Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced the Congressional Record Printing Savings Act of 2011, a bill that would save taxpayers up to $8 million by requiring the Government Printing Office to limit excessive printing of the Congressional Record. The GPO annually spends over $8 million to print hard copies of the Congressional Record that are rarely used since these documents have been digitally available since 1994. Approximately 4,551 copies of the Congressional Record are printed daily at the cost of roughly $240 per original page. The Congressional Record Printing Savings Act would require that the distribution of the printed edition is limited to archival purposes and those copies explicitly requested by the Vice President or Members of Congress.
"With the majority of today's documents available online, the time for Congress to put an end to its arcane printing habits is long overdue. The American people expect us to make these common sense decisions, which can produce millions in savings. Printing thousands of unwanted copies of the Congressional Record with borrowed money represents the kind of activity taxpayers have called on us to end," said Dr. Coburn.
"Print versions of the Congressional Record are costly and less relevant as we move towards more web based content," Kohl said. "This is a small, but significant way we are working to save taxpayers money and cut down on government spending."