Chairman Crenshaw Opening Remarks on FY 2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill
July 13, 2011 -
"This bill funds operations of the House, the Capitol Police, national treasures such as the Library of Congress, as well as the maintenance of the historic buildings we meet in and the agencies that support Congress.
"While the legislative branch appropriations bill is the smallest of the annual Appropriations bills - less than one half of one percent of all spending - it presents a unique set of challenges and concerns, particularly in these tough economic times.
"Congress has asked all federal government agencies to rein in spending and do more with less. This budget takes the current economic climate to heart and begins in our own backyard with a 6.4% cut to Member, Committee, and Leadership offices. We all must share in the task of getting our fiscal house in order. Americans make these decisions day in and day out and expect Congress to do the same.
"Since I assumed the Chair of this Subcommittee in January of this year, we have cut spending in this title by 9.0% from FY10 spending levels, returning this Subcommittee’s spending levels to $111 million below FY09 levels. This marks the largest-ever, two-year reduction for this title, $329 million in total.
"Simply put, Congress has to work more efficiently and effectively with what we have. To those who may disagree with what we present here, let me underscore that the subcommittee has looked at the facts, established priorities, and set spending levels that will allow agencies to work safely and ably.
"The bill, as recommended, provides $3.326 billion for operations of the Legislative Branch, excluding Senate items traditionally determined by that body. This is 6.4%, or $227 million, below fiscal year 2011, and 2.8% from fiscal year 2010.
"Let me give you a quick summary of some of the highlights of the bill before us today:
House of Representatives
"The bill includes $1.2 billion for the operations of the House. This is a decrease of $84.7 million, or 6.5%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $142 million, or 10.4%, less than FY10 levels. I’d like to repeat that, the funding for the House of Representatives has decreased by 10.4% since the Republicans took control of the House.
"Additionally, the bill includes language to increase transparency and accountability in House Leadership spending accounts.
"I would like to emphasize the fact that the American public has asked us to do more with less, and subsequently we have asked these agencies to do more with less. Members and staff should be advised that the cuts we are making will impact Member services which they utilize on a daily basis.
"The bill includes $340 million for the Capitol Police. This is equivalent to the FY2011 enacted level and is $47.5 million, or 12.3%, less than the request.
"The report discusses actions the Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms have taken following the tragic events in Arizona. Additionally, the report contains language expressing the concern of the Subcommittee pertaining to the United States Capitol Police mission requirements, and the seemingly rampant expansion of the mission requirements. The USCP is directed to notify the Committee when new posts are created, including the annualized costs of maintaining the new posts, and how this cost will be offset.
"The Subcommittee is encouraged by efforts to improve the financial operations of the Capitol Police and expects this progress to continue.
Congressional Budget Office
"The bill includes $43.8 million for the Congressional Budget Office. This is a decrease of $2.9 million, or 6.4%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $3.0 million, or 6.6%, less than the request.
Architect of the Capitol
"The bill includes $489.6 million for the Architect of the Capitol. This is a decrease of $36.6 million, or 7.0%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $129.2 million, or 20.9%, less than the request.
"The Subcommittee recognizes the continuing challenge of preserving and maintaining the infrastructure and prioritizing critical projects in the current budgetary environment.
Library of Congress
"The bill includes $575.3 million for the Library of Congress. This is a decrease of $53.3 million, or 8.5%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $91.4 million, or 13.7%, less than the request.
"The Subcommittee is supportive of the Library’s IT efforts, Veterans History Project, Civil Rights History Project, and expects these to continue within the funding level provided.
Government Printing Office
"The bill includes $113.0 million for the Government Printing Office. This is a decrease of $22.1 million, or 16.3%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $35.5 million, or 23.9%, less than the request.
"The Subcommittee has expressed concern about the future viability of GPO and directs GAO to conduct a study of various alternatives, including the possibility of GPO being privatized.
Government Accountability Office
"The bill includes $511.3 million for the Government Accountability Office. This is a decrease of $35 million, or 6.4%, from the FY2011 enacted level and is $45.6 million, or 8.2%, less than the request.
"The bill includes $1 million for the Open World Leadership Trust Fund. This is a $10.3 million or 91.2% reduction from FY 2011. These funds are for shutdown expenses.