From the AALL Government Relations Office:
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Call your Senators and urge them to vote NO on Coburn Amendment No. 4331.
On Thursday June 17, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered a package of amendments to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 which, according to him, would pay for implementing all the provisions of the bill. One of the amendments would drastically cut funding for executive branch publishing and printing. In introducing this particular amendment, Coburn stated that it would reduce the costs of government documents by $4.4 billion over 10 years. He went on to say that “Nobody reads these. They are all available online.”
While AALL embraces the move to broader public access to government information through the Internet, we also recognize the reality—that even today, much of the agency information we need is not available online. In addition, recent studies demonstrate that many segments of our citizenry still lack access to computers and/or broadband.
The Coburn amendment reducing executive branch publishing would have a negative impact on the cost effective printing and binding services procured competitively by the Government Printing Office from thousands of small business printers throughout the country. It would also impact the distribution of important print titles through the Federal Depository Library Program.
Sen. Coburn’s amendment could effectively eliminate the publication of almost every print title currently being produced by federal agencies and departments. Among its many ill-conceived mandates is one would tediously require every publishing entity to list at the beginning of each publication distributed to the public: the name of the publishing agency; the total number of copies printed; the collective cost of producing and printing all of the copies; and the name of the publishing entity.
Sen. Coburn simply fails to understand the printing process and the importance of printing and distributing important publications for use by the American public through the FDLP.
Immediate Action Needed:
Time is of the essence because the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 may be voted on as early as tomorrow. Please call your Senators today through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and urge them to vote NO on Coburn Amendment No. 4331 related to executive branch printing and publishing.