Chairman Ryan Statement at the Subcommittee Markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 Legislative Branch Funding Bill
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2023 bill:
Colleagues at the dais and online, this is our last Subcommittee meeting. I very much appreciate the hard work and collegial attitude of all the members of this subcommittee, and particularly the contributions and cooperation of our Ranking Member, Ms. Herrera-Beutler.
I also want to take a moment to thank the Subcommittee staff on both sides. From the Majority, Elizabeth Lapham and Faye Cobb; and from the Minority, Michelle Reinshuttle. Thank you all for your due diligence and hard work.
Now let’s get started with our Subcommittee’s markup of the 2023 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act.
I am pleased to introduce the Fiscal Year 2023 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill which provides $5.7 billion – a 20.1 percent increase over the fiscal year 2022 enacted levels. This bill continues to build on our significant security needs and addresses many of the recommendations and security assessments received after the January 6th attack. Almost 70 percent of this increase is targeted towards security measures within the Sergeant at Arms, Architect of the Capitol and Capitol Police budgets. These funds continue our investments in securing our Capitol Complex. Threats against Members have increased over the last two years and this must not be taken lightly, nor will we take lightly the safety of our staff and citizens who travel far and wide to visit these hallowed halls.
The bill provides the Architect of the Capitol $532.2 million in projects specifically aimed at enhancing the physical security of our buildings and are the result of security recommendations.
The bill also provides $105.6 million in increased funding for the Capitol Police. This increase will allow the department to hire additional officers and close staffing gaps; expand capabilities to address threats against Members, Cybersecurity, and other investigations; upgrade and replace equipment; expand technical capabilities; improve training; enhance intelligence; and bolster wellness support. They put their lives on the line each day to ensure Congress can operate safely, efficiently and carry out their roles as described in the Constitution. And it’s this subcommittee’s responsibility to ensure they have the resources needed do their jobs.
Turning to the House, this Subcommittee has heard the voices of several Members wanting to provide increased opportunities for House interns. Paid internships pave the way for a more diverse and talented future workforce. The bill provides $20.6 million to expand the House paid internship program – this will increase the amount to $46,800 per Member office and provide offices the ability to offer a livable wage to House interns. We also have increased funding to Committees and continue to support these funds being used for interns both in DC and in district offices.
The bill provides strong support for the operational needs of our other Legislative Branch agencies and offices. We have worked to provide resources that will make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent on behalf of the American people.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Once again this year’s bill includes language to permit DACA recipients to work for Congress and other Legislative Branch Agencies. I hope we can work together to welcome these members of our national community to seek employment with Congress and the Leg Branch agencies.
Finally, we carry language that prohibits the COLA for Members of Congress.
This is a strong bill. It is a much-needed investment in our workforce and providing for a safe environment across the Capitol Campus. We must continue to serve and meet the needs of our constituents. I urge support for the bill.