H.R. 2918: Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, 2010

H.R. 2918

Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, 2010

Sponsor
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Date
June 19, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 2918, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010, on Friday, June 19, 2009, under a structured rule making a number of amendments in order. 20 amendments were submitted to the Rules Committee and a summary of the amendments made in order under the rule will be distributed when it becomes available. The rule provides for one hour of general debate, equally divided, and provides for one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. H.R. 2918 was introduced on June 17, 2009, by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and reported by the Committee on Appropriations.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2918, the Fiscal Year 2010 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill contains a total of $4.7 billion for all legislative branch agencies, including the Senate, which is $300 million, or 6.3 percent, above FY 2009.  However, the House and Senate traditionally determine their own funding separately and concur with each other's bill in a conference committee.  Therefore, H.R. 2918 only includes spending for the House and other legislative agencies, which totals $3.674 billion, an increase of $237 million, or 6.4 percent, above FY 2009.  

H.R. 2918 would provide funding for a number of legislative agencies, including the House and the Capitol Police, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the Library of Congress (LOC), the Government Printing Office (GPO), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

Spending Highlights and Other Provisions

House of Representatives:  The bill contains $1.375 billion for the House of Representatives, which is an increase of $74 million, or 5.7 percent, over FY 2009.  The House funding is provided as follows:

  • MRA:  Provides $660 million for the Member's Representational Allowances (MRAs), which is an increase of $51 million, or 7.7 percent, over FY 2009.  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:  Provides $26 million for House leadership offices, which is a $1 million increase over FY 2009.
  • Committees:  Provides a total of $171 million for all standing, special, and select committees and their staffs, which includes $10 million for Committee hearing room renovations that carries over from FY 2009.  The bill encourages all committees to post their hearings online on the Government Printing Office web site, but does not require them to.
  • Officers of the House:  Provides $200.3 million for the salaries and expenses of House officers and employees, which is an increase of $12.3 million or 6.6 percent over FY 2009.  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.  The bill includes $4.6 million for the Clerk of the House to install a modernized voting system in the House chamber, $570,000 to update the ID badge system, and requires CAO to work with the House food service vendor to develop proposals to reducing the costs at House cafeterias.
  • Allowances and Expenses:  Provides $317.9 million for House allowances and expenses, which is $24 million, or 7.5 percent, above FY 2009.  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.   87 percent of these funds provide the employer share of retirement, health care, and unemployment compensation payments for House employees.

Joint Items: Provides $21.4 million for the various joint committees, which include the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Office of the Attending Physician.  Funding for these items is $7.8 million below FY 2009.

Capitol Police:  Provides $325 million for the salaries and expenses of the U.S. Capitol Police, which is $19 million, or 5.8 percent, above FY 2009.  The bill provides $263 million for salaries and $61 million for general expenses to employ 1799 officers.  The bill also directs the Capitol Police to reform the management of staff resources in the department and to investigate problems with the crowd control plans during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.

Office of Compliance:  Provides $4.4 million for the Office of Compliance, which is $263,000 above FY 2009.  The Office of Compliance enforces various employment and workplace safety laws that apply to Congress and certain legislative branch entities.  The 2009 War funding supplement (H.R. 2346) includes $71 million for the Capitol Police to acquire a new, modernized digital radio system.

CBO:  Provides $45.1 million for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is $1 million above FY 2009.  The bill directs CBO to use its additional resources "to continue to improve the speed at which it produces cost estimates for the Congress."

Architect of the Capitol:  Provides $541 million for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), which is an increase of $81.1 million, or 14.9 percent, over FY 2009.  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:  Provides $647 million for the Library of Congress (LOC), which is $40 million, or 6.5 percent, above FY 2009.  The bill contains $443 million for salaries and expenses, $55 million for the LOC's copyright office, $115 million for the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and $70 million for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

GPO:  Provides $93.3 million for the Government Printing Office (GPO), which is $3.5 million less than FY 2009.   The bill includes language authorizing the operation of the GPO revolving fund, authority to hire or purchase automobiles, and advisory councils, and consultants.  The bill also directs the GPO to submit quarterly reports on the progress being made in reducing the number of Equal Employment Opportunity complaints.

GAO:  Provides $558.8 million for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is an increase of $27 million, or 4.8 percent, above FY 2009.  The funding would support $3,250 employees at GAO.

Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund:  Provides $14.4 million for the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund, which is $4.9 million below FY 2009.  The funding supports cultural exchanges for citizens of Russia and former Soviet republics to visit the U.S.  According to House Report 111-160, the Legislative Branch Subcommittee does not consider the fund to be an essential legislative branch function and expects the Open World program to become financially independent as soon as possible.

John C. Stennis Center:  Provides $430,000 for the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development, which is the same amount as FY 2009.  The center is meant to encourage public service by congressional staff through training and development programs.

 

Cost

According to the CBO, H.R. 2918 would appropriate $3.675 billion in funds for FY 2010.