Cornyn Statement on Reports that Obama Administration Political Appointees are Screening and Blocking FOIA Requests
by John Cornyn on March 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM
Today, I issued the following statement in response to an AP report that political operatives in the Obama Administration are screening Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests:
Citizens have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing and political operatives should not be interfering with legitimate requests by citizens and journalists under the Freedom of Information Act. I am deeply disturbed that Obama Administration political operatives filtered FOIA requests based on the political or professional affiliation of those requesting the transparency guaranteed to our citizens under federal law. And I commend the House panel for doing its job of oversight of the executive branch, and I hope they get to the bottom of these allegations.
I recently re-introduced the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act with colleague Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). This legislation would establish an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests. The panel, named the Commission on Freedom of Information Act Processing Delays, will be required to provide recommendations to Congress for legislative and administrative action to enhance agency responses to FOIA requests.