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Patrick Leahy

House votes to strengthen government records law

The House approved legislation Monday making it easier to obtain government records, as a new congressional report concluded that the freedom of information process under the Obama administration is broken and in need of serious change.

The bill, approved by a voice vote, would require government agencies to make information available to the public online. It also would require agencies to adopt a presumption in favor of disclosing records rather than keeping them secret.

The vote came as Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report asserting that the freedom of information law, enacted 50 years ago, is plagued by a number of problems,...