On Wednesday, April 1, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a business meeting, during which they will consider H.R. 35, the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009. This bill, which passed the House on January 27, 2009, would restore standards for the timely release of Presidential records. Similar legislation cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on June 20, 2007.
On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Presidential Records, E.O. 13489, to revoke E.O. 13233, the controversial order issued by former President Bush that gave current and former presidents and vice presidents the expanded authority to withhold presidential records indefinitely. AALL strongly opposed E.O. 13233 and we applauded President Obama’s Executive Order. To ensure these changes are made by law, AALL and other open government groups continue to support H.R. 35.
[Posted by Emily Feldman]