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House votes to improve FOIA response

The U.S. House of Representatives March 14 passed legislation to strengthen how federal agencies implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-MO; Todd Platts, R-PA; and Henry Waxman, D-CA, put together H.R. 1309, which passed by a vote of 308 to 117.

The Senate held a hearing March 15 on similar legislation introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, and John Cornyn, R-TX. Both the House and Senate versions would impose strong penalties on government agencies for missing FOIA deadlines.

The Congressional action coincided with Sunshine Week, a non-partisan initiative to strengthen government transparency.