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115th Congress }                                          { Rept. 115-128
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session   }                                          { Part 1

======================================================================
 
             FEDERAL REGISTER PRINTING SAVINGS ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

  May 17, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 195]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 195) to amend title 44, United 
States Code, to restrict the distribution of free printed 
copies of the Federal Register to Members of Congress and other 
officers and employees of the United States, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Roll Call Votes..................................................     4
Correspondence...................................................     4
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     5
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     6
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     6
Committee Estimate...............................................     6
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 195, the Federal Register Printing Savings Act of 
2017, prohibits the Director of the Government Printing Office 
from distributing printed copies of the Federal Register 
without charge to Members of Congress and other offices of the 
federal government without a request. Additionally, H.R. 195 
limits the length of requested subscriptions by Members of 
Congress or offices of the federal government to no more than 
one year.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 
describes the Federal Register as the ``daily newspaper of the 
Federal government,'' and it includes proposed rules and public 
notices, regulations, Executive Orders, and presidential 
documents.\1\ The Federal Register is prepared by NARA and 
published daily in print and online by the Government 
Publishing Office (GPO).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Nat'l. Archives & Records Admin., About the Federal Register, 
available at https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/the-federal-
register/about.html (last visited Mar. 22, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since it was first published in 1936, the Federal Register 
has been a vital record of the federal government's actions and 
agency requests for comment. Although early editions of the 
Federal Register were short, its length and printing costs have 
grown significantly over time. The first issue of the Federal 
Register from March 12, 1936 was just 16 pages, and the annual 
subscription cost in 1936 was $10 or $175 adjusted for 
inflation.\2\ Today, an annual subscription costs $929, and the 
2016 edition of the Federal Register was a record 97,110 pages 
long, with individual issues frequently surpassing 500 pages in 
length.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Office of the Fed. Reg., A Brief History Commemorating the 70th 
Anniversary of the Publication of the First Issue of the Federal 
Register, available at https://www.archives.gov/files/federalregister/
the-federal-register/history.pdf; Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS 
Inflation Calculator, available at https://www.bls.gov/data/
inflation_calculator.htm (last visited Mar. 22, 2016).
    \3\Gov't. Publishing Office, Federal Register Complete (Complete 
Paper Subscription Service, With Indexes), available at https://
bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/769-004-00000-9 (last visited Mar. 22, 
2016); 81 Fed. Reg. 97110 (2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As an alternative to a print subscription, the Federal 
Register has been available online for free since June 8, 
1994.\4\ Since that time, the digital version of the Federal 
Register has been repeatedly enhanced to provide better 
navigational aids and to include links to related contents.\5\ 
As a result, the digital version can now provide substantially 
greater utility to users--both inside and outside of the 
federal government.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Supra note 2.
    \5\Office of the Fed. Reg., About This Site, available at https://
www.federalregister.gov/reader-aids/government-policy-and-ofr-
procedures/about-this-site (last visited Mar. 22, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, despite the quality of the digital Federal 
Register, Members of Congress and offices throughout the 
federal government receive daily printed copies of the Federal 
Register, often without request. As of November 22, 2016, NARA 
reported more than 1,200 subscriptions across the federal 
government, including 186 within the White House itself.\6\ As 
a result it is not uncommon for hundreds of copies of the 
Federal Register to be thrown away each day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Email from John Hamilton, Director of Cong. Affairs, Nat'l. 
Archives & Records Admin., to Comm. On Oversight & Gov't. Reform Staff 
(Nov. 22, 2016) (on file with the Committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 195 prevents this needless waste by ensuring only 
entities wishing to receive the print edition of the Federal 
Register actually receive it. Under H.R. 195, GPO will be 
prohibited from distributing printed copies of the Federal 
Register to offices of the federal government, including 
Members of Congress, unless it is specifically requested, 
either as a single issue or as a subscription. Moreover, 
subscriptions to the Federal Register will be limited to 
lengths of no more than one year, to ensure offices annually 
consider whether a print subscription is a necessary and 
appropriate use of taxpayer funds.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On January 3, 2017, Representative Steve Russell (R-OK) 
introduced H.R. 195, the Federal Register Printing Savings Act 
of 2017. H.R. 195 was referred to the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform and in addition to the Committee on House 
Administration. The Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform considered H.R. 195 at a business meeting on February 
14, 2017 and ordered the bill favorably reported, without 
amendment, by voice vote.
    In the 114th Congress, Representative Russell introduced a 
bill identical to H.R. 195, which was H.R. 5384, the Federal 
Register Printing Savings Act of 2016. On November 16, 2016, 
the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ordered H.R. 
5384 favorably reported by unanimous consent, and on November 
30, 2016, the House passed the bill by voice vote.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Federal Register Printing Savings Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Restrictions on distribution of free printed copies of 
        federal register to members of congress and federal employees

    Subsection (a) amends section 1506 of title 44, United 
States Code, to insert a new subsection (b) to prohibit any 
Member of Congress or any office of the United States from 
receiving printed copies of the Federal Register unless: (1) 
the Member or office requests a specific printed copy of the 
Federal Register, or (2) the Member or office affirmatively 
requests a subscription to the Federal Register from the 
Government Publishing Office. Subsection (b) of section 1506 
also requires the Director of the Government Publishing Office 
to include in regulations provisions concerning the 
notification of the written request requirements for both 
single-issues and subscriptions to the Federal Register. The 
regulations must also include provisions describing the process 
for adhering to the subscription requirement, including that 
such subscriptions may be for no longer than one year.
    Subsection (b) of section 2 sets the effective date of the 
amendments made by subsection (a) as January 1, 2018.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments to H.R. 195 were offered or adopted during 
Full Committee consideration of the bill.

                        Committee Consideration

    On February 14, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 195, by voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    No roll call votes were requested or conducted during Full 
Committee consideration of the bill.

                             Correspondence

                        House of Representatives,  
                                   Committee on Oversight  
                                     and Government Reform,
                                      Washington, DC, May 10, 2017.
Hon. Gregg Harper,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
Longworth HOB, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: On February 14, 2017, the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform ordered reported without 
amendment H.R. 195, the Federal Register Printing Savings Act 
of 2017, by voice vote. The bill was referred primarily to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, with an 
additional referral to the Committee on House Administration.
    I ask that you allow the Committee on House Administration 
to be discharged from further consideration of the bill so that 
it may be scheduled by the Majority Leader. This discharge in 
no way affects your jurisdiction over the subject matter of the 
bill, and it will not serve as precedent for future referrals. 
In addition, should a conference on the bill be necessary, I 
would support your request to have the Committee on House 
Administration represented on the conference committee. 
Finally, I would be pleased to include this letter and any 
response in the bill report filed by the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform, as well as in the Congressional Record 
during floor consideration, to memorialize our understanding.
    Thank you for your consideration of my request.
            Sincerely,
                                            Jason Chaffetz,
                                                          Chairman.
                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                         Committee on House Administration,
                                      Washington, DC, May 10, 2017.
Hon. Jason Chaffetz,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding H.R. 
195. As you know, the bill was received in the House of 
Representatives on January 3, 2017, and referred primarily to 
the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and in 
addition the Committee on House Administration. The bill seeks 
to restrict the distribution of free printed copies of the 
Federal Register to Members of Congress and other officers and 
employees of the United States. On February 14, 2017, your 
Committee ordered H.R. 195 to be reported by voice vote.
    I realize that discharging the Committee on House 
Administration from further consideration of H.R. 195 will 
serve in the best interest of the House of Representatives and 
agree to do so. It is the understanding of the Committee on 
House Administration that forgoing action on H.R. 195 will not 
prejudice the Committee with respect to appointment of 
conferees or any future jurisdictional claim. I request that 
your letter and this response be included in the bill report 
filed by your Committee, as well as in the Congressional 
Record.
            Sincerely,
                                    Gregg Harper, Chairman,
                                 Committee on House Administration.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill prohibits subscriptions to the Federal Register by 
Members of Congress and offices of the federal government 
without request. As such, this bill does not relate to 
employment or access to public services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to amend title 44, United 
States Code, to restrict the distribution of free printed 
copies of the Federal Register to Members of Congress and other 
officers and employees of the United States, and for other 
purposes.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    In accordance with clause 2(c)(5) of rule XIII, no 
provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a program of 
the Federal Government known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program, a program that was included in any report from 
the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of section 551 or title 5, United States Code.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of Section 5(b) of the appendix to title 5, 
United States Code.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement, the Committee 
has included below a letter received from the Congressional 
Budget Office.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, which the Committee has included below.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 22, 2017.
Hon. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman,
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 195, the Federal 
Register Printing Savings Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 195--Federal Register Printing Savings Act of 2017

    H.R. 195 would amend federal law to prohibit the Goverment 
Printing Office (GPO) from furnishing a printed copy of the 
Federal Register without charge to a Member of Congress or any 
employee of the U.S. government unless specifically requested. 
The Federal Register compiles and organizes thousands of rules, 
regulations, executive orders, presidential documents, and 
notices generated by federal departments and agencies.
    Using information from the National Archives and Records 
Administration and GPO, CBO expects that implementing the bill 
would end the distribution of about 1,000 copies of the Federal 
Register that are distributed daily for free. The average 
Federal Register has 300 pages and costs $4.50 to produce and 
distribute. CBO estimates that eliminating those free copies of 
the Federal Register would reduce spending that is subject to 
appropriation by $1 million annually. Enacting the bill would 
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 195 would not increase 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 195 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

   In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 44, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 15--FEDERAL REGISTER AND CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 1506. Administrative Committee of the Federal Register; 
                    establishment and composition; powers and duties

   [The Administrative Committee] (a) Composition; Duties._The 
Administrative Committee of the Federal Register shall consist 
of the Archivist of the United States or Acting Archivist, who 
shall be chairman, an officer of the Department of Justice 
designated by the Attorney General, and the Director of the 
Government Publishing Office or Acting Director of the 
Government Publishing Office. The Director of the Federal 
Register shall act as secretary of the committee. The committee 
shall prescribe, with the approval of the President, 
regulations for carrying out this chapter. The regulations 
shall provide, among other things--
           (1) the manner of certification of copies required 
        to be certified under section 1503 of this title, which 
        certification may be permitted to be based upon 
        confirmed communications from outside the District of 
        Columbia;
           (2) the documents which shall be authorized under 
        section 1505(b) of this title to be published in the 
        Federal Register;
           (3) the manner and form in which the Federal 
        Register shall be printed, reprinted, and compiled, 
        indexed, bound, and distributed;
           (4) subject to subsection (b), the number of copies 
        of the Federal Register, which shall be printed, 
        reprinted, and compiled, the number which shall be 
        distributed without charge to Members of Congress, 
        officers and employees of the United States, or Federal 
        agency, for official use, and the number which shall be 
        available for distribution to the public; and
           (5) the prices to be charged for individual copies 
        of, and subscriptions to, the Federal Register and 
        reprints and bound volumes of it.
   (b) Restrictions on Distribution of Free Printed Copies to 
Members of Congress and Officers and Employees of the United 
States.--
           (1) Prohibiting subscription to printed copies 
        without request.--Under the regulations prescribed to 
        carry out subsection (a)(4), the Director of the 
        Government Publishing Office may not provide a printed 
        copy of the Federal Register without charge to any 
        Member of Congress or any other office of the United 
        States during a year unless--
                   (A) the Member or office requests a printed 
                copy of a specific issue of the Federal 
                Register; or
                   (B) during that year or during the previous 
                year, the Member or office requested a 
                subscription to printed copies of the Federal 
                Register for that year, as described in 
                paragraph (2).
           (2) Administration of subscriptions.--The 
        regulations prescribed to carry out subsection (a)(4) 
        shall include--
                   (A) provisions regarding notifications to 
                offices of Members of Congress and other 
                offices of the United States of the 
                restrictions of paragraph (1);
                   (B) provisions describing the process by 
                which Members and other offices may request a 
                specific issue of the Federal Register for 
                purposes of paragraph (1)(A); and
                   (C) provisions describing the process by 
                which Members and other offices may request a 
                subscription to the Federal Register for 
                purposes of paragraph (1)(B), except that such 
                regulations shall limit the period for such a 
                subscription to not longer than 1 year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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