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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Group to Introduce Bill Stopping the Government from Selling Reports Available Online for Free

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 TEXAS BORDER BUSINESS

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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) joined U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and U.S. Representatives Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) today introduced the Let Me Google That For You Act, a bill to eliminate an outdated agency that has lost more than $1 million trying to sell government reports that are available for free online. With a money-losing profit model only the government could design, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) sells free government reports to other federal agencies and the public – at a loss.

“Voters send us to Washington to write effective legislation and make sure the federal government is operating in a responsible manner,” said Congressman Cuellar. “That a government agency is selling free reports to another part of the government and the general public is a prime example of federal overreach and inefficiency.  The Let Me Google That For You Act is an excellent step towards streamlining the way the government works and keeping Washington accountable to taxpayers.”

Last year, the Government Accountability Office highlighted NTIS’ operations, in its annual duplication report, finding, “Of the reports added to NTIS’s repository during fiscal years 1990 through 2011 … approximately 74 percent were readily available from other public sources.” Meanwhile, from 1995 to 2000, the office sold only 8 percent of the 2.5 million reports in its repertoire.  NTIS has lost on average at least $1.3 million over the last 11 year, running a deficit on its document production for nearly a decade.

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Eliminating the office should be a top priority for Congress as it looks for commonsense and bipartisan ways to reduce federal spending, increase government efficiency, and act upon one of the GAO’s recommendations to eliminate unnecessary duplication.

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