FY17 Legislative Branch Full Committee Markup Bill Summary
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH FISCAL YEAR 2017 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Full Committee Mark: May 19, 2016
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Appropriations Full Committee reported funding legislation for the fiscal year 2017 Legislative Branch Subcommittee that totals $4.399 billion in discretionary budget authority. This provides $36 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level and is $259 million less than the fiscal year 2017 request.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, said:
“This bill provides the necessary resources for our legislative agencies to continue providing critical services to Members of Congress and their constituents. It invests in the Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms in order to provide maximum security for visitors and their families so that they may safely visit the Capitol and meet with their elected representatives. The bill also supports staff and critical IT investments at the Government Accountability Office so that the agency can continue to provide first class analysis to improve efficiency and increase cost savings across the government. Finally, as someone who fundamentally believes in preserving physical spaces for people to learn and read and absorb the history of our country, I am proud of the investment we are making at the Library of Congress. The Library houses volumes of history and literature and hosts valuable cultural events. We remain in a tight budget environment, but I am satisfied that the Committee did the best it could.”
Key Points & Highlights
The Legislative Branch bill supports a variety of important functions including improving government accountability, preserving our country’s cultural history and protecting the U.S. Capitol. This bill provides modest increases for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol Police to continue upholding high standards in services.
- Government Accountability Office (GAO). By auditing and evaluating federal agencies to root out waste, fraud and abuse, GAO improves government efficiency and effectiveness in its role as Congress’ independent and nonpartisan “watchdog”. The bill provides $542.4 million, an increase of $11.4 million to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Funding provided will maintain staffing levels and allow GAO to modernize several essential IT systems, including its report distribution system.
- U.S. Capitol Police. The Capitol Police are essential to ensuring the physical safety of visitors, staff, dignitaries and all who visit the Capitol. In addition, the Capitol Police are critical to providing a safe environment for all visitors to observe a transparent form of government and participate in our democratic process – a pillar of the American identity. It is critical that Capitol Police have the necessary resources to protect the Capitol complex and the people in it from current and emerging threats. The bill provides $387 million, $12 million more than fiscal year 2016, to maintain the current strength of the force and continue critical training and support services.
- Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is a world-class institution that preserves and shares the cultural identity of our country. Through donations and acquisitions, the Library safeguards a trove of priceless collections so that the public, including students, scholars and even other library institutions across the world, can have access to these primary sources and historical and cultural records. The Library also serves as a premier model for how institutions across the world can preserve collections for future generations to learn and appreciate. This bill provides $608.9 million, which is $9 million more than fiscal year 2016. It provides funding to enhance data security against cybersecurity threats and to support the Library on its major digitization efforts.
- Contractor Oversight. To ensure accountability for the performance of contracts administered by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the bill includes a provision requiring the AOC to establish a suspension and debarment process as an additional recourse for irresponsible contractors. It is important for the AOC to maintain all available tools for contract management given its extensive contract responsibilities, ranging from construction to food services.
Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations: (202) 224-2667
Michael Inacay w/Schatz: (202) 224-3123
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