Legislation introduced by Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) to end wasteful overprinting of bills and resolutions is expected to pass the House later today. H.R. 292, the STOP the OverPrinting Act (STOP Act), would end a longstanding practice in which the Government Printing Office (GPO) delivers multiple copies of every piece of legislation that a member has introduced or is an original cosponsor. The STOP Act is expected to save a considerable amount of the $7 million GPO is expected to spend on Congressional printing this year. (To view Lee's remarks on the House Floor, please click HERE.)
Currently, the GPO prints 325 copies of every public bill and joint resolution and 475 copies of simple and concurrent resolutions and distributes them to sponsors and original cosponsors of the legislation. Last year, Members introduced nearly 14,000 bills and resolutions with about 2.8 million paper copies delivered to Members, with all of the information easily accessible online. Last year's health care law was approximately 2,300 pages, and with the 325 copies that amounts to about 747,500 pages of printed paper for one piece of legislation alone.
"The STOP Act is a commonsense way for Congress to catch up with the private sector, which continues to move to become paperless as a means to improve efficiency, clean up our environment, and cut costs," Lee said. "Too many people in Washington don't seem to care how much something costs unless there is a "B' or "T' after the dollar amount, and we need to change that philosophy. Dollars and cents count in the real world, and they should count in Congress too."
H.R. 292 is very similar to legislation Lee introduced last Congress and which was selected by taxpayers as a YouCut winner. The common sense legislation introduced last year was blocked by the then-Democrat majority.