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Most reiterated concerns of the past, such as the growing backlog of claims at the Copyright Office and the need for more funds to help the Law Library of Congress.
Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) was the sole Member to testify, asking the subcommittee to consider resurrecting the Office of Technology Assessment, a popular Congressional research office that Republicans closed in 1995.
Some argue that other sources such as the GAO or the National Academies can produce similar reports. But Holt along with some other Members believe OTA played a pivotal role in helping Congress understand the ramifications of scientific policy.
It was part of Congress. It spoke our language, Holt said. It understood our peculiarities how Members worked and our schedule.
Subcommittee members asked few questions to most of the witnesses, having heard most of it before. But they seemed irked when a union leader from the CRS testified that the agency still isnt allowing employees to telecommute, despite the subcommittees request that they do so.
To push them into action, Wasserman Schultz said language may be put in the fiscal 2010 appropriations bill.
This is 2009, she said. Other federal agencies seem to be able to come up with a workable policy.