May 19, 2015
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today gave the following statement in support of H.R. 2250, the fiscal year 2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, on the House floor:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2250, the Fiscal Year 2016 bill providing funding for the operations of the Legislative Branch.
"H.R. 2250 sets a high standard for fiscal responsibility for the House of Representatives, freezing funding at last year’s level of $3.3 billion. This is the third year in a row that we have frozen the budget of the House of Representatives – making good on our promise to rein in spending and do more with less. This level maintains the 14 percent reduction in House funding that begun when Republicans took control of the House over four years ago.
"In addition, we have continued the freeze on Member pay that has been in place since 2010.
"The bill includes numerous provisions designed to guarantee that the House and its support agencies are spending their tax dollars appropriately and to keep them accountable to the tax payers. This includes enhancing oversight of the Cannon restoration project, and making sure that Congress approves any large-scale construction project.
"These steps will help ensure that this type of major undertaking stays on time and on budget, and is especially important given the historical significance of our buildings and the importance of their use.
"The $3.3 billion this bill provides for the House is directed to support the most important functions of our legislative branch – keeping our Member and Committee offices open for business, protecting the safety of those who work in and visit the Capitol Complex, and improving the way our support agencies operate. For instance, the Capitol Police budget has been increased by $21 million to ensure our men in blue have the resources needed to protect this hallowed building and its grounds. And where we have seen issues in the agencies funded by this bill – for instance, IT infrastructure challenges at the Library of Congress – we have taken the steps to make sure that these will be fixed moving forward.
"I want to thank the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Tom Graves of Georgia, for his fine work on this bill – his first as a Cardinal. I also want to thank the Ranking Member and the rest of the Subcommittee for their attentive work to this small but mighty bill. And lastly, I want to thank the hard-working staff, who helped bring this bill to the floor today.
"Mr. Speaker, I am proud that the House can lead by example when it comes to restoring fiscal discipline to the operations of the federal government. This bill will allow the House of Representatives to fulfill its core duties within a responsible, realistic budget, and preserve the democracy that makes this nation so great.
"Thank you, and I yield back."