Oversight Democrats Introduce Landmark Open Government Legislation
(Washington, DC)—Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was joined by all Democratic Members of the Committee in introducing H.R. 1144, the “Transparency and Openness in Government Act” to strengthen the nation’s core open government laws.
“The American people deserve a government that is open, transparent and accountable,” said Cummings. “The measures in this bill are simple, bipartisan, and common-sense ways for the American people to have more oversight of their government.”
The Transparency and Openness in Government Act includes five bills that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly during the 111th Congress.
“Making it easier for our constituents to hold government accountable should be a bipartisan goal,” continued Cummings. “I know my friend Chairman Issa, who voted for these measures last year, along with many other Republicans, support the transparency created by these laws.
“I hope Chairman Issa will mark up this bill quickly, urge Speaker Boehner to get it to the House floor swiftly and join me in urging the Senate to pass it and send it to the President’s desk this year.”
The measures include:
• Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments, requiring agencies to disclose more information about advisory committees and closes existing loopholes (passed the House on July 26, 2010, by a vote of 250 to 124).
• Presidential Records Act Amendments, increasing public access to presidential records by establishing statutory procedures prior to FOIA releases (passed the House on January 7, 2009, by a vote of 359 to 58).
• Presidential Libraries Donation Reform Act, requiring greater public disclosure of library donor information (passed the House on January 7, 2009, by a vote of 388 to 31).
• Electronic Message Preservation Act, modernizing the Federal Records Act and the Presidential Records Act to ensure that White House and agency email records are preserved (passed the House on March 17, 2010, by voice vote).
• GAO Improvement Act, strengthening the authority of the Government Accountability Office to access agency records (passed the House on January 13, 2010, by voice vote).
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE TRANSPARENCY AND OPENNESS IN GOVERNMENT ACT
Read the text of H.R. 1144