House overturns Bush order on papers secrecy





WASHINGTON -- Brushing aside a veto threat, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to overturn a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep their papers secret indefinitely.

The measure, which drew bipartisan support and passed by a veto-busting 333-93 margin, was among White House-opposed bills the House passed that would widen access to government information and protect government whistleblowers...

The presidential papers bill nullifies a November 2001 order, criticized by historians, in which Bush allowed the White House or a former president to block release of a former president's papers and put the onus on researchers to show a "specific need" for many types of records.

Among beneficiaries of the Bush order was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, a former vice president and president.

The order gave former vice presidents the right to stop the release of their papers through an executive privilege that previously only presidents could use. And it extended to deceased presidents' designees rights to keep their papers secret indefinitely.


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