Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced S.1021, a bill that would limit the amount expended by the Department of Defense for printing and reproduction costs, resulting in potential savings of $20 million. This legislation builds on a House bill that passed unanimously earlier this year, by rescinding funding for this fiscal year as well as provides a cap on future printing and copying expenditures.
"Yesterday's announcement that our $14.3 trillion debt limit has been reached proves Congress' inability to look to get spending under control. Congress must be held accountable and it's time to come together to make these common sense cuts today. Putting $20 million back in the pockets of taxpayers by eliminating unnecessary printing at the Department of Defense when identical documents are available online is a no-brainer," said Dr. Coburn.
"We know that solving our nation's budget problems will require all of us to make sacrifices to cut back on federal spending," said Sen. Carper. "Before we start cutting critical programs that provide education to our children, health care for our seniors, or keep our nation safe, we must ensure that we have stretched every dollar that our federal agencies use, trimming excess costs like printing and paper use. The Pentagon must do a better job of cutting back on the millions of dollars they spend to print and prepare lengthy documents that already exist online. This bill is an important step as we work to instill a "culture of thrift' throughout the federal government, including the Department of Defense."
President Obama's own fiscal commission recommended reducing unnecessary printing costs in their report. The House Armed Services Committee, in their markup of this year's National Defense Authorization Act reduced spending for DOD printing and copying. They also amended the law reporting requirements for the Pentagon so that reports can be delivered electronically. This bill incorporates that change.