Tester and Lee Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Cut Waste, Save Taxpayers Money

Pay for Printing Act Will Take Taxpayers off the hook for Exorbitant Print Jobs

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is teaming up with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to cut government waste and save taxpayers money.

Tester and Lee have introduced the Pay for Printing Act to stop Congress’ ability to use taxpayer funds to pay for exorbitant print jobs.

“Montanans want their hard-earned dollars going towards our troops and schools, not printing unnecessary reams of paper,” Tester said. “I am partnering with Senator Lee so we can hold Congress accountable and curb Washington’s bad habit of spending other people’s money on exorbitance and waste.”

“We are not going to cut our federal government’s $20 trillion national debt by cutting government printing costs,” Lee said. “But the House and Senate passed 708 resolutions last Congress, and every single one of these resolutions cost taxpayer money to print. If we are going to ask the American people to help cut the deficit, we in Washington should be willing to foot the bill for every commemorative resolution we want Congress to pass.”

Tester’s and Lee’s bill will require any sponsor of a ceremonial or commemorative Senate resolution to reimburse the Government Publishing Office for the cost of printing. Payments would be paid for out of the Senator’s Official Personnel and Office Expense Account.

Congress is spending more money each year on expensive print copies of resolutions, bill texts, and other documents.

In the 2018 budget, the Government Publishing Office set aside nearly $80 million just to cover the costs of Congressional printing and $6 million of taxpayer funds will specifically be used to print the projected 118,900 pages of bill text introduced this year.

During 114th Congress, Congress passed or agreed to 708 resolutions, all of which were printed and paid for by taxpayers.

Tester also cosponsored legislation earlier this year to end a long time perk for Washington politicians by prohibiting federal agencies from using taxpayer dollars to commission official portraits of government employees. President Trump signed Tester’s bill into law in March.