October 19, 2011

CONSENT REQUEST REGARDING WILLIAM BOARMAN TO BE CONFIRMED AS PUBLIC PRINTER

I certainly understand that my friend from Missouri is doing this on behalf other Senators, and I just want to express my disappointment that these Senators are objecting to the confirmation of William J. Boarman, an individual who is eminently qualified to be our Nation's 26th Public Printer and head of the Government Printing Office. President Obama nominated Bill Boarman 18 months ago.

The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration reported the nomination favorably in July of 2010. The nomination languished because of the Republican objections that President Obama made a recess appointment on January 3, 2011, and renominated Mr. Boarman on January 20, 2011. Again, the Senate Rules Committee reported the nomination favorably by voice vote this past May.

The Public Printer is not a controversial position. Previous printers have been confirmed without controversy or delay. This obstruction is unprecedented. Bill's career in the printing industry spans 40 years. He started as a practical printer and worked in Washington, DC. In 1974 he accepted an appointment as a journeyman printer at the GPO.

Mr. Boarman was elected president of his home local 101 when he was just 30.

He later served as the national officer with the International Typographical Union (ITU), where he was a key architect of the merger between the ITU and the Communication Workers of America. He was elected president of the ITU. He has served as an unpaid consultant to several public printers, and he has testified before various congressional committees regarding GPO programs and policies.

He is an expert in this field. He's eminently qualified. I think the members of this body know that. Mr. Boarman served as chairman of the ITU Negotiated Pension Plan and $125 million Canadian Negotiated Pension Plan.

He has experience in management. He was among the union leaders who spearheaded the creation of the AFL-CIO Capital Stewardship Program and the Center for Working Capital in the Federation.  Because of his experience in the field of pension administration, he was chosen to represent CWA on the Council of Institutional Investors.  He's also served on the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disability and a co-chair of the Taft-Hartley Northern American Study Group.

He has served as President of the Union Printers Home, a 122-bed nursing facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

I mention his background to you to underscore the point that Bill Boarman is uniquely qualified to serve as the Nation's Public Printer and there's absolutely no good reason to hold up his confirmation.

All we're asking, Mr. President, is let's bring this nomination forward for a vote. He is a person who has eminent qualifications. There's no substantive objection to his confirmation. I hope my colleagues who have raised the objection will allow us to move forward.

The Public Printer serves as Chief Executive Officer of the GPO, the agency charged with keeping the American people informed about the work of the Federal Government.

GPO is one of the world’s largest printing plants and digital factories and is one of the biggest print buyers in the world.  GPO disseminates the Congressional Record and the Federal Register and numerous other products and services in both print and digital form.

The agency has been tasked to build its digital capabilities into a state-of-the-art facility. We hear all the time about making this system more transparent. Mr. Boarman knows how to do that. Let's give him a confirmed position so we can help bring the public more into what we do here in Congress.

Bill Boarman faces the challenge of maintaining the traditional printing skills of an aging workforce while helping a 150-year-old organization adapt to a world in which most documents are “born digital.”

As Bill has said, “few Federal agencies can count as their heritage the scope of the work GPO has performed, ranging from the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation to providing digital access to the Government's publications today. The men and women of GPO are responsible for that heritage.

It's past time that Bill Boarman, a man with over 40 years of experience in the printing industry, be considered and confirmed as the nation's 26th Public Printer.

I urge my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle to let the Senate do what it is legally responsible to do: advise and consent on these confirmations. Let us vote so we can confirm this position that was first brought forward over a year and a half ago.

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