April 22, 2015
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2016 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, 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 2015 level and $172.3 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 2016. A freeze on the salaries of Representatives has been in place since 2010.
“This is the smallest Appropriations bill, but it is hugely important for the continued functioning of the Nation’s Capitol and our democratic process. It provides security for Members, staff, and visitors alike, continues day-to-day operations that give visitors access to this great institution, and allows each and every Member’s office to best serve their constituents,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “Our Capitol is an important symbol of the world’s greatest democracy at work, and this bill will help preserve and honor that legacy.”
Congressman Tom Graves, Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, stated, “The United States Capitol is a source of pride for every American and a symbol of freedom that is recognized around the world. This bill preserves the beauty and structures of the Capitol grounds, provides essential security for visitors and employees, and ensures that the people’s business is carried out in a fiscally responsible way. I’m grateful to all the subcommittee members for working in a thoughtful and bipartisan way to craft a bill that honors and respects taxpayers today and preserves this institution for future generations.”
House Operations – The bill contains $1.2 billion to fund the operations of the House – the same as fiscal year 2015. This account provides funding for Members’ Representational Allowances (MRAs), leadership, committees and Officers of the House.
Member Pay Freeze – The legislation freezes pay for Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2016.
Capitol Police – The bill funds the Capitol Police at $369 million, an increase of $21 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This will fund critical safety and security functions for all Members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol Complex, and maintain public access to the Capitol and its office buildings.
Architect of the Capitol (AoC) – The legislation provides $496.9 million for the AoC, which is $9 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. The legislation will allow the AoC to prioritize essential projects that promote the safety and health of those who visit and work in the Capitol Complex, and address deferred maintenance projects. The bill includes authority for the restoration and renovation of the Cannon House Office Building, but also mandates enhanced oversight of the project.
Library of Congress (LoC) – The legislation provides $591.4 million for the Library of Congress, an increase of $510,000 above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, to allow the Library to continue support functions for Congress and maintain services for the public. Funding in the bill will also help to reduce the Library’s processing time for copyright registrations and claims backlog.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – The bill contains $522 million in funding for the GAO, the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This funding will continue GAO’s critical oversight work – providing Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking of how taxpayer dollars are spent.
Government Publishing Office (GPO) – The legislation includes $110 million for GPO, a decrease of $9.8 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. The legislation maintains the previous year’s level for printing and binding services.
For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, please visit: /UploadedFiles/LEG_xml-subcommittee.pdf