The House Legislative Branch appropriations bill provides $3.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. By longstanding convention, the House bill includes only funding for legislative branch agencies (e.g. GAO, CBO, and the Library of Congress), joint congressional activities (e.g. the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Architect of the Capitol), and House accounts. The bill at this point, contains no funding for the Senate, which will be added by that body when it considers this legislation. Excluding the Senate, the bill reduces overall funding by 8% from the current year’s funding levels and 14% below requested levels.
The spending levels in the bill do not exceed the 302(b) allocations adopted by the Appropriations Committee which are consistent with the overall spending level approved by the House in the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 34).
Legislative Branch-Wide Matters. The proposed reductions in Legislative Branch operations are the largest two-year reductions ever, according to the committee. To enable agencies to achieve cost reductions, the Committee suggests that furloughs, no more than one day per month, and voluntary early retirement authority/voluntary separation incentive payments be options for consideration.
House of Representatives operations. Funding for House operations is 7 percent below 2011 levels and 8 percent below the 2012 request. This account covers operations and maintenance for House leadership and committee offices, Members’ representational expenses, and employee salaries.
Architect of the Capitol. The bill funds the Architect of the Capitol at 17 percent below the 2011 enacted levels and 31 percent below the 2012 request. Budget limitations will require continued prioritization of projects most critical to operational needs.
GPO. The bill funds GPO at 17% below 2011 levels and 24% below the President’s request, in addition to any offsetting collections which the GPO may earn under separate authority. The committee directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a feasibility study on three options for the future of GPO: 1) moving Executive Branch printing to the General Services Administration; 2) transferring the Superintendent of Documents program to the Library of Congress; and 3) privatizing GPO. GPO currently contracts out more than 90 percent of its annual printing operations.
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