Senators to feds: 'Just Google it'
© Google

Senators want to eliminate an agency tucked within the Commerce Department, suggesting that the Internet has made it obsolete. 

Republican Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkAdvocates push for EpiPens on flights after college student's mid-flight allergic reaction Funding the fight against polio Ex-GOP Sen. Kirk registers to lobby MORE (Ill.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteKey endorsements: A who's who in early states Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race New Hampshire senator to ask 2020 Dems to back repeal of state residency law MORE (N.H.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonLawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei Five things to know about Iran's breaches of the nuclear deal Hillicon Valley: Trump gets pushback after reversing course on Huawei | China installing surveillance apps on visitors' phones | Internet provider Cloudflare suffers outage | Consumer groups look to stop Facebook cryptocurrency MORE (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.) introduced the Just Google It Act on Monday, which would eliminate the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).  
 
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The NTIS is the "largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information," according to the agency's website. But, the senators say that the rise of internet search engines has made it "outdated and duplicative." 

“Instead of wasting millions of dollars to buy and sell printed documents, the federal government should join the 21st Century and just Google it,” Kirk said in a statement, adding that the government agency "has been obsolete since the Internet was invented." 

The senators pointed to a  2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found that a majority of documents added to the NTIS collection over the past twenty years could be found somewhere else, with most of those available for free online. 
 
The senators would give the Commerce Department a year to shut down the NTIS and transfer any "critical functions" to another part of the department. 
 
The senators' proposal isn't the first time the agency has come under congressional fire. 
 
 
A spokesperson for the agency told The Washington Times at the time that the reason Google and other search engines were able to find documents is "because NTIS has standardized the metadata that makes it easier to find these documents that NTIS or another federal agency has put on the web."