Proposed amendment to H.R. 195 would restrict free print distribution of legislative documents

On Free Government Information James Jacobs reports on the following development and calls for action opposing this proposed change:

The Federal Register is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices. There’s a particularly damaging bill, H.R. 195: Federal Register Printing Savings Act of 2017, winding its way through Congress, having already passed the House, reported out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and is pending action and vote on the Senate floor. If passed, the bill — “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” — would restrict the printing of copies of the Federal Register only to Members of Congress and Government officials.

What’s even worse, FGI sources say that Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is set to propose an amendment to HR 195 that would eliminate the printing not only of the Federal Register, but of copies of congressional hearings, committee reports, and bills, resolutions, and amendments in both the Senate and the House.

— Joe

3 thoughts on “Proposed amendment to H.R. 195 would restrict free print distribution of legislative documents

  1. Matthew Flyntz October 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm Reply

    From the text of the bill and the Committee Report, it looks like the bill will simply require members of Congress and other federal officials to request a print subscription, rather than assuming that all members of Congress want one and sending them daily Federal Registers in print. I don’t see how this affects libraries or open access to information at all. Am I missing something?

  2. Melissa Bernstein October 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Same here – unless it is the “slippery slope” argument.

  3. Susan Hesse October 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm Reply

    Isn’t this just a reaction to the easy availability of this information online?

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