Revealed: Sen. Jim Bunning Put Secret Hold On Presidential Records Amendment

Last week, ThinkProgress noted that an anonymous senator had placed a hold on a bill that would restore public access to Presidential records, which President Bush had sealed indefinitely with an executive order in 2001.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) was originally suspected of being the senator behind the secret hold until a member of his staff contacted ThinkProgress to “state for the record that” Sen. Coburn “is not holding this bill related to presidential records”:

The office of Sen. Tom Coburn would like to state for the record that he is not holding this bill related to presidential records. It is true that he placed a hold on the bill following its passage through the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in June, but has since worked out his minor concern with the office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman at which time he lifted his hold.

With Coburn out of the running, the mystery of who was attempting to block public access to Presidential records continued. But now, the Sunlight Foundation has revealed that the senatorial hand behind the secret hold is Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY):


Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) now has an objection to moving forward with HR 1255, the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007. The bill would overturn an outrageous Executive Order that would keep presidential records hidden from public view indefinitely. […]

Now, whether or not he has had the hold all along, Senator Bunning has been forced to take responsibility for the objection. That makes us happy.

Tell Bunning to let the bill come to a vote here or call his office at 202–224–4343.