[Congressional Record: September 24, 2010 (Senate)]
[Page S7440]


  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I commend the House of Representatives for 
promptly enacting the Freedom of Information Act amendments to the 
Securities and Exchange Act, Investment Company Act, and Investment 
Advisers Act of 2010, S. 3717. This bipartisan bill will ensure that 
the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, remains an effective tool to 
provide public access to information about the stability of our 
financial markets.
  This bill will also ensure that the important goals of the historic 
Wall Street reform law--enhancing transparency, accountability, and 
confidence in our financial system--will become a reality for all 
Americans. The bill eliminates several broad FOIA exemptions for 
Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, records that were recently 
enacted as part of Public Law 111-203. The bill also helps to ensure 
that the SEC has access to the information that the Commission needs to 
carry out its new enforcement activities under the new reforms.
  I thank Representative Edolphus Towns, the distinguished chairman of 
the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and 
Representative Barney Frank, the distinguished chairman of the House 
Committee on Financial Services, for their support of this bill and for 
working with me to quickly enact this legislation. I also thank 
Senators Grassley, Cornyn, and Kaufman for cosponsoring this important 
open government bill. In addition, I commend the many open government 
organizations, including OpenTheGovernment.org, the Project on 
Government Oversight, the American Library Association, and the 
Sunlight Foundation for their support of this bill.
  The Freedom of Information Act has long recognized the need to 
balance the government's legitimate interest in protecting confidential 
business records, trade secrets, and other sensitive information from 
public disclosure, and preserving the public's right to know. To 
accomplish this, care must always be taken to ensure that exemptions to 
FOIA's disclosure requirements are narrowly and properly applied. The 
bill accomplishes this important goal.
  I commend the Congress for working in a bipartisan and expeditious 
manner to eliminate these overly broad FOIA exemptions. I urge the 
President to promptly sign this good government bill into law.