The federal budget is finally digital

At 2,200 pages, how many people actually read the whole federal budget the president sends to Congress each year? Definitely not enough to pay for the cost of printing.

At 2,200 pages, how many people actually read the whole federal budget the president sends to Congress each year? Definitely not enough to pay for the cost of printing. And more importantly, how can citizens search through it for programs on interest when it's only in print? OK, enough is enough. The Office of Management and Budget will put the president's budget online at www.budget.gov.

The OMB's e-budget announcement this month did not escape the attention of Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "Let us hope that they send us a budget that is worth the paper it would have been printed on," he quipped.

And there's more, reports the Post's Stephen Barr. Congress's Government Accountability Office is also going digital, transitioning to electronic files over a six month period. The move could save the printing of several thousand copies of each report.

GAO is also urging Congress itself to move towards the exciting land of PDF but aides are cautious. It may be impossible to get Members to look at information if they can't stick a piece of paper under their noses.

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