Chairman Ryan Statement at Hearing on GPO's FY 2020 Budget Request

February 27, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Government Publishing Office's (GPO) FY 2020 budget request:

We’re now ready to begin our second hearing of the morning, where we’ll hear from the Government Publishing Office about their budget request.

Until five years ago, this organization was known as the Government Printing Office, reflecting its historic mission of communicating information through the printed word.  As technology for disseminating information has changed from ink on paper to digital media and on-line access, GPO’s role has changed as well—and hence the name change.  

There will be a continuing role for printed material in the conduct of government business, and GPO will therefore be doing printing for a long time to come.  But GPO is now distributing more and more information by digital means, such as through its upgraded and steadily growing website now called “GovInfo”.

Whatever the format, GPO’s fundamental function is making information about the operations of government—particularly the Congress— readily available to the public. That’s a crucial function in a democracy.

GPO’s appropriations request for 2020 is $117 million—the same as its appropriation for 2019, and substantially less than it received ten years ago.  This is a case where technological advances have produced real cost savings, as typesetting and printing processes have become more efficient, and as the rise of electronic documents have greatly reduced the volume of printed material produced.

Here to tell us about GPO’s budget request—and its work—is Herb Jackson, the Acting Deputy Director.  Mr. Jackson is representing GPO today because the position of GPO Director is currently vacant.  He has more than three decades of experience at GPO, including service in various management, procurement and administrative positions.

Before we hear from Mr. Jackson, I’ll yield to our ranking member, Ms. Herrera Beutler, for any opening remarks she’d like to make.

116th Congress