Senate bill aims to strengthen Freedom of Information Act

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has approved legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act.

The bipartisan bill won unanimous support Thursday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure aims to make the nation’s open- government law more robust by limiting the circumstances when federal agencies can withhold information and documents from the public.

The legislation also provides additional authority to the Office of Government Information Services, which helps mediate Freedom of Information Act disputes.

The bill’s authors include Republicans Charles Grassley of Iowa and John Cornyn of Texas, and Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Leahy says the bill was the product of careful negotiations and reflects input from the Obama administration as well as open government advocates.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

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