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Senate passes bill to improve government FOIA response

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  1. Freedom of Information
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that is designed…

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that is designed to speed up public records requests and investigate the sizable backlog of those still pending.

The bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, co-sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., would establish a commission to investigate FOIA backlogs and recommend how to expedite future requests.

“Senator Cornyn and I believe that agency delays in processing FOIA requests are simply unacceptable, and that is why we introduced this bill,” Leahy said in a release.

The two senators first introduced the legislation in 2005 and again this March.

The legislation came in the wake of a study done by The Associated Press that found agencies were citing more exemptions to FOIA requests even though the number of requests has decreased and the Obama administration has called for more transparency.