Senate Committee Advances FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which includes funding to improve operations and address heightened security requirements for those who work at or visit the U.S. Capitol complex.


The bill provides $3.593 billion in discretionary budget authority, excluding items pertaining solely to the U.S. House of Representatives.  An additional $1.499 billion is reserved for the House-only items, bringing total funding in the bill to $5.092 billion.  The bill was approved unanimously.


The measure is focused on providing resources for essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress, and support agencies.  The bill bolsters support 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 which has been in place since 2009.


“Accountability to taxpayers is my focus in the Legislative Branch bill.  The American people want us to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars as we work on their behalf,” said U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee.  “Our bill funds Government Accountability Office oversight, which supports government transparency and represents a great financial benefit to the nation.  For every $1 invested in GAO, $338 is returned to the American people.  The bill also provides resources to the U.S. Capitol Police, who protect those who work here and the millions of visitors to the Capitol campus.  We are also doing more to strengthen IT and cybersecurity capabilities that are essential in this digital age.”


“This bill funds key priorities concerning the safety and operations of our Capitol complex.  It is critical that we focus on the security of those visiting and working in the Legislative Branch, as well as the day-to-day functions of support agencies,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “I want to thank Senator Hyde-Smith and Senator Murphy for their hard work in crafting this bipartisan measure, and I look forward to its consideration by the full Senate.”



Bill Highlights:


U.S. Senate – $969.4 million, $34.7 million above the FY2019 enacted level.  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 FY2020.  A freeze on Members’ salaries has been in place since 2009.


U.S. Capitol Police – $464.3 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, $8 million above the FY2019 enacted level.  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.  Additionally, funding is included to cover costs associated with the 2020 National Presidential Conventions, as well as costs incurred in FY2020 to prepare for the 2021 Presidential Inauguration.


Architect of the Capitol (AOC) – $585.8 million, $49.1 million above the FY2019 enacted level, to allow the AOC to prioritize operations and day-to-day maintenance, while also providing funding for critical projects that address safety concerns for those who visit or work in the Capitol complex.  An additional $153 million is reserved for House Office Buildings, consistent with tradition.


Library of Congress (LOC) – $735.8 million, $39.7 million above the FY2019 enacted level, 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), the U.S. Copyright Office, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).


Government Accountability Office (GAO) – $639.4 million, $49.7 million above the FY2019 enacted level. 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) – $54.9 million, $4.2 million above the FY2019 enacted level, including funds to provide for an estimated six new employees related to transparency and responsiveness efforts.


Government Publishing Office (GPO) – $117 million, equal to the FY2019 enacted level and the FY2020 budget request, to maintain congressional printing activities and public information systems.  



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