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Appropriations Updates

Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

(H.R. 4487)

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Washington, Apr 30 | comments

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 2% compared to the current year’s funding levels and 7% below requested levels.

The spending levels in the bill are consistent with the overall spending level approved by the House in the budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 96) and the Bipartisan Budget Act.  

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House of Representatives operations.  The bill proposes $1.2 billion to fund Legislative Branch operations, which is the same as the FY 2014 enacted level.  This account covers operations and maintenance for House leadership and committee offices, Members’ representational accounts (MRAs), and employee salaries.  This legislation allows any funds remaining unspent at the end of the fiscal year to be used for deficit reduction.

Capitol Police.  This legislation provides $348 million in funding for the Capitol Police, a 3 percent increase compared to FY 14 and 2 percent below the request.  Funds will support a force of 1,775 officers and 370 civilian positions and efforts to secure Members’ district offices.

Architect of the Capitol.  The bill funds the Architect of the Capitol at 20 percent below the 2014 enacted levels and 28 percent below the 2015 request.  Budget limitations will require continued prioritization of projects most critical to operational needs.  The bill directs that priority be given to projects that protect and promote the health and safety of those who visit and work in the Capitol complex.

GPO.  The bill funds GPO at 3 percent above 2014 enacted levels and 4 percent below the request, in addition to any offsetting collections which the GPO may earn under separate authority. 

GAO.  The bill provides $520 million in direct appropriations for the GAO, 3 percent more than FY 14 and 1 percent below the request.  The bill would create a “Center for Audit Excellence” that would operate on fees and through which GAO could sell its auditing services to government entities (including Federal, State and local, tribal governments, and governments of foreign nations), international organizations, and other private organizations.

Pay Freeze.  The bill continues to freeze salaries of Representatives in FY 2015, a policy that has been in place since 2010.

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