U.S. Senate approves FOIA reform bill

Posted December 11, 2014

This past weekend, transparency advocates and Freedom of Information Act bill supporters finally convinced Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to drop his objections, and the Senate passed the reform bill.

The Senate unanimously approved the FOIA Improvement Act, sending a bill to create a "presumption of openness" among government agencies to the House, which passed a similar bill earlier this year.

Because it includes some changes from the House bill, it will have to be approved by the House again before going to President Obama's desk for his signature.

Bill sponsors were Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

“Maintaining an open government is fundamental to our democracy. The FOIA Improvement Act will help open the government to all Americans by placing an emphasis on openness and transparency rather than allowing agencies simply to hide behind exemptions,” Cornyn and Leahy said in a joint statement.