Senator Blocks Presidential Papers Bill

Anonymous hold delays attempt to overturn Bush's records-sealing order
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2007 12:03 PM CDT
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, walks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this July 31, 2007 file photo. Stevens' knew from the beginning that an Alaskan oil contractor was renovating his home, according to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An unidentified Republican senator is blocking a bill that would overturn President Bush's 2001 executive order allowing presidents to keep their papers permanently classified. The bill, approved by the House 333-93 in March, would easily survive a presidential veto if it passed the Senate. A hold is essentially a promise to filibuster, and may be filed anonymously.

Three senators are likely candidates for having submitted the hold, the Dallas Morning News reports: Ted Stevens and Tom Coburn, whose aides deny any such bill-blocking attempts, and George Voinovich, whose camp is keeping quiet. Historians are frustrated by the delay in ensuring presidential records stay public.  As one points out, "the best way to undermine the historical record is to close it down."