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April 9, 2010 - 11:59am

Chris Lee says it's time to stop wasteful printing of proposed legislation

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chris Lee.

chris_lee_paper.jpg

BATAVIA, NY -- Congress is behind the times, according to Rep. Chris Lee (NY-26). While society is moving to an increasingly paperless existence, the congressional printing office still delivers five printed copies of every bill to the staff of each bill's co-sponsors.

Those can be pretty hefty tomes -- hundreds of pages long -- to dozens of congressional offices.

And they are bills that usually just get tossed in the garbage or recycling bin, because most legislators and their staff members read and track bills on computers.

At the Genesee ARC recycling center today, Lee announced legislation he hopes will pass to end the practice of printing these copies of bills. He called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has talked before about the "greening of DC" to support the bill, which already has nine Democratic co-sponsors.

"We don't practice what we preach," Lee said.

If passed, Lee said he estimates that the bill would save taxpayers $2.5 million per year.

"This is a win-win," Lee said. "It takes care of our environment and it shows that we’re looking after every penny that comes into our treasury."

As an example, Lee held up all five copies of a recent bill that was 153 pages long and was delivered to the offices of 80 co-sponsors. 

The freshman congressman is concerned that the bill won't be taken seriously in the House, because in an environment were most legislation is dealing with billions or trillions of dollars, $2.5 million is practically "spare change."

"To me, $2.5 million is a lot of money," Lee said. "Unfortunately, there’s this premise that unless it has a “B” or a “T” after it, in Washington, most of the people don’t care."

Kevin Manne
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This seems like a no-brainer - I fully support it. But what about the wasteful printing and mailing of all the full-color materials that Mr. Lee sends out to all his constituents? The surveys, etc he sends out should be e-mail and web-based, and if he MUST snail-mail something it could be a simple Web-driver postcard to direct people online for feedback. Talk about not practicing what you preach.
Peter O'Brien
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"We don't practice what we preach," Lee said. Just like with the new health care mandates... Kevin, how many people in this county have registered their email address to receive those mailings? Its smart to send them via snail mail because unless you are homeless you can receive them, thus increasing the audience to his message vs his registered email list. The postcard idea will only work with people who want to get them, and most of them I will bet are already getting some sort of email.
Bea McManis
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Congressman Lee said, last night at his town hall meeting in Livingston County, that he would leave office if he was called a politician. I'm waiting for him to pack his bags. By the way, all you political folk, where were you last night? Why not attend the town hall meeting and speak your piece where it could be heard. 1/3 of his audience were peaceful, respectful, well behaved Democrats who came to listen and ask questions. No signs, no ranting and raving, no tea party type behavior. It was well worth attending. Sad that only a handful of Genesee Co. folks attended the town hall meeting.
Peter O'Brien
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Tea Party type behavior? Please explain. Being angry and vocal about your grievances with the country is a good thing. I was at Tully's in Henrietta watching my school get beaten. And if they hadn't been in the Frozen Four, I would have been in class. Where we spend our time is our business and there are many ways to be heard besides meeting some representatives time table.
Karen Miconi
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You know Peter, Fed Up Americans, that Speak their Minds, and that Wont be intimidated, by The "Fat Cats" that are running the middle class taxpayer, of NYS, into the ground. Thats what "Tea Partiers" are, in my opinion. I say, more power to them. At least they aren't sitting Idolly by, while government "Fills Their Bellies" with our hard earned money. Go Paladino!!!!

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