Capito Opening Statement on the FY16 Budget Request for the Secretary of the Senate, Senate Sergeant at Arms & U.S. Capitol Police
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Chairman of the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, today issued the following opening statement during a subcommittee hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2016 funding request and budget justification for the Secretary of the Senate, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the U.S. Capitol Police:
SENATOR SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO
FY 2016 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH BUDGET HEARING
SECRETARY OF THE SENATE, SERGEANT AT ARMS,
AND U.S. CAPITOL POLICE
MARCH 12, 2015
Good morning. The subcommittee will come to order. I would like to welcome everyone to the second of our fiscal year 2016 budget hearings for the Legislative Branch appropriations subcommittee. We have with us today the Secretary of the Senate, Julie E. Adams; the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Frank Larkin; and the Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Kim Dine.
I would like to start by welcoming Julie Adams and Frank Larkin into their new positions in the Senate, as they were just sworn in on January 6th of this year. I hope you are settling into the critical roles that you play within this historic institution and I look forward to any initial assessments of your offices that you may be able to share after only eight weeks on the job. And of course, the subcommittee welcomes back Chief Dine, who after only a little over two years on the job now has the most seniority at the table. Thank you all for being here with us today for this important discussion on how the agencies you represent are planning to move forward in the coming fiscal year.
The Secretary of the Senate’s office is requesting a total of $34 million, which is $3 million, or 9 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level. Of the total requested, $25 million is for salaries and benefits, which would maintain current services and a full-time equivalent (FTE) level of 225. The request for the expenses account is increased by $2.5 million above the FY 2015 enacted level to begin the modernization of the Financial Management Information System.
The Sergeant at Arms (SAA) total request is $206 million, an increase of approximately $8 million, or 4 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level. The request includes $72 million for salaries and benefits, which would maintain the current full-time equivalent (FTE) level of 892. The request for the expenses account is $134 million, an increase of $5.7 million, or 4 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level. The requested increases and offsets within the SAA budget support the need for a major information technology (IT) refresh of hardware and software; increased storage capacity for members and committees; and a constituent mail system upgrade.
Finally, the Capitol Police request totals $379 million, an increase of $31 million, or 9 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level. Of the funding requested, $307 million is for salaries and benefits to maintain the current sworn officer level of 1,775 and the current civilian staff level of 370. The request for the expenses account is $71.5 million, an increase of $10 million, or 16 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level. This increase would restore full annual funding to previous functions and existing needs that have been put off in recent years due to significant budget constraints, such as lifecycle replacement of information technology (IT) systems, equipment and training.
I notice a theme among each of your agencies’ requests: holding personnel flat and prioritizing funding increases for information technology (IT) systems and equipment. I look forward to exploring these needs with you and the other members of the subcommittee today and over the next several months as we move through the fiscal year 2016 process.
And now, I’d like to turn to my Ranking Member, Senator Schatz, for any opening remarks he may like to make.
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