Unknown Senator blocks FOIA Reform
In an ironic move, an anonymous Republican Senator placed a "secret hold" on the Open Government Act, a bill aimed at improving the Freedom of Information Act. The hold was placed on the bill before the Memorial Day recess. Regrettably, the parliamentary maneuver is protected by Section 2 of Senate Rule VII, which states "no motion to proceed to the consideration of any bill...shall be entertained... unless by unanimous consent," and prevents the bill from reaching the Senate floor for voting.
The OGA, which is sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), already passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 308-117 and met approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Society of Professional Journalists has kick-started a "crowd sourcing" campaign to reveal Senator X. Reporters simply call in and persuade their Senator to go on the record to deny that they put the bill on hold. So far, less than 15 Republican Senators remain and only one has refused to respond, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). The List
The "secret hold" made news last August, when Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) utilized it to stall a bill to create a searchable public database of all federal grants and contract. His identity was later revealed due to the work of journalists, bloggers, and good ol' political pressure.
For more info visit the links below: Anonymous Hold Clouds Future of 'Open Government' Bill Sen. Leahy Presses For Passage Of FOIA Reforms, Urges Secret Hold On Bill Be
Lifted FOIA Reform Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee FOIA Reform Passes House, As Do Two Other Open Government Bills FOIA Report Issued, Hearing Scheduled