June 22, 2017
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2018 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 and police forces, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.
The total included for the House and joint operations, excluding Senate-only items, is $3.58 billion. This is $100 million above the fiscal year 2017 level and $228 million below the President’s request. Additional funding is included to increase security for Members of Congress, staff, and their constituents in the wake of the shooting at the Congressional baseball team practice this month. The legislation also includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2018. A freeze on the salaries of representatives has been in place since 2010.
“As we all saw last week, the security of the men and women that serve our nation in Congress is at increased risk. We are indeed lucky, and owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Capitol Police, that a larger tragedy did not occur. This legislation helps to make strides to improve the safety of all – Members of Congress, staff, the Capitol Police, and anyone that works for and visits this great institution,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “At the same time, it also includes the necessary resources to keep Congress open for business, fully functioning, and accessible to all, ensuring the best possible service to the people of this nation.”
Congressman Kevin Yoder, Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, also commented on the bill.
“Crystal Griner and David Bailey’s heroism showed the country and the world what Members of Congress see every day – the bravery of the United States Capitol Police as they put their lives on the line protecting the Capitol Complex and its roughly nine million visitors every year. We owe it to them to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet their mission in an increasingly polarized climate. After additional meetings with Chief Verderosa, I believe this bill appropriately prioritizes those needs, in addition to provisions that will ensure Members can enhance their constituents' safety at events in their districts,” Chairman Yoder said. “Our bill also continues the principle of Congress leading by example by maintaining funding on the House well below 2010 levels and continues the pay freeze on Members of Congress in place since Republicans gained the majority. I appreciate Chairman Frelinghuysen’s leadership and look forward to the bill’s passage.”
House Operations – The bill contains $1.194 billion to fund the operations of the House – an increase of $5 million above fiscal year 2017. This account provides funding for Members’ Representational Allowances (MRAs), leadership, committees, and Officers of the House. This additional funding will enhance security for Members when they are away from the Capitol complex. Funding is provided for additional cybersecurity enhancements as well as contract support.
Member Pay Freeze – The legislation freezes pay for Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2018.
Capitol Police – The bill funds the Capitol Police at $422.5 million, an increase of $29.2 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This will fund critical safety and enhanced security functions for all Members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol Complex, and maintain public access to the Capitol and its office buildings.
Increased funding is included to address concerns related to security and protection traumatic shooting earlier this month. This includes $7.5 million to enhance protection for increased training, equipment and technology-related support items.
Architect of the Capitol (AoC) – The legislation provides $577.8 million for the AoC, which is $48.4 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The increase in funds is directed to essential health and safety improvements to aging or damaged facilities to protect Members, staff, and visitors. 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. This includes $62 million for the continuation of the restoration and renovation of the Cannon House Office Building, $31 million for the continuation of the Rayburn House Office Building Garage Rehabilitation project and $10 million for the House Historic Buildings Revitalization Fund.
Library of Congress – The legislation provides $648 million for the Library of Congress, an increase of $16 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This increase will allow for information technology modernization within the Library, the Copyright Office, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Language is included to allow public access to all non-confidential CRS reports.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – The bill contains $568 million in funding for the GAO, $450 thousand above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level, to 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 $117 million for GPO, the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.
Open World Leadership Center (OWLC) – The bill includes $5.6 million for the Center, the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.
For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, please visit: