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House Votes to Strengthen Freedom of Information Act
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2014—The U.S. House of Representatives today approved H.R. 1211, the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2014, which would strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to increase access to public information.
Sean Moulton, Director of Open Government Policy at the Center for Effective Government, made the following statement:
This vote shows strong congressional support for government transparency and the Freedom of Information Act. Since its original passage nearly 50 years ago, FOIA has been a cornerstone of the public’s right to know. By modernizing FOIA, H.R. 1211 would improve Americans’ ability to access public information and strengthen our democracy.
We thank the chair and ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who worked with the open government community to develop this legislation in a bipartisan fashion. We urge the Senate to advance legislation addressing these issues and other pressing FOIA reforms, including the need to rein in secrecy claims under Exemption 5, which restrict access to important information about government operations.
Access to public information is crucial to our democracy and the government's effectiveness. It allows Americans to actively engage in policymaking in a thoughtful, informed manner and to hold public officials accountable for decisions that impact us all.