The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jordan Libowitz,,,.

CREW Urges Passage of Bill to Improve to Presidential Records Act


On March 30th, CREW joined other government-transparency advocates
in calling for the swift passage of The Presidential Records Act (PRA)
Amendments of 2009 (H.R. 35), an act that would install vital
improvements to the existing PRA and reinforce President Obama's
repeatedly stated commitments to greater openness and accountability in

In a letter sent to Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins,
ranking members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and
Government Affairs, the groups stressed the importance of the PRA in
holding the government accountable to its citizens. The ongoing lawsuit
over the Bush administration's 14 million missing emails, a suit which
CREW helped initiate, was cited as the perfect example of the need to
amend the records-keeping process.

The House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 35 on January 7, 2009 as their
first piece of substantive legislation on the issue. Shortly after, as
one of his first official acts in office, President Obama revoked a
Bush-era executive order which had weakened the PRA, stating that
"openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and
effectiveness in Government." The Act now lies in the Senate's hands.

Anne Weismann, CREW's chief counsel, stated, "It is a fundamental
right that the American people have access to the official records of
their government. This Act represents a vital way to keep our leaders
accountable and responsible for their actions. We urge the Committee of
Homeland Security and Government Affairs to bring this important piece
of legislation to the floor of the Senate for vote immediately."

Click here to read the letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.