The omnibus spending bill released by congressional leaders early Wednesday morning seeks to block some federal employees from using a personal email account similar to the one used by former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE.
The bill prohibits funding streams for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from being used “to support the use or establishment of email accounts or email servers created outside the .gov domain or not fitted for automated records management" consistent with the law.
Additionally, the legislation requires the State Department and USAID to update their policies for recordkeeping and try to ensure that all employees hand over relevant files when they leave office.
The twin provisions appear to be a direct response to Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email setup throughout her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. Though the arrangement would appear to violate current recordkeeping laws, those prohibitions were not in place when Clinton was in office.
Clinton’s email practices have outraged Republicans and frustrated transparency advocates, who worry that her setup may have prevented some government records from ever being made public.
The $1.1 trillion spending bill requires the State Department and USAID to report to Congress and the National Archives on its policy regarding private email accounts and efforts to comply with federal recordkeeping laws. That report is due 30 days after the bill is signed into law.
If the State Department fails to submit the report, $10 million would be withheld, the bill mandates.