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Titles Actions Overview All Actions Cosponsors Committees Related Bills Subjects Latest Summary All Summaries

Titles (4)

Short Titles

Short Titles - House of Representatives

Short Titles as Passed House

Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

Short Titles as Reported to House

Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

Short Titles as Introduced

Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

Official Titles

Official Titles - House of Representatives

Official Title as Introduced

To maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.

Actions Overview (3)

03/31/2009Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.(text: CR H4204-4205)
03/30/2009Reported by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 111-61.
02/11/2009Introduced in House

All Actions (13)

Date Chamber
04/01/2009SenateReceived in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
03/31/2009-5:57pmHouseMotion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
03/31/2009-5:57pmHouseOn motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote. (text: CR H4204-4205)
03/31/2009-5:16pmHouseDEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 985.
03/31/2009-5:16pmHouseConsidered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H4204-4209)
03/31/2009-5:15pmHouseMr. Conyers moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.
03/30/2009HousePlaced on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 26.
03/30/2009HouseReported by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 111-61.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
03/25/2009HouseOrdered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
03/25/2009HouseCommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/11/2009HouseReferred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
02/11/2009HouseSponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR E242-243)
02/11/2009HouseIntroduced in House

Cosponsors (50)

* = Original cosponsor
CosponsorDate Cosponsored
Rep. Pence, Mike [R-IN-6]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-14]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA-6]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Walden, Greg [R-OR-2]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-16]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Coble, Howard [R-NC-6]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Wexler, Robert [D-FL-19]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Blunt, Roy [R-MO-7]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Berkley, Shelley [D-NV-1]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Wu, David [D-OR-1]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-9]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Delahunt, Bill [D-MA-10]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Mack, Connie [R-FL-14]* 02/11/2009
Rep. McCaul, Michael T. [R-TX-10]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Wolf, Frank R. [R-VA-10]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Woolsey, Lynn C. [D-CA-6]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT-5]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Upton, Fred [R-MI-6]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-28]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Berry, Marion [D-AR-1]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Giffords, Gabrielle [D-AZ-8]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Gonzalez, Charles A. [D-TX-20]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Putnam, Adam H. [R-FL-12]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Weiner, Anthony D. [D-NY-9]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Payne, Donald M. [D-NJ-10]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Kennedy, Patrick J. [D-RI-1]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Radanovich, George [R-CA-19]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Cooper, Jim [D-TN-5]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Doyle, Michael F. [D-PA-14]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI-2]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [D-FL-20]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-14]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Butterfield, G. K. [D-NC-1]* 02/11/2009
Rep. Rehberg, Denny [R-MT-At Large]* 02/11/2009
Rep. McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7] 03/03/2009
Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO-1] 03/12/2009
Rep. Brady, Kevin [R-TX-8] 03/23/2009
Rep. Johnson, Eddie Bernice [D-TX-30] 03/23/2009
Rep. Kind, Ron [D-WI-3] 03/23/2009
Rep. Oberstar, James L. [D-MN-8] 03/23/2009
Rep. Lee, Christopher J. [R-NY-26] 03/23/2009
Rep. Rooney, Thomas J. [R-FL-16] 03/23/2009
Rep. Jackson-Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] 03/23/2009
Rep. Poe, Ted [R-TX-2] 03/24/2009
Rep. Boozman, John [R-AR-3] 03/24/2009
Rep. Maffei, Daniel B. [D-NY-25] 03/25/2009

Committees (2)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
House Judiciary02/11/2009 Referred to
03/25/2009 Markup by
03/30/2009 Reported by H. Rept. 111-61
Senate Judiciary04/01/2009 Referred to

No related bill information was received for H.R.985.

Latest Summary (3)

There are 3 summaries for H.R.985. View summaries

Shown Here:
Passed House without amendment (02/11/2009)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 - Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government), in any matter arising under federal law, from compelling a covered person to testify or produce any document related to information obtained or created as part of engaging in journalism unless a court makes specified determinations by a preponderance of the evidence, including determinations that: (1) alternative sources have been exhausted; (2) the testimony or document sought is critical to the investigation, prosecution, or defense of a crime or the successful completion of a noncriminal matter; (3) disclosure of an information source's identity is necessary to prevent an act of terrorism, harm to national security, imminent death, significant bodily harm or to identify a person who has disclosed a trade secret, individually identifiable health information, or certain nonpublic personal information; and (4) the public interest in compelling disclosure of the information or document involved outweighs the public interest in gathering or disseminating news or information. Allows a court, in making the last of those determinations, to consider the extent of any harm to national security.

Defines "covered person" as a person who regularly gathers, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes information concerning matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or substantial financial gain, including a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such a person. Excludes from that definition foreign powers and their agents and certain terrorist organizations and individuals.

Requires the content of compelled testimony or documents to be limited and narrowly tailored.

Prohibits this Act from being construed as applying to civil defamation, slander, or libel claims or defenses under state law.

Exempts certain criminal or tortious conduct.

Applies this Act to communications service providers with regard to testimony or any record, information, or other communication that relates to a business transaction between such providers and covered persons. Sets forth notice requirements. Permits a court to delay notice to a covered person upon determining that such notice would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of a criminal investigation.