June 5, 2018
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen gave the following prepared statement on the Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill before the Rules Committee today:
Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member McGovern, and Members of the Rules Committee, thank you for having me before you today to present the Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill.
I am here to seek an appropriate rule for prompt consideration of this bill, along with the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bills. These bills begin the Appropriations process for the 2019 Fiscal Year and send the message that Congress is here to get our work done on behalf of the American people. We will keep the government open and functional with responsible, considerate levels of funding.
The Appropriations Committee is committed to completing all 12 bills. So far, we have approved eight bills in Subcommittee and six bills in Full Committee. And I’m pleased to bring these first three bills to the floor for consideration this week – including important funding for our military and veterans, and for our nuclear national defense.
Although the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill is the smallest of the 12 bills, it is vital to the operation of our democracy. In total, this legislation provides $3.8 billion to fund the Legislative Branch, excluding Senate-only items – a very small increase of $132 million above current, enacted levels.
Nearly all of this increase is directed to security, safety-related maintenance, and workplace rights training and programs.
Within this total, $1.2 billion is included for the operations of the House of Representatives, providing Members with the resources needed to serve those we represent. Additional funding will enhance IT and cybersecurity, support fellowships for Wounded Warriors, and continue mandatory workplace rights training.
To protect Members, staff, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Capitol each year, the bill provides $456.5 million for the U.S. Capitol Police. Other funding supports critical health and safety improvements to the historical buildings of the Capitol Complex.
And this bill maintains the support agencies of the Congress – the Government Accountability Office, the Government Publishing Office, and the Library of Congress – that provide the research and services that allow our offices to function as effectively as possible.
Before I close, I must thank Congressman Kevin Yoder, who led the way on the bill that is before you today, and is now ably chairing the Homeland Security Subcommittee and is hard at work on that bill.