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Senate panel plans vote on FOIA update

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on a bill to update the Freedom of Information Act as one of its first items once lawmakers return to Washington next week.

The committee is planning to vote on the FOIA Improvement Act on the morning of Nov. 13, it announced on Friday.

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The bill, introduced by panel Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Popular bill to fight drug prices left out of budget deal Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr. MORE (D-Vt.) and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas) earlier this year, would require federal agencies to adopt a “preemption of openness” when considering whether to release documents under the landmark transparency law.

It also gives additional independence and authority to an office dedicated to mediating disputes over the FOIA requests, among other changes.

Government transparency advocates have cited the bill as one of their top priorities for the rest of the year.