Granger Remarks on Legislative Branch FY21 Subcommittee Markup

Jul 7, 2020

I would like to thank Chairman Ryan for presenting this bill today that provides funds for the operations of the Legislative Branch for fiscal year 2021.   

I appreciate the work you and the Ranking Member have done to address critical issues that affect the Congress.

This bill recognizes the important, bipartisan work of the House Select Committee on Modernization by establishing a new account to begin implementing recommendations to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent on behalf of the American people.

This bill funds priorities of the Architect of the Capitol in order to support the Capitol’s aging infrastructure and promote the safety and health of employees and visitors.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the Capitol Police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the Capitol complex safe. The men and women of the Capitol Police demonstrate the highest standard of professionalism, and we are grateful for their service.

The coronavirus has created significant challenges in keeping Members and staff safe. We learn more about this virus every day and must ensure the Legislative Branch can continue to operate throughout this pandemic.

I hope that we can work together on supplemental coronavirus appropriations to ensure funds are available, if needed.

I also have other concerns that will prevent me from supporting this bill in its current form.

Less than a year ago, the bipartisan budget agreement set the topline spending level for fiscal year 2021. There was consensus at the time that bills would not contain policy riders. This bill violates the spirt of that agreement.

The total cost of this bill increases by five percent. This is only able to happen because “emergency” funding is used in other bills, which frees up space within the budget caps to spend more in this bill and other bills.

In addition, there are new riders inserted that are more appropriately addressed by the authorizing committees and the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library.

I hope we can come together on these issues as the process moves forward. 

In closing, I want to thank the subcommittee Members for their work on this bill.

I also want to thank the staff – Michelle Reinshuttle on my staff, as well as the Majority staff.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.