Chairman Rogers Opening Statement on FY 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill for Full Committee

May 31, 2012

Thank you, Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Honda, for your comments and for your hard work on this Appropriations Bill. You and your staffs have put in a great deal of effort into drafting this legislation, and we appreciate it.

The bill before us today provides funding for the functions of the Legislative Branch – which we all know is needed to accomplish the work of this branch of government, and maintain the safety and security of Members, staff, and the thousands of visitors who come to the Capitol Complex each day. With this bill, we are in a position to lead by example – to be ever mindful of our limited tax dollars and to spend less wherever possible.

This year’s bill provides $3.3 billion for the operations of the Legislative Branch – not including Senate items that will be determined by that body. This funding goes toward the maintenance of our historic buildings, the operations of the Library of Congress, Botanic Gardens and Capitol Visitor Center, and for the protection of Members, staff, and visitors. The bill supports the Capitol Police force, maintains the edifices of the People’s House, and boosts funding for the Government Accountability Office – which helps us find and root out waste across the government.

But with our ongoing goal of responsible, reduced spending in mind, we trimmed our own budget by $34 million. And, over the last two years, we have cut funding for the House by 10.5%. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve tightened our belts, showing Americans that their government can make some of the same sacrifices that they’ve had to make in recent years.

This bill is proof that this Committee will continue its mission to get the nation’s fiscal house in order – and that we can’t hold ourselves immune from the cuts needed to do so. I urge this Committee to support this bill.