July 7, 2011
"Thank you, Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Honda, for your hard work on the Legislative Branch bill.
"This bill funds the operations of the House, national treasures such as the Library of Congress, maintenance of the historic buildings we meet in, and the agencies which provide support to the Congress. While a strong Legislative Branch is crucial to our democracy, we must also be mindful of limited resources and do more with less here in Washington.
"With that in mind, this bill 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 follows a cut of 2.8% from fiscal year 2010. These cuts will require strict fiscal discipline on the part of all congressional offices and agency heads in the Legislative Branch. I should also note that while we make cuts in this bill, we also keep a high priority on the security of the Capitol complex, Members of Congress, staff, and visitors.
"Since January, we have taken steps to reduce the expenses of the Legislative Branch. The House leads this effort, accounting for 43% of the total dollar reduction since fiscal year 2010. To demonstrate my strong commitment to reducing spending, this Committee’s budget was cut 9% earlier this year, and this bill continues that reduction by another 6.4%. Families across the country are tightening their belts, and so should Congress.
"The cuts made within this bill were difficult to make, but the reductions are quite an achievement. This markup today demonstrates our continued commitment to getting the nation’s fiscal house in order and sharing in the sacrifices that this will require. The Legislative Branch must set itself as an example. I commend Chairman Crenshaw for a job well-done. I urge my colleagues to support this bill."