FOIA Reform Making Way in Senate

A FOIA reform bill passed unanimously by Senate Judiciary Committee in November may pass the full Senate as early as Friday. The Freedom of Information Act bill has been championed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) but was today met with a hold placed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.). Sen. Bob Corker also voiced objections but dropped his hold earlier today. Leahy and a bipartisan group of Senators are working to calm any objections within their caucuses.

Highlights of the proposed bill include a more lax fee policy on documents older than 25 years and requirements for federal agencies to act with a “presumption of openness”. The bill would also limit overuse of exemptions to withhold information from requestors. “The Freedom of Information Act is one of our Nation’s most important laws. It is about giving Americans greater access to their government and to hold government accountable,” said Senator Leahy. Republicans and Democrats alike are pushing for this FOIA reform. Hopefully we will see results soon!