April 25, 2018
The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill. The legislation 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 $3.8 billion. This is $132 million above the fiscal year 2018 level.
“It is essential that the Capitol is safe for all of those that work or visit the complex every day. This bill provides the funding to ensure this security, and also to maintain necessary operations to keep the complex operating well on behalf of the American people,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said.
Congressman Kevin Yoder, Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, also commented on the bill.
"First and foremost, I made it a priority in this bill to reject any pay increases for Members of Congress and maintain the 10% spending cuts on Congress we've had in place since 2010. The American people want us leading by example, keeping our budgets tight, and doing more with less. That's what we aim to do in this bill. As for the top policy priorities in the bill, security and transparency are the focus. This bipartisan product will provide Congress with the necessary resources to continue our oversight work, and no more. I want to thank Ranking Member Ryan, all the members of the Subcommittee, and staff for their hard work. I look forward to advancing this legislation and sending it to the President for his signature."
House Operations – The bill contains $1.2 billion to fund the operations of the House – an increase of $32 million above fiscal year 2018. This account provides funding for Members’ Representational Allowances (MRAs), leadership, committees, and officers of the House.
This additional funding will provide for IT and cybersecurity enhancements; continue mandatory workplace rights training and the Wellness Program; and provide funding for 25 additional fellowship positions to the Wounded Warrior Program, bringing the total to 110.
Capitol Police – The bill funds the Capitol Police at $456.4 million, an increase of $29.9 million above the fiscal year 2018 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 garage security and prescreening.
Office of Compliance (OOC) – $5.4 million is provided to ensure employees know and understand their rights and have access to a dispute resolution process that is fair and easy to navigate.
Architect of the Capitol (AoC) – The legislation provides $642 million for the AoC, which is $31.5 million above the fiscal year 2018 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, $32.7 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 $709.8 million for the Library of Congress, an increase of $40 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. This increase will allow for enhancements to the public exhibits and visitor services, which will improve the Library’s ability to bring the nation’s collections and history out of the vaults into public spaces, and provide for information technology modernization within the Library, the Copyright Office, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and additional full-time equivalents for Congressional Research Service to be more responsive to congressional requests.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – The bill contains $579 million in funding for the GAO, same as the fiscal year 2018 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. Funding will allow for 80 additional FTE for issues relating to cybersecurity, science and technology, Department of Defense programs, and health care costs.
Government Publishing Office (GPO) – The legislation includes $117 million for GPO, the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
Open World Leadership Center (OWLC) – The bill includes $5.6 million for the OWLC, the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
For the draft text of the bill, please visit: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP24/20180426/108247/BILLS-115--AP--LegBranch.pdf