OPEN Government Act of 2007

From ALA’s Washington Office:

Please contact your Senators and ask them to support the OPEN Government Act of 2007 (S. 849), and to urge Majority Leader Harry Reid or Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to support bringing the bill to the floor in early June. Unfortunately — and ironically, since this is an open government bill — there remains an anonymous hold on the bill preventing it from being scheduled. See Senator Leahy’s Press Release.

S. 849 is the result of the bipartisan efforts of Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and Committee Member John Cornyn, both sponsors of the bill. The OPEN Government Act has bipartisan support in the Senate, and the bill includes reforms to reduce backlogs, delays, and restrictions in responding to FOIA requests; provide incentives for agency compliance; and in general, strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, ensuring openness and accountability from federal agencies.

The House passed a companion bill, the Freedom of Information Act of 2007 (H.R. 1309), on March 15, by a substantial margin of 308 to 117.

ALA recently joined over 100 business, public interest, and historical associations to endorse S. 849 and urge the Senate leaders to schedule a vote. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations, recently urged support of S.849 (PDF).

The OPEN Government Act would demonstrate bipartisan Congressional leadership and would help to boost public confidence in government. Please urge your Senators to support this important legislation and to ensure the bill’s quick movement to the Senate floor for a vote.

For more information and tools to show your support, go to ALA’s Legislative Action Center (hosted by Capwiz).

One comment on “OPEN Government Act of 2007

  1. This is great news for America and will end government agencies ability to hide from the public. At the Thomas Jackson Centers we have our fingers crossed that the President will sign this bill into law under his own signature. His name on the law would be an open endorsement that Open Government is good government. Without his name, the bill will ride out the congressional recess and become law absent the Presidents signature. The new law will also go a long way in answering the question “Are bloggers journalist?” Good question and here is my answer. I am one of three bloggers (correspondents, writers, etc.) on the three blogs of the Thomas Jackson Center. If you visit our site, you’ll see that ClustrMaps has tracked visitors from all over the world who read our blogs. The government may not like to call us journalist even though bloggers have broken some of the biggest stories in recent history. But and the Big But is – that blogs often have more readers than small town newspapers.

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