Norm Dicks' Statement on Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill for FY12
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6 -- House Appropriations Committee Ranking Democratic Member Rep. Norm Dicks made the following comments after release of the FY2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill text:
“Obviously in this difficult budget year we all recognize the imperative to demonstrate that Congress is making every effort to achieve savings wherever possible, and thus we understand the need for reductions in the bill that funds the operations of the House, the Senate and the Capitol complex.
“As we are engaged in this exercise, I believe we have to be careful to propose cuts in those areas that will not affect the safety of Members and their staff, and that will not substantially reduce the quality of information that decision makers receive from GAO and from the Congressional Research Service.”
“We have witnessed the horrific shooting of one of our colleagues this year and consequently Members have been encouraged to provide additional security for themselves, their staff and constituents. With the proposed 6 percent reduction of the Members’ Representational Allowances in this bill and the cut of 10 percent in the budget for the House Sergeant at Arms, these improvements will be difficult to achieve.”
Below is a brief summary of the bill:
Total Allocation: $3.33 billion | $227 million below the FY2011 Enacted | $472 million below the President’s FY2012 Request.
Capitol Police: The bill provides $340 million total, equal to the FY2011 enacted level.
Sergeant at Arms: The bill provides $8.1 million total, $890,000 below the FY2011 enacted level.
Members’ Representational Allowances: The bill provides $574 million total, $39 million below the FY2011 enacted level.
Government Printing Office (GPO): The bill provides $113 million total, $22 million below the FY2011 enacted level and $35 million below the President’s request. Because the agency prints at the request of Congress, the printing office is still obligated to incur the expenses of those publications. These expenses will just have to be accommodated in future appropriations bills. This bill also doesn’t fund the GPO’s initiative to make publications available online. The continued digitization of government publications will in the long run save on printing costs and make these valuable resources easier to access.
Government Accountability Office (GAO): The bill provides $511 million total, $35 million below the FY2011 enacted level and $45.5 million below the President’s request. The oversight agency is being asked to assume a reduction of 6.4 percent despite the fact that the agency has historically saved $4 for every $1 invested by identifying inefficiencies, duplicative programs and best practices across the federal government.