Summary: FY14 Legislative Branch Bill

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 11, 2013

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2013

Contact: Rob Blumenthal/Eve Goldsher w/Full Committee: 202-224-7363

Shaheen Press Office: (202) 224-5553

Summary: Fiscal Year 2014 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

Full Committee Mark

Washington − The proposed funding level for the agencies of the Legislative Branch, excluding the House of Representatives, is $2.978 billion, an increase of $47 million, or 1.6 percent above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill funds activities related to the functioning of Congress, including:

  • oversight responsibilities;
  • ensuring that, on a daily basis, the employees who work in -- and the public who visit -- the Capitol complex are safe; and,
  • the preservation of and public access to government documents.

Oversight Responsibilities of our Federal Resources

Oversight of Federal programs and activities are an integral part of Congress’ responsibility to the American taxpayer. The bill provides a total of $808 million, or 27 percent of the bill’s total, in funding for oversight responsibilities that are provided through the Committee process as well as through audits, research, and analysis, in the case of the agencies that support Congress’ oversight responsibilities. Overall, funding for these agencies has been reduced by four percent over the past two years, which has resulted in reductions in staffing. The funding provided in the bill allows Congress’ oversight agencies to refocus their staffing needs to those areas of greatest demand.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent nonpartisan agency that is the audit and investigative arm of Congress. The bill fully funds the GAO at their revised request level and would provide $505.4 million in appropriated funds for GAO. This funding level would allow the GAO to hire an additional 61 full-time equivalents (FTE) for a total staffing level of 2,945 FTE. An additional $32.4 million is provided in offsetting collections for a total spending level of $537.8 million.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides Congress with timely, objective, authoritative, and confidential research and analysis for purposes of proposing legislation and providing oversight. The bill would provide $108.8 million, an increase of $2.3 million over the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, which would fully support their research and analysis responsibilities. 

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides Congress with objective, nonpartisan analyses of budgetary and economic issues in support of the budget process. Every year, the agency provides to Congress dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates. The bill would provide $45.7 million, which is an increase of $2 million over the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The increase in funding would allow the CBO to hire two FTE positions necessary for CBO to maintain its timely response to Congress.

Authorizing Committees are funded at $134 million, an increase of $3 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.

Safety around the Capitol Complex

Over two million visitors annually visit the Capitol complex through the Capitol Visitors Center, while over one million visitors annually visit the Library of Congress. The Legislative Branch bill provides funding for the safety of visitors as well as the health and safety of the workplace for employees and visitors. The bill provides a total of $1.0 billion, or 34 percent of the bill’s total, in funding for the agencies entrusted with safety and security.

Capitol Police provide law enforcement and security for the Capitol complex, and dignitary protection for Congressional leadership. The bill provides $338.5 million for the Capitol Police, which is a freeze at the fiscal year 2013 level. This funding level would provide the Capitol Police an additional 21 sworn officers for a total staffing level of 1,755 sworn officers.

Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible for the maintenance, operation, and preservation of 16.5 million square feet of buildings and more than 450 acres of land throughout the Capitol complex. The bill provides $468.9 million for the AOC, which is an increase of $30.4 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Funding is provided for daily upkeep of the Complex as well as for Capitol complex projects that address fire and safety needs.

Sergeant at Arms (SAA) provides the Senate with the critical infrastructure and support necessary to operate in an efficient and safe manner on a daily basis. In addition to providing the Senate with IT support services, the SAA’s responsibilities include ensuring protocol for visiting dignitaries, Senate-wide emergency and continuity of operations planning, providing security enhancements for Members’ state offices, and operating a mail processing facility. The bill would provide the SAA with a total funding level of $201 million, a decrease of $2.3 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.

Preservation of and Public Access to Government Documents

The Legislative Branch bill provides the funding for the preservation of the world’s largest collection of recorded works, as well as the production, distribution and preservation of information products for all three branches of government. Funding is also provided to ensure that information products of the Federal Government are secure and authenticated. The bill would provide $611.4 million, which is 20.6 percent of the total funding, for the activities of the Library of Congress (LOC) and the Government Printing Office (GPO). 3

Library of Congress is the oldest cultural institution and largest repository of the world’s recorded knowledge in existence. In addition to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the LOC houses the Copyright Office, which administers U.S. copyright law, documenting the ownership of American works. According to the LOC, the work of the Copyright office impacts an $890 billion segment of the U.S. economy. The LOC’s Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped program supports a national reading program for eligible blind and physically handicapped residents of the United States and U.S. citizens living overseas. In addition to the funding provided to CRS, the bill provides $492 million for these other LOC responsibilities, which is an $11 million increase above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.

Government Printing Office is responsible for making the work of all three branches of government available to all Americans. The bill would provide $119.3 million, an increase of $406,000 above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Of this funding, $8 million would be provided for the GPO Revolving Fund for IT projects, including projects related to digital production and dissemination.

Other Highlights of the Bill

  • Senators’ Official Personnel and Office Expense Account is funded at $394 million, a decrease of $1.2 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Office allocation levels remain the same as in fiscal year 2013, adjusted based on census data.
  • The Student Loan program is funded at the request level of $6 million.
  • Funding is provided for the next phase of the U.S. Capitol Dome rehabilitation.
  • A provision is included at the request of GAO to allow the agency to collect and use fees for an electronic protest filing system. Report language is also included directing the GAO to work with small business interests in developing the system to ensure that any proposed filing fee is fair and equitable to small businesses.

 

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Full Committee
Legislative Branch
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