson of President Roosevelt.

If enacted, the bill would authorize the TRPLF to enter into interagency agreements aimed at preserving and exhibiting federal curatorial collections associated with Roosevelt that are currently in storage, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

Additionally, the bill would enable the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide funding to the TRPLF, contingent on the foundation raising twice the matching funds from non-federal sources, the summary says, noting that federal funds allocated under the bill would not be utilized for the maintenance or operation of the library.

“We urge our colleagues to swiftly consider and pass this legislation so that all Americans can have access to a world-renowned center for studying President Roosevelt’s visionary leadership and dedication to conservation,” according to the statement released by Rep. Armstrong and Sen. Hoeven.