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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Foiling the Faster FOIA Act

Did Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tell Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) to eff himself? Well … kinda, and probably by accident.

The legislative vehicle that Boehner chose to drive his debt ceiling bill into victory (or over a cliff into a fiery grave) is the Senate’s bipartisan Faster FOIA Act.

The bill, sponsored by Leahy and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), lived up to its name when it was introduced in March and passed unanimously in the Senate by May. In Senate terms, that’s warp speed.

Since May, however, the House companion to this little-bipartisan-bill-that-could has languished in the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, just waiting for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to call it up.

HOH is proud to report that the Faster FOIA Act has finally been called up … except now it will be carrying something entirely different, namely the Boehner debt limit plan.

(For the uninitiated, a legislative vehicle is a bill that has already passed one chamber and then, for procedural reasons, is replaced by a whole new piece of legislation. Generally, “vehicles” are used for time-sensitive legislation like, oh, a little something called the expiring debt ceiling provision.)

The Faster FOIA Act is foiled again!

“I haven’t felt this special since a particular greeting I once got from Vice President [Dick] Cheney,” Leahy tells HOH, referring to the time that the former veep told the Vermont Senator to, well, eff himself.

Never fear, Senator. The bill was most likely picked to bypass the Senate’s procedural hurdles, so, unlike the Cheney remark, this at least isn’t personal.

Another happy accident: Boehner picked his vehicle on the same day the Washington Post editorial page urged Issa and his band of merry legislators to pass the Faster FOIA Act.

So the bill is finally getting attention and may grow up to be a real law.

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