Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, oppose the administration moving funding for an ombudsman to oversee disputes over the Freedom of Information Act from the National Archives and Records Administration.
That was a centerpiece of the legislation sponsored by Cornyn and Leahy that President Bush signed into law last month after it overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate. The law called for funding the Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives so that it would provide independent oversight of requests for government records made under the act.“Such a move is not only contrary to the express intent of the Congress, but it is also contrary to the very purpose of this legislation — to ensure the timely and fair resolution of American’s FOIA requests,” Leahy said in a little-noticed floor speech on Wednesday.
Given its “abysmal record on FOIA compliance” over the past seven years, Leahy said he hoped the administration would reconsider its “unsound” decision on grounds it goes against what Congress intended.