Senate Passes FOIA Reform Bill

The Senate has passed by unanimous consent the Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2015. The bill, cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), requires federal agencies to operate under a "presumption of openness," and places time limits on the FOIA's Exemption 5. Senator Leahy said that the bill "will help open the government to the 300 million Americans it serves and ensure that future administrations place an emphasis on openness and transparency." The House passed a similar bill in January 2016. Differences between the two versions must now be reconciled before President Obama can sign the bill into law. EPIC and a coalition of open government advocates urged the President to support the bipartisan legislation.

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