‘I hope this Chamber will soon join our colleagues in the House to consider this important legislation.’
WASHINGTON – In remarks on the Senate floor today, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke about the importance of strengthening the Freedom of Information Act. He is one of the authors of the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act of 2015 that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last February.
Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his speech can be found here.
“I applaud the effort of the House. I have long believed that it’s really important for us to make sure that the people who actually pay the bills and who we serve know what government is doing on their behalf.”
“Too often here in Washington, D.C., the people in charge of the information seem to view it as proprietary: It’s theirs. And in a political culture where information is power, they don’t want to share that information with the people that … own it and who are the ones that hold the elected officials accountable.”
“Our Founding Fathers, of course, recognized that a truly democratic system depends on an informed citizenry. But … Americans can’t do that without the information and the transparency that these laws provide.”
“During my time in the Senate and previously when I was Attorney General of Texas, I’ve made government transparency a priority, and I pressed for more openness in the federal government through commonsense legislation.”
“The legislation that is going to pass the House later today is similar to what we have already passed here in the Senate Judiciary Committee, by voice vote in February. It requires federal agencies to operate under a presumption of openness when considering the release of government information.”
“I hope this Chamber will soon join our colleagues in the House to consider this important legislation.”