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Letter from Senators Shelby and Lott to Congressman Young Opposing Price-Walsh

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

May 19, 1999

The Honorable Bill Young
Committee on Appropriations
H-218 U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We understand that an amendment may be offered in full Committee this Thursday to repeal or modify a provision that we included in last year's Treasury Appropriations bill that increased the public's access to federally funded research data. We would have great concerns with any effort to delay or undermine the implementation of this provision and ask that the Committee resist such amendments.

As you may recall, the law required the OMB to revise its rules to make federally funded research data subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The OMB has since published a proposed revision to its rules and is now in the process of reviewing the public comments submitted for the record. We expect the OMB to report back to the Congress within the next month or so on the progress of their review and their intent to move forward with a final rule. At that time, we intend to address any outstanding issues that may still need to be addressed by the Congress.

Again, we believe that any effort to modify last year's law would be premature at this time. We are committed to working with the OMB to craft a workable rule and have made it clear that we are willing to address legitimate issues that may need additional consideration as the process moves forward.

We thank you for your attention and consideration of our views.


Richard Shelby

Trent Lott