U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) has been elected chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing and vice chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library.
The announcement was made following an organizational meeting held Wednesday to select leadership and adopt committee rules for the 112th Congress.
"I am honored that my colleagues have placed their confidence in me to lead these joint committees," said Harper.
The act creating the Joint Committee on Printing was signed into law on August 3, 1846, making it the oldest joint committee of the Congress. The panel oversees the operation of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), whose support is essential to the legislative process of the Congress. Composed of five Representatives and five Senators, the committee generally oversees compliance by federal agencies with laws, rules and regulations designed to minimize printing costs to the American people.
"The GPO prints important documents produced by and for many agencies within the federal government and plays a crucial role in documenting congressional action and recording historical floor debates that have shaped our democracy over the last two centuries," said Harper.
The Joint Committee on the Library is a bicameral committee of the Congress devoted to the affairs and administration of the Library of Congress. The committee has oversight of the operations of the Library of Congress, as well as management of the congressional art collection and the U.S. Botanic Garden.
There are five members from each legislative body on the Joint Committee on the Library. Membership consists of the chairman and four members of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, chairman and three members of the Committee on House Administration and chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch. The chairmanship of the committee changes between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate every two years.
"The Library of Congress is an essential resource for Congress to complete research while performing its constitutional duties," Harper added. "This cultural institution benefits all citizens by preserving our country's rich heritage and promoting American ingenuity."
Harper is serving his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives and sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Speaker John Boehner has also selected the Mississippi lawmaker to serve on the Committee on House Administration, where he is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Elections, and he is also a member of the nonpartisan Committee on Ethics.