RTDNA urges passage of FOIA Improvement Act

Radio Television Digital News Association's picture
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Bill would strengthen disclosure requirements

September 2, 2014 1:30 PM

When the Senate reconvenes in September, RTDNA and dozens of other journalism and open government organizations are urging it to quickly act on a bipartisan bill that would strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill, S. 2520, the FOIA Improvement Act, is sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.). The two “Sunshine Senators” paired together to craft the 2007 amendments to FOIA and this new bill reflects their continued efforts to find bipartisan fixes to make FOIA work better.


Specifically, S. 2520 would, among other changes, strengthen the FOIA ombudsman’s office, help curtail agencies’ rampant over-invocation of the “deliberative process” exemption (FOIA’s Exemption 5), encourage proactive disclosure of government information without the need for a FOIA request, and codify the current administration’s policy bolstering the presumption of disclosure at the heart of FOIA.


The window for enacting meaningful bipartisan FOIA improvements is running short. All pending bills have to start the process over when a new Congress convenes next year, and the Senate agenda is crowded with few remaining legislative days.


The Sunshine in Government Initiative encourages interested parties to call on members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to strongly support bipartisan legislation to strengthen the federal FOIA.


Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:


Democrats (10)


Patrick J. Leahy, Vt. - Chairman

Dianne Feinstein, Calif.

Charles E. Schumer, N.Y.

Richard J. Durbin, Ill.

Sheldon Whitehouse, R.I.

Amy Klobuchar, Minn.

Al Franken, Minn.

Chris Coons, Del.

Richard Blumenthal, Conn.

Mazie K. Hirono, Hawaii


Republicans (8)


Charles E. Grassley, Iowa - Ranking Member

Orrin G. Hatch, Utah

Jeff Sessions, Ala.

Lindsey Graham, S.C.

John Cornyn, Texas

Mike Lee, Utah

Ted Cruz, Texas

Jeff Flake, Ariz.

Copy this html code to your website/blog to embed this press release.


Post new comment

1 + 5 =

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Page execution time was 1192.65 ms.

Memory usage:

Memory used at: devel_init()=2.13 MB, devel_shutdown()=22.59 MB.