Chair Reed Remarks on Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill at Markup
ICYMI: Summary of the Legislative Branch Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill – READ HERE
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chair of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks on the Legislative Branch Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill as the full committee meets to consider the bill.
Senator Reed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:
“The fiscal year 2024 Legislative Branch appropriations bill makes key investments to ensure an efficient, effective, functioning government that works better for the American people.
“It provides funding, staffing levels, and infrastructure to ensure the safety of the U.S. Capitol complex and keep it accessible and open to the public.
“In addition to upgrading Congress’ physical security and cyber defenses, it also maintains the capacity of important legislative branch agencies, such as the non-partisan watchdog Government Accountability Office, which helps enhance transparency and accountability throughout the federal government to save taxpayers money. It also makes needed investments to continue to modernize components of the people’s public library—the Library of Congress.
“And it prioritizes operations and technology upgrades at other key agencies like the Congressional Budget Office and Government Publishing Office, which are crucial to providing lawmakers with trusted information and keeping the American public well-informed.
“Together, our mission as appropriators is to ensure these key departments and federal agencies better serve the American people, both now and in the future.
“To achieve that goal, our bill focuses on investments in four main areas to ensure that the legislative process is fulfilled: security, oversight, campus operations; and constituent services.
“The bill provides resources to ensure we are supporting our most important resource as legislators—our workforce—who, as everyone here knows, go above and beyond to serve the American people.
“Without the workforces of the Senate, the United States Capitol Police, the Library of the Congress, the Architect of the Capitol, the Government Accountability Office and so many more, we would not be able to effectively perform our role as Senators.
“The funding caps in the agreement between the President and the Speaker do not allow us to fully achieve what we would like to accomplish to move this institution forward. Still, I believe that this Legislative Branch appropriations bill is a solid, bipartisan bill.
“I would like to thank Ranking Member Fischer, and her staff, for working closely with us to draft the Legislative Branch bill and report.
“I am honored to serve alongside Senator Fischer both on this Subcommittee and also on the Armed Services Committee. She is a fierce advocate for Nebraskans and we share a common agreement on the importance of advancing this bill.
“I would also like to thank my team for their dedicated work on this effort. Our respective staffs spent countless hours working together to craft this bill and report to ensure that the legislative branch agencies have the necessary and critical tools to achieve their missions.
“Neither side got everything that we wanted, but we found common ground on many important things that will allow the Senate and the legislative branch agencies to perform important work on behalf of the American people. For instance: the bill provides funding to support our Capitol Police who keep all of safe each and every day and provides the tools that the Department needs to keep Our Capitol safe and secure.
“It also provides the Architect of the Capitol with critical resources to support not only the security of the complex, but also maintain the operations of the buildings and grounds within the complex.
“It ensures that the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office have the staff and resources needed to conduct the critical analysis, oversight and research to support the work of the Senate.
“And, it provides funding to support programs that allow the Senate to be a workplace of choice and ensures that we can hire and retain to most talented workforce, which is critical to our success as an institution.
“Again, I believe this Legislative Branch bill offers a strong, bipartisan spending blueprint. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it.
“I would be remiss if I did not thank the Congressional Budget Office and Government Publishing Office teams who worked overtime on a very tight and aggressive timeline to support not just this subcommittee, but all of our subcommittees, so that we could develop and present fiscally responsible spending bills, like the ones before us today.”
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