Lapas attēli



FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2006.








Chairman LEWIS. The committee will come to order.

As we begin this process, I remind Mr. Moran that like Vic Fazio I spent a lot of years on this committee, and he was chairman for years, and I am sure that the legislative branch has some mixed feelings about my taking the chairmanship away from Vic, but I didn't seriously do that.

Mr. MORAN. You wouldn't remember, Mr. Chairman, but I was actually one of the underling subcommittee members. It was my first subcommittee that I got on. I was actually very excited about being appointed to the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. Then I saw how you and Vic handled it, and it was awe inspiring, so I endeavored to

Chairman LEWIS. I don't mind the record reflecting the fact that Vic and I both recognize that you were one of our key trainees. Mr. MORAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman LEWIS. Anyway, we begin the hearings on the budget requests for the various agencies of the legislative branch for 2007. The total appropriations request submitted to the committee is $3.2 billion ($3,246,904,000). The amount requested is $325 million, or 11.1 percent, above the 2006 level.

We make some effort, as you may know, to deal with the House side alone; and there is obviously overlap between the Senate and the House. Comity suggests that we ought to begin the process here; and then, in turn, we work very closely with the Members of the Senate. The total request is $4.2 billion ($4,230,179,000), including the Senate.

As I mentioned, the budget request increases by 11.1 percent. Those budget requests received from the President for fiscal year '07 proposed to hold the overall discretionary spending below the rate of inflation and reflect a cut in spending in nonsecurity discretionary programs below the '06 level.

Mr. Moran would like to have these amounts significantly higher than this, just for the record, for those in the audience who may live in his district. But it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to provide the funding requests by the legislative branch that reflect all of their "wish" lists, as well as their actual needs.

But at this point I must ask all agencies, once again, to review their budget requests to determine reductions in these requests as we go forward to work with the Senate. We need to bring to the floor a bill that not only is responsible, that we can be proud of; and, frankly, already there are many elements of that bill that Í am proud of.

Mr. Obey was going to be with us today. He has a lot of interest in the work of the agency. As you know, he has many other responsibilities, and he also spent the other night, all night with us on the emergency supplemental. So he has asked Mr. Moran, the real expert in the subject, to join us; and so I turn to Mr. Moran for any comments he might have.


Mr. MORAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman; and I thank you for the nice words. But, more importantly, I thank you for the fact that you have insisted that the legislative branch be given focus. Some people were concerned that when it was absorbed into the full committee that you wouldn't hear much from the executive branch; and you have ensured that we do have hearings, that we provide the oversight that is necessary and hopefully that we provide the resources that are necessary. This is a great institution that we are responsible for, and it is only about .15 percent of the Federal budget, but I think people around the world expect us to ensure that it continues to be an institution that we are proud of. We are going to have some major problems with discretionary budgets this year; and, of course, the legislative branch will be included within that overall context.

The administration has proposed to cut all nondefense nonhomeland security discretionary spending by over $5 billion below last year's funding level.

Chairman LEWIS. Point 5 percent, by the way.

Mr. MORAN. Five billion dollars. Boy, that is a lot of money, Mr. Chairman. But, with the Senate, this bill has about a 12.3 percent increase. I think most of this is for the Architect of the Capitol and Capitol Police. But I think it is going to be difficult to provide as much increase as has been requested by the agencies, and so we need to be realistic about that.

But, you know, we have in total about three and a quarter billion dollars for the entire Capitol Hill complex and the institutions that serve us, and that is not-in the scheme of things, I don't think that is a whole lot of money.

I do think we have a fairly lean operation. Certainly, as other countries go, when you go to these other countries, and I suspect you see the same thing, Mr. Chairman, they are overladen with bureaucracy. They are primarily there because of patronage, and they don't do a fraction of the quality work that we just take for grant

Chairman LEWIS. I must say I am somewhat frustrated by the fact that lean budgets have significantly limited my travel, but, on the other hand

Mr. MORAN. That is another issue we may not necessarily want to get into. Maybe when the committee is sitting without the public, we can discuss that, too. But the fact is that all of the employees and all of the agencies that serve the Congress serve us with excellence.

There are mandatory expenses. The personnel costs should include cost-of-living adjustments and utilities; and then, of course, you have all the added security costs that need to be taken into account.

The Library of Congress has a storage facility that needs money. It is inherent to its mission. At some point, it has got to be funded or we have to scale back the mission of the Library of Congress; and I don't think anybody in the world would want us to do that. We have got information systems that we never had in the past, but I think we all agree that they are necessary.

Last year, we basically froze agency spending, providing only an inflationary increase for mandatory costs. I would hope that we don't continue that approach year after year. We may be forced into doing that again. But extending a freeze forward for several years invariably triggers personnel reduction, and it causes agency heads to change their vision, and I am not sure that that is in our best interest. We want them to be proud of their organization and when they have good ideas to be able to share them and, hopefully, we find the resources necessary.

But to continue to freeze is going to compromise our security, cancel investments in new upgraded computer systems, and of course I think it will undermine the Library of Congress' mission to preserve invaluable collections of literature and the great works of art.

I think we have some fundamental differences, it is fair to say, in a lot of areas. But this is one where I think we have a lot of common agreement, that the legislative branch should be a priority. If not, our salaries and directs MRA, the agencies that serve us, the Printing Office, the Library of Congress, the GAO, we can go through a list of superb organizations, and the Capitol Police, that we are very proud of. So I hope we can find sufficient re


With that, Mr. Chairman, let's hear from the agency heads and see what they have in mind for the year. Again, I appreciate the hearing this morning.


Chairman LEWIS. Thank you, Mr. Moran.

We are going to begin with the Printing Office. So we want to welcome, first, the Public Printer, the Honorable Bruce James.

The budget before us for the 2007 request is $151.5 million, which is an increase of $29.3 million, or a 24 percent increase above the '06 level. The components of the request are $100.3 million for Congressional Printing and Binding, $43 million for Salaries and Expenses of the Superintendent of Documents and $8.2

Mr. James, would you introduce your fine staff with you? We will take your testimony. You can summarize it. We will place the rest in the record.

Mr. JAMES. Thank you and good morning, Mr. Chairman. It is nice to be here.

I would like to introduce the two people at the table with me. First is our Chief Financial Officer, Steve Shedd. Steve has been with the agency about 3 years now.

When I came in the door, we did not have a Chief Financial Officer. We had various heads of different parts of the organization that managed money, and we were not doing well. We had lost a considerable amount of money in the preceding period of time. I needed someone who could come in and work with me to get the finances under control, and Steve has certainly brought that to the GPO.

Secondly, I would like to introduce to you Mike Wash. Mike is the Chief Technical Officer of GPO and is the co-head of the Office of Innovation and New Technology; and Mike, again, has been with the agency just a little over 2 years.

What I did in his case was I teamed one of our inside stars, who had a great deal of technical knowledge about the Government and the Government's requirements and knew where technology was going, and I made him co-head of the Office of Innovation and New Technology and then brought Mike in from the outside.

Mike had an almost 30-year career in industry, one of the few people in this country that has built large-scale digital systems that work, was U.S. Inventor of the Year in 1998 and holds U.S. Patents himself; and he has been the leader of our technical renaissance, if you will.

With your permission, I would like to offer for the record my opening statement and avoid having to read that to you, but I would like to make some comments.


Chairman LEWIS. Please. Your statement will be included in the record. You can even revise and extend it if you like, but, in the meantime, we are interested in your opening comments.

Mr. JAMES. This is fourth time I have appeared in front of the Appropriations Committee in the House. The first time, I had been in the job about 3 months. GPO had lost almost $75 million in the preceding 2 years, and we were on the path to losing another $35 million. I came in here, and I told you what I thought we ought to do. I thought we ought to go out there and figure out what the facts are and take a year to do that and then take a year to develop a plan of where we wanted the agency to go and then spend anywhere from 1 to 3 years to execute that plan.

In the meantime, I said we had to deal immediately with these losses. We had completely drained the Revolving Fund. There was no money left. With your help, GPO was appropriated $10 million for the Revolving Fund. That allowed us to reduce the size of the workforce, and I am pleased to report to you today that that $10 million has already produced $70 million of cost savings for taxpayers, will produce another $35 million this year, and will go on

has been a very good investment for this committee and what it helped us to do.

Whenever I come to you and ask for money, I ask you for it on an investment basis. We expect that any money that is allocated by Congress to us, if it is not spent directly to make a product or provide a service for you, for Congress, will be invested in ways that get a true return for taxpayers.

So I come to you today with a proposal for the next fiscal year that I think is solid and sound. I think it will give paybacks for taxpayers.

The most important issue that we face today is, first, the redevelopment of the commercial space that we occupy today. This is a subject I brought up last year. It is an opportunity both to get GPO into new facilities that will much better meet our needs in the 21st century and also to significantly reduce the cost for taxpayers. As I have said several times, if we do this correctly, we will be able to reduce our appropriations requests by more than 30 percent; and I think we need to get on with this project.

Secondly, we are in the process, under Mike Wash's supervision, of developing a future digital system for the United States Government. This is the system that will ingest all Government-published documents and bring them to a common denominator, authenticate those documents, actually equaling what the author wrote, control what the versions are, and then keep those digital documents in perpetuity.

Now in the old days, we did this, of course, in paper. But paper is going away, and we are slowly transferring the Government to digital documents.

Last year, we were able to put 92 percent of all the Government's new documents on the Internet; and that is just a significant record. The 8 percent tend to be things like maps and other things that don't really lend themselves to the Internet yet.

We have done an amazing job of getting the material out to the general public, but there is much work that we need to do to get build a sound, solid infrastructure for this. And I want to assure you that we are doing this not as mavericks, but we are doing this in conjunction with the Archives, and we are doing it in conjunction with the Library of Congress and other Government agencies. We are also closely consulting with the library community as we do this, too.

The third thing is, to have an effective system, we have got to go back to the beginning of time. We have got to go back to Federal document number one, and we need to digitize it and put it into the computer system so we have a full record of Government documents online.

There is no question that the private sector can do this. But, as I look at this, you know, it is a matter of trust. Who do we know will be here 200 years from now? And I think that we owe citizens of this country the ability to access a document and count on that document being an authentic Government document and know it will be there forever. I think it is necessary we do that.

The good news is that we can do it without a new appropriation.

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