WASHINGTON – Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) introduced a bill to require federal entities to include reasonable conditions in awarding naming rights for public spaces and institutions. The Government Integrity is Not for Trade or Sale (GIFTS) Act is designed to help keep the names of corrupt individuals off public institutions.
In the past, federal entities like the Smithsonian have awarded naming rights to donors in perpetuity. As a result, the National Museum of Asian Art, for example, is legally bound to keep the name of Arthur M. Sackler—the patriarch of the family responsible for the opioid epidemic—on it its gallery. The GIFTS Act would require government entities to include time limitations and morals clauses in agreements awarding naming rights—conditions that are best practices in the private and nonprofit sectors. Last December, Cooper questioned the President and CEO of Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family at a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
“It is appalling that so many institutions—especially taxpayer-funded ones—continue to bear the name of the Sacklers,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “The very least government can do is require morals clauses, especially when families like the Sacklers have no moral standards themselves.”
“The Sackler family amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune by fueling an opioid crisis that has claimed the lives of more than half a million people in the United States. For too long, they have evaded accountability, ” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, said. “With this bill, we can ensure the names of the Sacklers and other powerful bad actors who harm our communities are no longer emblazoned on our private and public institutions.”
The bill text can be found here.
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