FY2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Advanced by Committee
Measure Addresses U.S. Capitol Security and Member Off-Campus Security, Maintains Member Pay Freeze
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act with funding and policy provisions to improve operations and address heightened security requirements for those who work at or visit the U.S. Capitol complex.
The bill provides $3.292 billion in discretionary budget authority, excluding items pertaining solely to the U.S. House of Representatives. An additional $1.429 billion is reserved for the House. Total funding accommodated in the bill is $4.790 billion, which is $90 million more than the FY2018 enacted level of $4.700 billion and $187 million less than the FY2019 budget request. The bill was approved unanimously.
The measure is focused on maintaining essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress and support agencies. The bill includes directives for the U.S. Capitol Police to address security issues for Members at events off of the Capitol complex. The bill also maintains the Member pay freeze first implemented in 2009.
“When spending taxpayer money, our government must be held accountable. With various agencies in the Legislative Branch, we need to prioritize increasing member security, government transparency, and ensuring that government property is used to benefit the American people,” said U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee.
“This bill responsibly addresses important priorities for Capitol complex operations. Investing in the safety and security of those working in the Legislative body and those visiting our Capitol is critical,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “Senators Daines and Murphy have crafted a thorough and bipartisan bill, and I look forward to its consideration by the Senate.”
U.S. Senate – $928.5 million, $8.5 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $61.6 million below the FY2019 budget request. The increase provides for investments in Senate cybersecurity capabilities and training to Senators and their staff.
- Member Pay Freeze – The bill continues a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in FY2019. A freeze on Members’ salaries has been in place since 2009.
U.S. Capitol Police – $453 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, $26.5 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $3 million below the FY2019 budget request. Increased funding is included to address concerns related to security on the Capitol complex and Member security off-campus. This funding level also provides for the requested increase in officer and civilian staffing, provides some lifecycle replacement for equipment, and allows the Department to continue mission-essential training.
Architect of the Capitol (AOC) – $509.8 million, $5 million below the FY2018 enacted level and $68.5 million below the FY2019 budget request, to allow the AOC to prioritize operations and day-to-day maintenance, while also providing for critical projects that address safety concerns for those who visit or work in the Capitol complex. An additional $197 million is reserved for House Office Buildings, consistent with tradition.
Library of Congress (LOC) – $687.4 million, $17.5 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $15 million above the FY2019 budget request, to allow the LOC to continue support functions for Congress and services for the public, as well as continued modernization of information technology systems. The bill also includes funding to modernize mission-specific systems for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the U.S. Copyright Office.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – $589.7 million, $10.8 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $26.9 million below the FY2019 budget request. This funding level will allow GAO to hire new staff and continue to support Congress by providing critical oversight with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – $50.295 million, $0.35 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $0.44 million below the FY2019 budget request, including funds to provide for an estimated 10 new employees related to transparency and responsiveness efforts.
Government Publishing Office (GPO) – $117 million, slightly below the FY2018 enacted level and equal to the FY2019 budget request, to maintain congressional printing activities at current levels.
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