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Public Statements

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HARPER. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would limit the printing of paper copies of the U.S. Code for the United States House of Representatives to 50 copies.

As chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing, I have been working to cut wasteful printing, and the U.S. Code is a prime example of what needs to be cut. Every 6 years, the United States Code is reprinted to incorporate new statutory changes.

Currently, the 2012 edition of the U.S. Code is slated to be printed by GPO in fiscal year 2013. However, the printing and production of the Code takes anywhere from 14 to 16 months, guaranteeing that the Code is outdated before it even is in print.

Mr. Chairman, my amendment would reduce the House's allotment from 213 to 50 copies. This reduction will ensure the long-term preservation of hard copies in the House, while freeing up over $369,000 for FY2013, money that would be better spent modernizing and improving access to legislative information, including the Code.

The printed copies of the U.S. Code in the House are used less each day because of increasingly available, more up-to-date electronic alternatives. This amendment is a simple overdue reduction in unnecessary printing.

I want to thank Chairman Lungren, as well as the appropriators, for their support of these efforts; and I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.

Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. HARPER. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.

Mr. CRENSHAW. Thank you for yielding. I just want to thank you for bringing this to our attention. I think it's well-intentioned. I think it's a good idea.

I'm just curious as to how you decided to have 50 copies instead of 213.

Mr. HARPER. Well, there's certainly an assessment of the number of copies and the need and each agency that controls those and gets those. And we believe that on the distribution of those copies, as you look at it, that those agencies that get them, which include 43 copies to House Leg Counsel, 48 copies to House Law Revision Counsel, 13 copies to the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Legislative Resource Center receives four copies, House Parliamentarian receives three, and then the list goes on from there as to how we have those.

I certainly do believe that the House Committee on Appropriations, for example, is not going to need 13 full copies for those. Those are things that, even going back to law school days, you learn how to share the available copies.

Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. HARPER. I will certainly yield to the gentleman.

Mr. CRENSHAW. How many copies will the Appropriations Committee get under your amendment?

Mr. HARPER. Well, under the amendment we do not determine how many copies each will get. If we do a pro rata reduction in the numbers that go to each one, I think we could come to an agreement as to what those numbers will be.

Mr. CRENSHAW. If the gentleman will further yield, I just want to say I think that's a very good amendment.

Mr. HARPER. Thank you, sir.


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