Is printed legislation soon to be extinct?

Bill would keep GPO from churning out hundreds of hard copies for each piece of legislation

The government’s printing presses may slow down in the near future.

The House passed the Stop the Over Printing Act (H.R. 292) on Jan. 18.

The bill would stop the presses from churning out hundreds of hard copies of each piece of legislation unless a member of Congress requests a copy. Instead, members woulds receive pages digitally via the Internet.


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A House or Senate committee could ask for paper copies of legislation but could only ask for printed copies of bills or resolutions within its jurisdiction and could only get 75 copies of a bill.

"With technological advancements, we have become a paperless world," said Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.). "It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to automatically print and send multiple unsolicited copies of something that is readily available online."

Supporters say the bill could save up to $7 million that the Government Printing Office is expected to spend on congressional printing this year.

The measure is now in the Senate.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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