FY2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Approved by Senate Committee

Bill Holds the Line on Spending, Maintains Essential Operations of Congress & Support Agencies
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, a measure that holds the line on spending while providing resources to maintain the essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress and support agencies.
The Senate measure totals $4.309 billion, an increase of $9 million (0.2 percent) above the FY2015 enacted level, and $220 million (5 percent) below the FY2016 budget request.  The legislation includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in FY2016.  A freeze on Members’ salaries has been in place since 2010.  It was approved on a bipartisan 27-3 vote.
“This appropriations bill could be considered small, but it has an outsize impact on day-to-day operations of the government.  It represents fiscally-responsible legislation that will allow for continued operations of the Congress, the necessary resources for the Capitol Police and other first responders, and a safe, hospitable environment for millions of visitors,” said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee.  “I commend Senators Capito and Schatz for their thoughtful, bipartisan work on this bill and look forward to seeing it debated on the Senate floor.”
“Determining our nation’s spending priorities is one of Congress’ primary responsibilities, and a responsibility that I take very seriously,” said U.S. Senator Shelley More Capito (R-W.Va.), chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee. “This legislation is another example of Congress getting back to work for the American people, and I want to thank Senator Schatz for his cooperation throughout this process. I look forward to working with the full committee to continue to ensure that our taxpayer dollars are used in a fiscally responsible and accountable manner.”
Highlights of the Senate FY2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill:
U.S. Senate – $870.2 million, $5.9 million (0.7 percent) above the FY 2015 enacted level and $60.2 million below the FY 2016 budget request.  The increase provides funding necessary for critical modernization and upgrades of the Senate financial management system and other information technology systems hardware and software, to include data network communications and security upgrades.  Members’ personal offices and committees are held steady at the FY 2015 enacted level.
U.S. House of Representatives – In keeping with the longstanding tradition of comity between the Houses on matters pertaining solely to one House, the Committee includes funding for the House as it was passed in H.R. 2250 on May 19, 2015, and makes no independent judgment on the House allowance.
U.S. Capitol Police – $366.5 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, $18.5 million above the FY2015 enacted level and $12.4 million below the FY2016 budget request.  This funding level will maintain current officer and civilian staffing, provide some lifecycle replacement for information technology systems and equipment, and allow the Department to continue mission-essential training.
Architect of the Capitol (AOC) – $579.4 million, $20.9 million below the FY 2015 enacted level and $82.4 million below the FY 2016 budget request, to allow the AOC to maintain current operations and prioritize some of the critical projects that address safety concerns for all who visit and work in the Capitol complex.
Library of Congress (LOC) – $593.2 million, $2.2 million above the FY 2015 enacted level and $31.3 million below the FY 2016 budget request, to allow the LOC to continue support functions for Congress and maintain services for the public.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) – $525 million, $3 million above the FY 2015 enacted level and $28 million below the FY 2016 budget request.  This funding will continue GAO support to Congress by providing critical oversight with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
Government Publishing Office (GPO) – $119 million, $993,000 below the FY 2015 enacted level and $1 million below the FY 2016 budget request.  Congressional printing activities will remain at current levels.
2017 Presidential Inauguration Every four years, in preparation for the Presidential Inauguration, funding is provided for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC).  The Senate bill fully funds the request for the JCCIC at $1.25 million, consistent with prior years; provides funding for the Inaugural stands and support facilities within the Architect of the Capitol budget; and includes associated overtime and security costs within the Capitol Police budget.