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Approved For Release 2007/04/13: CIA-RDP83M00914R001800150006-5 t 'yI :?PE i t CE OkiFACE...- EDITOR & PUBLISHER EDITOR 19 DECEMBER 1981 1A1 _1h.., M Fo lb 111 - , imassed by Senate Subcommfttee Legislation that would give the govern. ment sweeping new powers to deny citizens access to records under the Federal Freedom of Information Act has passed the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution by a 3-1 vote. The dissenter was Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D: Vt.), who fought unsuccess- fully during a final drafting session De- cember 1y to delay reporting out FoIA. legislation until after the upcoming holi- day congressional recess. Voting for the measure, which combined elements of two bills, S. 1730 and S. 1751, were sub- committee chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R. Utah). Dennis DeConcini (D.-Ariz.) and Strom Thurmond, (R-S.C.). Reaction to the vote from press repre- sentatives was swift and highly unfavor- able. Several said the final form of the bill indicated to them that extensive consulta- tions between media groups and the sub- committee staff since introduction of the two bills had been to no avail in promot- ing any compromise with proponents of drastic FoIA reforms. "The way this bill came out is a major -setback for openness," said Art Sackler, general counsel of the National News- paper Association. "It's the government pulling a kind of vanishing act. There's an awful lot that has been available up until now that won't be under this bill." Sackler gave short shrift to Sen. Hatch's statement during the mark-up hearing that the press had had full oppor- tunity to present its views during public hearings and discussions with subcom- mittee staff. "That's true," said Sackler. "We testified, and a number of us talked with (staff), but as far as I can see, we didn't move them on much of anything . . . They talked to us, but they certainly didn't take anything we had to say very seriously." Charles Rowe, chairman of the Amer- ican Newspaper PublisrsAssociation's FoIA Working Grouplled the subcom- mittee vote "disapp inting ' and vowed to "fight hard against the significant revisions . . . which would result if this bill became law." Rowe is the editor of the Frederickshurg (Va.) Free Lance- Star. The bill reported out by the subcom- mittee draws from amendments intro- duced by Sen. Hatch (S. 1730) as well as a draft bill put forward by the Reagan Administration. The final bill contains broad new ex- emptions from FoIA. disclosure require- merits, particularly in two areas of trade secrets and law enforcement records. The Administration also favors broad ex- emptions for the intelligence-agencies, such as CIA, the National Security Agen- cy and the Defense Intelligence Agency, but did not deal with the intelligence agencies in itsbill. The bill reported out of Hatch's committee contains no language directly broadening the- current exemp- tion for national security secrets. The bill does contain some changes en- dorsed by press representatives. includ- ing a provision for expedited access for FoIA requests expected to "benefit the general public," a provision directing agencies to set up-uniform fee schedules and another providing for reduced fees, or fee waivers, when an agency deter- mines release of the information would benefit the public more than it would be- nefit any private interest of the requester. "I can't say we didn't get something" from the discussions with subcommittee members and staff, said Richard Schmidt counsel for the American.'Society of Newspaper Editors. 'But we sure didn't get very much." STAT 13: CIA-RDP83M00914R001800150006-5