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H.R. 653 (114th): FOIA Act

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About the bill

The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2015 (H.R. 653), or the FOIA Act, would require several changes to the current process of allowing individuals to obtain records from federal agencies, including establishing a single website for making FOIA requests and creating a Chief FOIA Officers Council to review and improve the process. The legislation also would:

  • Direct agencies to make records available in an electronic format

  • Reduce the number of exemptions agencies can use to withhold information from the public

  • Clarify procedures for handling frequently requested documents and charging fees

  • Require courts to pay some attorney fees and other litigation costs related to FOIA disputes

“Enacted in 1966, FOIA was designed to enable anyone to request, without explanation or justification, copies of existing, identifiable, and unpublished records from the …

Sponsor and status

Darrell Issa

Sponsor. Representative for California's 49th congressional district. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2016
Length: 37 pages
Feb 2, 2015
114th Congress (2015–2017)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on January 11, 2016 but was never passed by the Senate. Provisions of this bill were incorporated into other bills.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).

Provisions of this bill also appear in:

S. 337: FOIA Improvement Act of 2016
Enacted — Signed by the President on Jun 30, 2016. (compare text)

55 Cosponsors (29 Republicans, 26 Democrats)



Feb 2, 2015

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Mar 25, 2015
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

Jan 7, 2016
Reported by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A committee issued a report on the bill, which often provides helpful explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill's intentions.

Jan 11, 2016
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.

H.R. 653 (114th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 653. This is the one from the 114th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 114th Congress, which met from Jan 6, 2015 to Jan 3, 2017. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 653 — 114th Congress: FOIA Act.” 2015. December 3, 2022 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.