April 2, 2014
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill provides annual funding for the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress (including security), services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.
The total included for the House and joint operations, excluding Senate-only items, is $3.3 billion. This is the same as the fiscal year 2014 level, and it is $122.5 million below the President’s request. In all, funding for the House of Representatives has been reduced by 14% since Republicans gained its control in January 2011.
The legislation also includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2015. A freeze on the salaries of Representatives has been in place since 2010.
“The House will continue to lead by example and hold the line on spending. Even with the many strides we’ve made in the last few years in reducing discretionary budgets, we must remain vigilant and keep a close eye on each and every tax dollar,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “Yet, we also have a responsibility to maintain important government operations, such as those that occur in our Nation’s Capitol. This bill will help ensure the efficiency, safety, and openness of our institution for those who serve here and for those who travel from across the country to visit every day.”
Congressman Tom Cole, Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, stated, "As a symbol of freedom and democracy for every American and hundreds of millions of others around the globe, the Capitol complex of the United States represents our nation's deepest values and performs many of its most important governmental functions. As such, its majestic buildings and institutions must be pristine in their appearance, functional in their operation, and open to all to visit in safety and security. This bill achieves these objectives in both an effective and efficient manner, and has done so in a genuinely bipartisan, inclusive and deliberative fashion."
House Operations – The bill contains $1.2 billion to fund the operations of the House – the same as fiscal year 2014. This account provides funding for Members’ Representational Allowances (MRAs), leadership, Member, and committee office expenses, as well as operating costs for Officers of the House.
The legislation also includes a funding prohibition preventing Representatives and Senators from receiving a pay increase in fiscal year 2015. By holding the line on funding and by making the most out of existing levels, the bill will set an example of fiscal responsibility and help Congress do its part to lower the nation’s deficit.
Capitol Police – The bill funds the Capitol Police at $347 million, an increase of $9.5 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will allow officers and civilian workers to provide critical safety and security functions for all Members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol Complex. The funding will also help maintain and improve public access to the Capitol and its office buildings.
Architect of the Capitol (AoC) – The legislation provides $488.6 million for the AoC, which is $40.5 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The AoC requires less funding for fiscal year 2015, as one-time construction costs included in previous years’ budgets are no longer necessary.
With the funding provided, the AoC will prioritize essential projects that promote the safety and health of those who visit and work in the Capitol Complex, and will continue to complete long-deferred maintenance projects. The bill also includes $21 million in funding for the third and final phase of the Capitol Dome restoration project.
Library of Congress (LoC) – The legislation provides $595 million for the Library of Congress, an increase of $15.9 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will allow the Library to continue its important functions in support of Congress, as well as its many services for the public. The bill will also provide for the development of online classroom services for students studying Congress and civic participation, and will help reduce claims backlog and processing time for copyright registrations.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – The bill contains $519.6 million in funding for the GAO, an increase of $14.2 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will bolster GAO’s critical oversight work – providing Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking of how taxpayer dollars are spent.
Government Printing Office (GPO) – The legislation includes $122 million for GPO, an increase of $3.2 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The legislation maintains the previous year’s level for printing and binding services, and implements limitations on delivery of documents to individual Member offices in order to reduce excess costs. Additional funds are provided for technology infrastructure and facilities upgrades to enable more efficient and cost-effective services.
For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, please visit: /UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2015-LegBranch-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf