Subchapter I Charter Provisions
Subchapter II National Gallery of Art
Subchapter III National Portrait Gallery
Subchapter IV Smithsonian Gallery of Art
Subchapter V John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Subchapter VI Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Subchapter VII National Air and Space Museum
Subchapter VIII Paleontological Investigations
Subchapter IX Canal Zone Biological Area
Subchapter X National Armed Forces Museum Advisory Board
Subchapter XI Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Subchapter XII Museum of African Art
Subchapter XIII National Museum of the American Indian
Subchapter XIV National Museum of African American History and Culture
Subchapter XV Civil Rights History Project
Subchapter XVI Women’s History Museum
Subchapter XVII National Museum of the American Latino

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 20 > Chapter 3 - Smithsonian Institution, National Museums and Art Galleries

  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Agency: means the Central Intelligence Agency. See 50 USC 2001
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • alteration: includes changes of any kind, reconstruction, or removal in whole or in part. See 33 USC 511
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Balanced budget: A budget in which receipts equal outlays.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Board of Regents: means the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Board of Trustees: means the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • bridge: means a lawful bridge over navigable waters of the United States, including approaches, fenders, and appurtenances thereto, which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying railroad traffic, or both railroad and highway traffic, or if a State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision is the owner or joint owner thereof, which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying highway traffic. See 33 USC 511
  • bridge owner: means any State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision, or any corporation, association, partnership, or individual owning, or jointly owning, any bridge, and, when any bridge shall be in the possession or under the control of any trustee, receiver, trustee in a case under title 11, or lessee, such terms shall include both the owner of the legal title and the person or the entity in possession or control of such bridge. See 33 USC 511
  • Budget authority: Authority provided by law to enter into obligations that will result in outlays of Federal funds. Budget authority may be classified by the period of availability (one-year, multiyear, no-year), by the timing of congressional action (current or permanent), or by the manner of determining the amount available (definite or indefinite).
  • burial site: means a natural or prepared physical location, whether below, on, or above the surface of the earth, into which, as a part of a death rite or ceremony of a culture, individual human remains are deposited. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Caucus: From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant "to meet together." An informal organization of members of the legislature that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
  • Chambers: A judge's office.
  • Committee print: A publication used by committees for various purposes. For example, the rules of each standing committee may be published as a committee print, and drafts of bills or committee reports may be produced as committee prints.
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Comptroller General: means the Comptroller General of the United States. See 31 USC 7501
  • Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
  • Conference report: The compromise product negotiated by the conference committee. The "conference report" is submitted to each chamber for its consideration, such as approval or disapproval.
  • congressional intelligence committees: means the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate. See 50 USC 2001
  • Congressional Record: The substantially verbatim account of daily proceedings in Congress. It is printed for each day Congress is in session. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • critical foreign language: means a foreign language that the Secretary determines, in consultation with the heads of such Federal departments and agencies as the Secretary determines appropriate, is critical to the national security and economic competitiveness of the United States. See 20 USC 9802
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Descendent: One who is directly descended from another such as a child, grandchild, or great grandchild.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • Director: means the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. See 50 USC 2001
  • Director: means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. See 31 USC 7501
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • employee: includes an officer of the Agency. See 50 USC 2001
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act: A federal law, established in 1971 and revised in 1997, that gives consumers the right to see their credit records and correct any mistakes. Source: OCC
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal awards: means Federal financial assistance and Federal cost-reimbursement contracts that non-Federal entities receive directly from Federal awarding agencies or indirectly from pass-through entities. See 31 USC 7501
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal financial assistance: means assistance that non-Federal entities receive or administer in the form of grants, loans, loan guarantees, property, cooperative agreements, interest subsidies, insurance, food commodities, direct appropriations, or other assistance, but does not include amounts received as reimbursement for services rendered to individuals in accordance with guidance issued by the Director. See 31 USC 7501
  • Federal program: means all Federal awards to a non-Federal entity assigned a single number in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance or encompassed in a group of numbers or other category as defined by the Director. See 31 USC 7501
  • Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • funerary object: means an object that, as part of a death rite or ceremony of a culture, is intentionally placed with individual human remains, either at the time of burial or later. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
  • generally accepted government auditing standards: means the government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General. See 31 USC 7501
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
  • Heye Museum: means the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
  • independent auditor: means --

    (A) an external State or local government auditor who meets the independence standards included in generally accepted government auditing standards. See 31 USC 7501

  • Indian: means a member of an Indian tribe. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Indian tribe: has the meaning given that term in section 5304 of title 25. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Indian tribe: means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaskan Native village or regional or village corporation (as defined in, or established under, the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act) that is recognized by the United States as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. See 31 USC 7501
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • internal controls: means a process, effected by an entity's management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:

    (A) Effectiveness and efficiency of operations. See 31 USC 7501

  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Lineal descendant: Direct descendant of the same ancestors.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • local government: means any unit of local government within a State, including a county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority, special district, school district, intrastate district, council of governments, any other instrumentality of local government and, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Director, a group of local governments. See 31 USC 7501
  • lump-sum credit: means the unrefunded amount consisting of retirement deductions made from a participant's basic pay and amounts deposited by a participant covering earlier service, including any amounts deposited under section 2082(h) of this title. See 50 USC 2001
  • major program: means a Federal program identified in accordance with risk-based criteria prescribed by the Director under this chapter, subject to the limitations described under subsection (b). See 31 USC 7501
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
  • National Credit Union Administration: The federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. (NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures the deposits of federal credit unions.) Source: OCC
  • National Museum: means the National Museum of the American Indian established by section 80q-1 of this title. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Native American: means an individual of a tribe, people, or culture that is indigenous to the Americas and such term includes a Native Hawaiian. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • Native Hawaiian: means a member or descendant of the aboriginal people who, before 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now comprises the State of Hawaii. See 20 USC 80q-14
  • non-Federal entity: means a State, local government, or nonprofit organization. See 31 USC 7501
  • nonprofit organization: means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that--

    (A) is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest. See 31 USC 7501

  • normal cost: means the level percentage of payroll required to be deposited in the fund to meet the cost of benefits payable under the system (computed in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practice on an entry-age basis) less the value of retirement benefits earned under another retirement system for government employees and less the cost of credit allowed for military service. See 50 USC 2001
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 1 USC 1
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • Original bill: A bill which is drafted by a committee. It is introduced by the committee or subcommittee chairman after the committee votes to report it.
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • pass-through entity: means a non-Federal entity that provides Federal awards to a subrecipient to carry out a Federal program. See 31 USC 7501
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • Presiding officer: A majority-party Senator who presides over the Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices and precedents.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • program-specific audit: means an audit of one Federal program. See 31 USC 7501
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
  • qualifying service: means service determined by the Director to have been performed in carrying out duties described in section 2013 of this title. See 50 USC 2001
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Ranking minority member: The highest ranking (and usually longest serving) minority member of a committee or subcommittee.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
  • recipient: means a non-Federal entity that receives awards directly from a Federal agency to carry out a Federal program. See 31 USC 7501
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
  • Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Education. See 20 USC 9802
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. See 33 USC 511
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • single audit: means an audit, as described under section 7502(d), of a non-Federal entity that includes the entity's financial statements and Federal awards. See 31 USC 7501
  • State: shall include the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. See
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, any instrumentality thereof, any multi-State, regional, or interstate entity which has governmental functions, and any Indian tribe. See 31 USC 7501
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • subrecipient: means a non-Federal entity that receives Federal awards through another non-Federal entity to carry out a Federal program, but does not include an individual who receives financial assistance through such awards. See 31 USC 7501
  • subscription: includes a mark when the person making the same intended it as such. See 1 USC 1
  • Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
  • Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • unfunded liability: means the estimated amount by which--

    (A) the present value of all benefits payable from the fund exceeds

    (B) the sum of--

    (i) the present value of deductions to be withheld from the future basic pay of participants subject to subchapter II and of future Agency contributions to be made on the behalf of such participants. See 50 USC 2001

  • United States: when used in a geographical sense, includes the Territories and possessions of the United States. See 33 USC 511
  • Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
  • User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 1 USC 1