H.R. 2551: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2012

H.R. 2551

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2012

Date
July 21, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

This week, the House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 2551, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2012, subject to a rule.  The bill was introduced on July 15, 2011, by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  The bill is scheduled to be considered under a rule.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2551, the Fiscal Year 2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill would provide a total of $3.32 billion in discretionary budget authority for all non-Senate Legislative Branch activities, which is $227 million or 6.4 percent below FY 2011 levels and $471.7 million or 12.4 percent below the president’s requested level.  The House and Senate traditionally determine their own funding separately and concur with each other’s bill in a conference committee.  According to House Report 112-148, which accompanies the legislation, the Senate appropriations estimate is $1.058 billion.  Thus, when the Senate portion of the appropriation of the bill is included, the total amount of discretionary budget authority for all Legislative Branch activity would be approximately $4.38 billion in FY 2012. 

According to the Committee on Appropriations, Since January 2011, the spending overseen by the Legislative Branch Subcommittee has been cut by 9 percent from FY10 spending levels, “returning this Subcommittee’s spending levels to $111 million below FY09 levels.  This marks the largest-ever, two-year reduction for this bill, $329 million in total.”  The bill would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.019 trillion for FY 2012, a reduction of $30.3 billion below FY 2011.

H.R. 2551 would provide funding for a number of legislative agencies, including all House staff and expenses, the Capitol Police, the House-portion of funding for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the Library of Congress (LOC), the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Congressional Research Service and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

House of Representatives:  H.R. 2551 would provide $1.22 billion for the House of Representatives, a reduction of $84.7 million or 6.5 percent below FY 2011 and $107 million or 8 percent below the president’s request.  Spending reductions in the bill include an across-the-board 6.4 percent cut from FY 2011 levels to individual Member, Committee, and Leadership office budgets. Specific funding for the House of Representatives is as follows.

  • MRAs:  H.R. 2551 would provide $573.9 million for the Member's Representational Allowances (MRAs), a reduction of $39.1 million or 6.4 percent from FY 2011 and $59.9 million or 9.5 percent below the president’s request.  MRAs are provided to Members of the House to pay for employees and other related expenses for each Member's office.  Unspent MRA funds are used for deficit or debt reduction.
  • Leadership:  H.R. 2551 would provide $23.2 million for House leadership offices, a reduction of $1.5 million or 6.4 percent below both the FY 2011 level and the president’s request.
  • Committees:  H.R. 2551 would provide a total of $152.6 million for all standing, special, and select committees and their staffs.  Funding for committee employees represents a reduction of $10.4 million or 6.4 percent below both the FY 2011 level and the president’s request.
  • Officers of the House:  H.R. 2551 would provide $177.6 million for the salaries and expenses of House officers and employees, which represents a reduction of $15.7 million or 8 percent below FY 2011 and $26.2 million or 12.8 percent below the president’s request.  The funding supports the offices and staff of various House Officers, including the Chief Administrative Officer, the Clerk, the Sergeant at Arms, the Inspector General, the Chaplain, the General Counsel, the Parliamentarian, and the Historian.
  • Allowances and Expenses:  H.R. 2551 would provide $293.4 million for House allowances and expenses, which represents a reduction of $23.7 million or 7.5 percent below FY 2011 and $14.7 million or 4.8 percent below the president’s request.  The funds are used to pay for employee benefits, supplies, materials, administrative costs, and Federal tort claims, as well as the costs of official mail for the committees, leadership, and administrative offices.   $264.8 million of these funds would be used to provide the employer share of retirement, health care, and unemployment compensation payments for House employees.

  • House Leadership Transition:  H.R. 2551 also includes $5.8 million in funding for a transition quarter (September 30, 2012 through December 31, 2012) to allow leadership offices to operate according to the sessions of Congress, similar to Member offices.  Funding for this transition was not provided in FY 2011 and was not requested by the president.

Joint Items: H.R. 2551 would provide $19.4 million for the various joint House and Senate committees, which include the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Office of the Attending Physician.  Funding for these items is a reduction of $404,000 or 2 percent below FY 2011 and $1.5 million or 7.3 percent below the president’s request.

Capitol Police:  H.R. 2551 would provide $340.1 million for the salaries and expenses of the U.S. Capitol Police, which is the same amount as FY 2011 and a reduction of $47.5 million or 12.2 percent below the president’s request.  The bill provides $277 million for salaries to employ 1775 officers.

Office of Compliance:  H.R. 2551 would provide $3.8 million for the Office of Compliance, which represents a reduction of $260,000 or 6.4 percent below FY 2011 and $965,000 below the president’s request.  Office of Compliance enforces various employment and workplace safety laws that apply to Congress and certain legislative branch entities.

CBO:  H.R. 2551 would provide $43.8 million for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which represents a reduction of $2.9 million or 6.4 percent below FY 2011 and $3 million below the president’s request. 

Architect of the Capitol:  H.R. 2551 would provide $489 million for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), which represents a reduction of $36 million or 7 percent below FY 2011 and $129 million or 21 percent below the president’s request.  The funds support AOC general administration, Historic Buildings Revitalization Trust Fund, Capitol building maintenance, Capitol grounds, House office buildings and grounds, the Capitol power plant, the Capitol Visitors Center and the Botanic Garden.

Library of Congress:  H.R. 2551 would provide $575.3 million for the Library of Congress (LOC), which represents a reduction of $53 million or 8.5 percent below FY 2011 and $91.4 million or 13.7 percent below the president’s request.

GPO:  H.R. 2551 would provide $113 million for the Government Printing Office (GPO), which represents a reduction of $22 million or 16 percent below FY 2011 and $35 million or 24 percent below the president’s request.

GAO:  H.R. 2551 would provide $511.3 million for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which represents a reduction of 35 million or 6.4 percent below FY 2011 and $45 million or 8.2 percent below the president’s request.  In addition, GAO would receive $18.3 million in offsetting collections derived from reimbursements for conducting financial audits of government corporations and rental of space in the GAO building.

Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund:  H.R. 2551 would provide $1 million for the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund, which represents a reduction of $10.3 million or 91 percent below FY 2011 and $11 million below the president’s request.  The funding would be used to shutdown the program which supports cultural exchanges for citizens of Russia and former Soviet republics to visit the U.S.  According to House Report 112-148, “The Committee has always expressed concern regarding the benefits of the Open World program. For several years the Committee has maintained a position that this program becomes independent of funding provided in this bill. Therefore, with reductions being made to most every program within the Federal budget and no measurable benefits realized from the Open World program, the Committee recommends $1,000,000 for shutdown expenses of the Open World Leadership Center.”

John C. Stennis Center:  H.R. 2551 would zero-out funding for the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development, which is meant to encourage public service by congressional staff through training and development programs.

 

H.R. 2551 Discretionary Budget Authority  (In Thousands)

Program

FY 2011

President Request

H.R. 2434

Change from FY 2011

Change from Request

Change from FY 2011 %

Change from Request %

House of Representatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Leadership Offices

24,861

24,862

23,277

-1,584

-1,585

-6.4%

-6.4%

Transition to Calendar Year Funding

0

0

5,818

5,818

5,818

0.0%

0.0%

Members' Representational Allowances

613,052

633,848

573,939

-39,113

-59,909

-6.4%

-9.5%

Committee Employees

163,032

163,032

152,631

-10,401

-10,401

-6.4%

-6.4%

Salaries, Officers and Employees

193,326

203,801

177,628

-15,698

-26,173

-8.1%

-12.8%

Allowances and Expenses

317,125

308,165

293,387

-23,738

-14,778

-7.5%

-4.8%

Total House of Representatives

1,311,396

1,333,708

1,226,680

-84,716

-107,028

-6.5%

-8.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joint Items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joint Economic Committee

4,490

4,814

4,203

-287

-611

-6.4%

-12.7%

Joint Committee on Taxation

10,530

11,327

10,424

-106

-903

-1.0%

-8.0%

Office of the Attending Physician

4,774

4,766

4,763

-11

-3

-0.2%

-0.1%

Total Joint Items

19,794

20,907

19,390

-404

-1,517

-2.0%

-7.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Capitol Police

340,137

387,616

340,137

0

-47,479

0.0%

-12.2%

Office of Compliance

4,077

4,782

3,817

-260

-965

-6.4%

-20.2%

Congressional Budget Office

46,771

46,865

43,787

-2,984

-3,078

-6.4%

-6.6%

Architect of the Capitol

526,139

618,802

489,571

-36,568

-129,231

-7.0%

-20.9%

Library of Congress

628,677

666,731

575,322

-53,355

-91,409

-8.5%

-13.7%

Government Printing Office

135,067

148,474

113,000

-22,067

-35,474

-16.3%

-23.9%

Government Accountability Office

546,254

556,849

511,296

-34,958

-45,553

-6.4%

-8.2%

Open World Leadership Center

11,377

12,600

1,000

-10,377

-11,600

-91.2%

-92.1%

John C. Stennis Center

429

430

0

-429

-430

-100.0%

-100.0%

Scorekeeping Adjustments

-2,518

0

2,000

4,518

2,000

-179.4%

0.0%

H.R. 2551 Total (Excluding Senate)

3,553,000

3,797,764

3,326,000

-227,000

-471,764

-6.4%

-12.4%

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 2551 would provide $3.324 billion in discretionary budget authority.