Leahy-Cornyn open govt act passes committee
A bill co-authored by Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy and Texas Republican John Cornyn has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee:
"This bill advances one of the most fundamental rights of Americans, the public's right to know what its government is doing," said Leahy, who has been a longtime champion of FOIA in Congress. Leahy sponsored the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments, which updated FOIA for the Internet age, and in 1996 he was installed in the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.
Leahy said the bill "is more than just pro-openness, pro-accountability, and pro-accessibility -- it's also pro-Internet." It includes a hotline enabling citizens to track their requests, including Internet tracking, and extends the waiver of FOIA search fees for the media to bloggers and writers for Internet outlets, providing the same status as traditional media.
Leahy is a long-time FOIA proponent. Good for Cornyn for joining him, which Leahy pointedly thanked in floor statements. This is one of those unnoticed bills that is important, if Leahy's description is even close to true.
Plus, I'd get free FOIA requests if this bill is enacted. That's good, because it provides lots more people with an opportunity to do investigative reporting.
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