Mr. President, let me wish you and your family and all those who work here a merry Christmas and happy new year. I hope God gives you and your families a very good, outstanding, happy, healthy new year.
I wish to speak on William Boarman's appointment as Public Printer, which has been held up for a year and a half, despite being reported out of the Rules Committee twice with unanimous bipartisan support. Earlier this year, because of the delays, he was appointed to the job on an interim basis by the President during a recess. During this year he has done an outstanding job as Acting Public Printer.
It is extremely unfortunate that this agency, which is so important to Congress, to the private sector printing industry, and to the country, will now be without an effective leader when Mr. Boarman's recess appointment expires after we adjourn, unless this Senate confirms his nomination at last.
He has moved quickly this year to make important financial and management improvements at the Government Printing Office. These include cutting costs with a buyout of 15 percent of GPO's workforce, which will save $33 million annually; greatly reducing costs for overtime, travel, executive hires, and other discretionary costs; reducing GPO's overhead expenses; and negotiating successfully with the unions, resulting in a zero increase in salaries.
I might add, perhaps he is being held up because of his union background, but we have seen in his year as acting administrator that he has been fiscally extremely responsible and successful. Maybe he is better at doing this than other people would be.
He also has staff identifying nearly $30 million in outstanding payments owed to the GPO by other Federal agencies and collecting almost $15 million of that in a few months.
Mr. Boarman ordered the first survey ever of congressional offices on their need for printed copies of the Congressional Record, resulting in an 18-percent reduction in printed copies and more cost savings.
Mr. Boarman has aggressively pushed the GPO to extend electronic online publishing and databases, as Congress has asked. In short, he has already demonstrated he is the kind of competent, committed, experienced leader GPO needs.
The fact that we have not cleared this nomination is outrageous. The two Republican Senators who had holds on this nomination, holds that had nothing to do with concerns about Mr. Boarman but with other nonrelated nominations, finally released their holds yesterday. Now, today, some new obstacle has arisen on the Republican side. We know it is not an objection to Mr. Boarman himself but we have run out of time.
It is appalling when you get a public servant who cares about this government, in a nonpolitical place, the Government Printing Office, who has done an excellent job by all accounts--cutting costs, what we on both sides of the aisle want--and he gets held up. Instead of getting held up he should get an award for the job he has done. Yet he is held up and caught in the politics once again. It is so indicative of the dysfunction of our government. It is bothersome when someone works so hard and does a good job that his nomination can't get through for secret, undisclosed--it is hard to even figure out what reason.
I hope maybe before we leave today my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will look at Mr. Boarman's record--look at the unanimous vote he received in the Rules Committee; every Republican voted for him--and most of all look at what he has done in the Printing Office, and realizing without a leader many of these gains may be lost, costing all of us and the taxpayers millions of dollars, and maybe we will appoint him. Delay in this confirmation has shown the confirmation process at its worst and we are now in danger of losing this public servant whose work has produced the kinds of results we want.
I urge the Senate to confirm Mr. Boarman so that the GPO can continue to make progress.
I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
Without objection, it is so ordered.
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