GovTrack’s Bill Summary
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The bill’s title was written by the bill’s sponsor. H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr4086.
According to the House Committee on the Judiciary, the Immunity From Seizure Act (IFSA) provides the President with authority to grant a work of art or other object of cultural significance immunity from seizure by U.S. courts whenever he determines that its temporary exhibition or display is within the national interest of the United States. The intent of the IFSA is to encourage the cultural and educational exchange of artwork and other culturally significant objects which, in absence of the legislation, would not be made available for cultural exchange. In enacting IFSA, Congress recognized that cultural exchange can produce substantial benefits to the United States, both artistically and diplomatically.
However, for artwork and cultural objects owned by foreign governments, the intent of IFSA is being frustrated by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). A provision of FSIA opens foreign governments up to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts if foreign government owned artwork is present in the United States in connection with a commercial activity and there is a claim that the artwork was taken in violation of international law. Courts have determined that the display or exhibition of the artwork can be “in connection with commercial activity” even if the display or exhibition is done by a non-profit entity.
According to the American Association of Museum Directors, this has led, in many instances, to foreign governments declining to import artwork and cultural objects into the United States for temporary exhibition or display. Thus future cultural exchanges of may be seriously curtailed by foreign lenders’ unwillingness to permit their works of art and cultural objects to travel to the United States. In order to keep the exchange of foreign government-owned art flowing, Congress needs to clarify the relationship between IFSA and the FSIA.
H.R. 4086 would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) to restore the protections that the Immunity From Seizure Act (IFSA) was intended to provide. This bill would clarify that foreign government lenders will once again be assured that if they are granted immunity from seizure under IFSA, the loan of artwork or other objects of cultural significance for temporary non-profit exhibition or display in the United States will not open them up to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.
There is no CBO cost estimate available for this bill.
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
The bill contains the following citations to other parts of U.S. law:
Slip laws refer to enacted bills and joint resolutions in their original form as enacted by Congress, that is, before other laws amend them. Slip laws are cited as “Public Law XXX-YYY”, where XXX is the number of the Congress in which the bill or resolution was introduced.
The United States Code is the compilation of permanent laws enacted by Congress. Temporary and other non-permanent laws do not appear in the United States Code. (About half of the United States Code is the law itself, called positive law. The other half is merely a compilation of the laws but has no legal significance.)