What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : H.R. 5005. Creation of a Department of Homeland Security/Vote to Allow Congressional Oversight of Department and Protect the Labor Rights of Public Employees in Department. (2002 house Roll Call 363)
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H.R. 5005. Creation of a Department of Homeland Security/Vote to Allow Congressional Oversight of Department and Protect the Labor Rights of Public Employees in Department.
house Roll Call 363     Jul 26, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was enacted by Congress in 1966 to insure that every citizen has a right, enforceable in court, to access to federal agency records. Provisions in a bill to merge twenty-six federal agencies into a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), however, include additional exemptions to FOIA beyond the nine exemptions originally provided for in the 1966 law. During debate on the DHS consolidation bill, Congresswoman Schakowsky (D-IL) proposed legislation that would have deleted those additional FOIA exemptions from the underlying legislation. The amendment Schakowsky would have also allowed additional protections for federal employees who report illegal activities in their agency or department. Progressives supported both provisions of the Schakowsky proposal as a way to insure that any wrongdoing in the new DHS can be exposed; either by the public through its access to declassified DHS information or by DHS employees themselves. The Schakowsky measure was struck down on a 188- 240 vote.

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