June 8, 2012
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 5882, the fiscal year 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.
This legislation on the floor today provides funding for the Legislative Branch, allowing us to keep the doors of the Capitol open, the offices of our Members functioning, and our staff and visitors safe.
This is the fifth appropriations bill we’ve brought to the floor so far this year, and considering that it’s June eighth, that’s a remarkable achievement. But what’s even a greater achievement is how much we’ve been able to tighten our belts in the House. Over the last two years, we’ve cut funding for the House by 10.5%. As Members of Congress, we represent hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve found themselves with less, and so, with our limited federal resources and astronomical deficits in mind, we too should spend less wherever possible
This year, we continue this trend of spending cuts, reducing the total in this bill for House and Joint operations by $34 million. In total, the bill provides $3.3 billion for the Legislative Branch for the maintenance of our historic buildings, the operations of the House, the Capitol Visitor Center, Library of Congress, and for Capitol security.
Responsible, prudent increases were given to those functions that need it most, including: the Capitol Police, who provide critical safety and security functions both in DC and in Members’ districts; and the Government Accountability Office to continue their essential work to provide Congress and the public with detailed reporting on how taxpayer dollars are spent.
I want to thank Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Honda for their leadership on this bill. The Subcommittee Members and staffs took on the difficult task of reducing spending while maintaining the sanctity, efficacy, and safety of the Peoples’ House. Due to your hard work, the end product is a solid bill that will keep this branch of government functioning while saving precious tax-dollars.
Mr. Chairman, this bill gives the House the chance to lead by example – to continue the trend of cutting spending in our own backyards, just as our constituents have had to do in theirs. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.