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Congress of the United States

Oppose the Walsh/Price Amendment

May 20, 1999

Dear Colleague:

Current law regarding data access is the result of a bipartisan compromise agreement, and merely extends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to federally funded research.

What is more, the exemptions under FOIA, tried, tested, and true, would cover each one of the concerns raised by the amendments proponents of the amendment. These exemptions are:

  1. Classified information
  2. Information related to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency
  3. Information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute
  4. Confidential business information including trade secrets and commercial or financial information
  5. Inter-agency or intra-agency communications regarding deliberative policymaking
  6. Information that is private, including medical information
  7. Law enforcement information
  8. Information that is related to the regulation of financial institutions
  9. Geological and geophysical information.

The Office of Management and Budget has issued a proposed rule which limited the law to science used in policymaking. OMB is provided with ample discretion. This process is moving forward, and it is working. The administrative rulemaking process allows for the concerns raised here today to be considered, and addressed.

The Walsh/Price amendment would not delay the implementation of this law for further study. It would kill it. Pure and simple. Why shouldn't the American people have access to federally funded science that is used to promote regulations that affect their daily lives.


Robert Aderholt

Tom Delay

John Peterson

Sonny Callahan

Roger F. Wicker

Todd Tiahrt