House bill would give Federal Register a facelift

Tuesday - 7/15/2014, 4:43pm EDT

By Ariel Levin-Waldman
Special to Federal News Radio

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would modernize the Federal Register. The current U.S. code requires the Government Printing Office to print a physical copy of the Federal Register every morning. The modernization bill would change the word "print" to "publicize" and require the government to electronically distribute the Federal Register instead.

The bill also addresses the hypothetical suspension of the Federal Register should an attack on the U.S. make publishing impractical. It adds the words "telecommunications, the Internet" after "press" and "radio" as acceptable alternate ways for the Federal Register to be distributed. The legislation also strikes the need for agencies to keep two physical backup copies of Federal Register notices in the event the Federal Register can't be published.

The modernization effort marks the latest in a series of updates to the Federal Register, including a massive website facelift in 2010.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 386-0. The Senate does not have a companion bill currently.

Ariel Levin-Waldman is an intern with Federal News Radio

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