“NO” on Nomination of Carla Hayden to be Librarian of Congress

It has been reported that the Senate, at the request of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 49%, may vote on the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, before the end of the week.  With less than six months left before President Obama leaves office, there is absolutely no need for the Republican Senate to confirm Obama’s unqualified nominee to a 10 year renewable term as our nation’s Librarian of Congress, who oversees all the operations of the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

As Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has written:

“In his statement nominating Carla Hayden to become the librarian of Congress, President Obama didn’t even try to sell Dr. Hayden as a distinguished scholar, author, historian, or public intellectual. The president had no choice. Any claim that Hayden possessed credentials that match those of her distinguished predecessors over the last 40 years would have been dismissed as false.”

The Editors of National Review share these sentiments, arguing against confirmation her in their piece Obama Politicizes Even the Library of Congress:

“While Hayden is an accomplished woman in her field — she has been CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., since 1993, and from 2003 to 2004 she was the president of the American Library Association — she is not suited to the position of librarian of Congress….

“….Hayden is not a scholar. She has edited one book — Venture into Cultures: A Resource Book of Multicultural Materials and Programs — and published a smattering of articles, mostly on race and library access. She is, if anything, an activist. ‘We are fighters for freedom,’ she told Ms. magazine in 2003, waxing grandiose about ‘the social work aspect of librarianship.’ The Nation recently called her a “radical librarian.”

Besides her obvious lack of qualifications, Dr. Hayden’s background reveals a record of liberal activism, or “radical librarianism”.  Most egregious was her opposition to mandatory filters on pornography in libraries that receive federal funding.  In fact, during her tenure as the President of the American Library Association, she led an effort to overturn the Child Internet Protection Act, which blocked access to pornography by minors in public libraries.  

Back in January, Heritage Action issued a memo calling on the Republican-controlled Senate to stop confirming any of Obama’s non-security nominees.  Sadly, Senate Republicans have continued to rubber stamp Obama’s liberal judges and even confirmed another cabinet position, approving John B. King, Jr. to be Secretary of Education.  This is the same John King who, once confirmed, issued a sweeping transgender bathroom guidance that threatens the privacy, safety, and security of students across the country.  Senate Republicans cannot continue confirming President Obama’s most liberal nominees who go on to militantly advance his radical agenda. If Senate Republican Leadership allows a vote to confirm Dr. Hayden as Librarian of Congress, it would be yet another Republican capitulation to Obama on liberal nominees.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has also led a letter from the House of Representatives to the Senate in opposition to Dr. Hayden’s nomination.  In the letter he writes:

“….the Library of Congress is the nation’s premier research and scholarship center and a compendium for our nation’s intellect, knowledge, and culture. In addition, the Library serves a critical function for individual Members as well as for Congress as a whole, as it is our principal source of nonpartisan, objective information and research.  One of the great bipartisan agreements over the years has been the need for a national librarian who is highly respected and an internationally recognized scholar with no interest in partisan politics.”

Given Dr. Hayden’s track record and the liberal Nation magazine’s enthusiastic declaration that she is a “radical librarian”, there is no reason to believe she would have “no interest in partisan politics.”  In fact, her nomination by Obama, despite her lack of scholarly qualifications, is a dead giveaway that this potential appointment has been made almost entirely because of partisan purposes.

Senate Republicans have no excuse for giving President Obama, during the last 6 months of his lame duck year, the ability to insert his liberal agenda into the storehouse of our nation’s knowledge for the next 10 years.

Heritage Action opposes the nomination of Carla Hayden to be the Librarian of Congress and will include any vote on her confirmation on our legislative scorecard.