May 28, 2010


Statement of Chairman Charles E. Schumer

Committee on Rules and Administration

Hearing on the Nomination of William J. Boarman to be Public Printer

May 25, 2010



The Rules Committee shall come to order. Good morning.

I would like to welcome everyone, including our Ranking Member, Senator Bennett, (and my fellow Rules Committee colleagues present here today) and especially our nominee, William (Bill) Boarman.

The Government Printing Office was created by “The Printing Act” in 1860 for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government. GPO opened its doors on March 4, 1861, the same day that Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States; in fact, next year is the GPO’s 150th Anniversary. Today the Public Printer employs nearly 2,400 staff and manages an annual budget of nearly $1 billion.

From the earliest days of the Nation, Congressional leaders recognized the need for printed documents to assist both Chambers of Congress in communicating with the American public. James Madison cited in his notes of the Federal Convention of 1787 the delegates’ concern over the Government’s responsibility to inform the citizenry when he wrote “it should not be in the option of the Legislature to conceal their proceedings.”

This is the Government Printing Office’s primary mission: “Keeping America Informed.” GPO produces the Nation’s most important government information products, such as the Congressional Record and Federal Register. Both are produced at the GPO’s main plant in Washington, DC. However, nearly 60 percent of the printing the GPO manages for the Federal Government is procured through private sector vendors across the country. On a daily basis, the agency maintains between 600 and 1,000 print-related projects a day through a long-standing partnership with America’s printing industry.

Congress is dependent upon the ability of the Government Printing Office to provide printed and electronic versions of our legislative documents and the Congressional Record in a timely manner. With the ever increasing workload of Congress and our demanding schedules, the agency needs to continue to provide the necessary resources to meet our legislative demands, so that we can carry out our duties as mandated by the Constitution and governed by the rules of both Houses of Congress.

The Public Printer faces diverse and pressing challenges in the upcoming years:

• Maintaining operations and service levels required by the Government during times of fiscal austerity.

• Developing a workforce in light of an aging employee base and evolving printing technologies.

• Embracing and fully using electronic publishing technology to inform the American people and lower costs.

• Working with the nation’s Federal Depository Libraries and ensuring that they are equal partners with GPO in planning for the future of the Federal Depository Library Program.

If confirmed, Mr. Boarman would be the 25th Public Printer. Mr. Boarman is a practical printer by trade. He began his career by serving a four-year union apprenticeship at the McArdle Printing Company in Washington, DC. Following completion of his apprenticeship, he worked in a number of local printing establishments. In 1974 he went to work for the Government Printing Office, and in 1977, he took a leave of absence from the GPO after being elected a full-time Union official.

He has had a continuing professional relationship with GPO that has spanned more than 30 years. Over the years he has testified on GPO matters on a number of occasions before our Committee and before the Joint Committee on Printing.

Since 1989 Mr. Boarman has served as the President of the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector of the Communications Workers of America. He is also the President of the International Allied Printing Trades Association. Mr. Boarman has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan, CWA Pension Plan Canada, and the Executive Board of the Council of Institutional Investors.

We are fortunate to have a nominee of Mr. Boarman’s caliber for this important post.

I look forward to your testimony and to continuing to work with you in the years ahead.

The Committee has received letters in support of Mr. Boarman’s nomination from a number of organizations. These letters will be included in the hearing record. Senator Mikulski also submitted a statement in support of the nominee. Due to a conflict in her schedule, she is unable to join Senator Cardin and Representative Hoyer in introducing Mr. Boarman to the Committee this morning.

Senator Bennett, do you have any opening remarks before we swear in Mr. Boarman?