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Madam Chairman, I seek the opportunity to have a colloquy with Chairman Cole. I thank them for their work, the chairman and his staff, the work they have put into the legislation they are bringing before us this morning.
As a member of the Congressional Yellow Pages Caucus, I strongly believe that if an activity is available from a private company that can be found in the Yellow Pages, it should either not be a responsibility carried out by the Federal Government or, at the very least, performed by a private firm under contract with the Federal Government.
It is in that spirit that Congress needs to begin the process of leveling the playing field between the Government Printing Office, the GPO, and private industry. Nowhere is the overreach of the GPO and its statutory authority, found in title 44 of the United States Code, more egregious than in the area of secure Federal credentials.
Consider this: title 44 was codified in 1968. Secure credentials, produced by the private sector, first appeared about 30 years later and then became pervasive after 9/11.
I can't imagine that policymakers in the sixties could have ever envisioned title 44 expanding beyond the printing of copies of the Federal Register or the Declaration of Independence to cover credentials, let alone secure credentials, as the kind of printed products the GPO has traditionally produced.
The GPO's statutory monopoly on this issue has been challenged by numerous reports by the GAO and groups such as the National Performance Review.
Secure credentials are a world apart from the products that GPO has traditionally produced and should not be subject to title 44.
I hope that we can take steps to define a clear role for the GPO, create competition, and ensure that the private secure credentials industry and companies like MorphoTrust in Tennessee can perform these functions that the GPO has no business in carrying out.
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