Swearing In

Posted March 9, 2005 at 6:43pm

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will swear in newly elected Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) this morning in the well of the chamber. Matsui won election Tuesday to the seat of her late husband, Rep. Robert Matsui, who died of a rare blood disorder on Jan. 1.

Matsui will recite her oath alongside members of the California delegation. The dean of the California Democrats, Rep. Pete Stark, will introduce Matsui to the full Congress.

[IMGCAP(1)] FOIA Redux. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) plans to introduce legislation today that would establish an advisory commission on delays in processing Freedom of Information Act requests. The Faster FOIA Act would direct the commission to report to Congress and the president on how to reduce the lengthy delays in the federal government’s handling of FOIA inquiries. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will co-sponsor the bill.

The two Senators also recently introduced the OPEN Government Act, aimed at closing loopholes that many believe have decreased the law’s effectiveness in recent years. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has introduced a companion measure in the House.

Cornyn will preside over a March 15 Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the issue. Scheduled to appear are: Katherine Cary, assistant attorney general of Texas; Walter Mears, former Associated Press Washington bureau chief; Mark Tapscott, director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; Meredith Fuchs, general counsel at the nonprofit National Security Archive; and Thomas Susman, a FOIA attorney.

Lobbying Moves. Paul Quinn, most recently a D.C. lobbyist with Boston-based Perkins, Smith, Cohen and Crowe, has set up shop at the Washington operation of the Pennsylvania-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll.

Quinn, 70, is a longtime player in Democratic political circles, beginning with his service as an aide to former Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.).

In recent months, Buchanan Ingersoll has expanded its federal lobbying practice under Ronald Platt, including the hiring of former Rep. Jon Christensen (R-Neb.) earlier this year.

“I was approached by Buchanan Ingersoll — Ron and I are old friends,” said Quinn, who will receive an honor next week along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the American Ireland Fund’s gala.

Quinn said he plans to bring some of his clients in the financial services, international trade and defense appropriations areas to his new firm.

— Erin P. Billings, Suzanne Nelson and Kate Ackley