New Year, More Old Issues

As the U.S. Congress struggles with the rising cost of government operations, a look back in time tells us we’ve been down this road before.

Entrance to the Government Printing Office

On March 3, 1880, the New York Times offered the following report:

An extensive reduction in working force of the Government Printing Office was made today in consequence of the almost entire exhaustion of the appropriation made for the maintenance of that office during the present fiscal year. Notices were posted in the building today to the effect that the Public Printer is prohibited by law from contracting debts in advance of appropriations, and that as the appropriation for the present year is nearly exhausted, he is compelled to “furlough” the greater part of the employees. About 1,000 men and women are thrown out of employment, and will remain idle until the deficiency appropriation, which has been pending before the House Appropriations Committee  for some time, shall be made. Public Printer Defrees says a sufficient force has been retained to get out the Congressional Record, and do the necessary work of the departments for a few days longer.

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