Bid to update Freedom of Information Act fails

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2014 4:07 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has failed to update the Freedom of Information Act despite bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

The Senate approved a bill this week that would require federal agencies to have a presumption of openness when considering release of government information. The House passed a similar bill in February, but the two chambers could not agree on final language.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said he was deeply disappointed that the House did not take up the Senate bill, which he co-sponsored.

Leahy said he thought House Republican leaders would support the measure as a way to increase oversight of the Obama administration and make the government more accountable and transparent. The House adjourned Friday without acting on the bill.

He said Republicans "have chosen secrecy over sunlight."