Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today announced that legislation he introduced to cut wasteful spending had been selected by taxpayers as this week's YouCut winner. Lee's legislation, H.R. 4640- STOP the OverPrinting Act -- would end the longstanding practice of delivering five printed copies of legislation to every sponsor and original cosponsor, regardless of the length of the legislation. Ending this costly practice would save taxpayers approximately $35 million over the next ten years.
"I introduced the STOP the Over Printing Act earlier this year as a commonsense way to conserve resources and eliminate some of the wasteful spending Western New Yorkers have grown tired of," said Rep. Lee. "Too many in Washington don't seem to care how much something costs unless there is a "B' or "T' associated with the dollar amount, and we need to change that philosophy and understand that ever little bit counts."
Members of the House and Senate and committees of jurisdiction receive five printed copies of each bill they introduce. Many pieces of legislation passed this Congress alone have included more than 2,000 pages, such as the health care law and cap-and-trade bill. Hundreds if not thousands of printed documents are sent to Members' offices, even though they are readily available on the Internet. Congressman Lee's legislation still allows for the necessary documents to be printed as needed for archiving.
"This YouCut proposal would eliminate a practice that wasted 2.8 million paper copies and approximately $7-million-taxpayer dollars during the last Congress," said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA). "With all of the digital technology that's available, surely Congress can find a more efficient and fiscally responsible way to do its business--changing its printing practices would be a painless and important step in the right direction. We must start injecting some common sense into Washington, and this is no-brainer."
YouCut is afirst-of-its-kind initiative designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress and return fiscal responsibility to Washington.It offers the public a list of proposals aimed at reducing government spending, in which participants may vote for the one proposal that they would most like to see addressed by Congress. The following week, House Republicans force a vote on the House Floor on whether or not to take up and debate the top vote getter selected by the public. House Republicans have offered more than $155 billion in spending cuts through the YouCut initiative since the program was introduced in May.
Lee introduced the STOP the Over Printing Act earlier this year as part of his "Washington Waste Watch" initiative, a web page Congressman Lee started last year where he updates Western New Yorkers on how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent -- or mis-spent. The website also keeps tabs on government programs that are underperforming.