CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, February 28, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 347, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced on January 19, 2011, by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Committee on the Judiciary held a markup of H.R. 347 on January 26, 2011, and ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote.
H.R. 347 would amend the federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The bill defines "restricted buildings or grounds" as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of:
(1) the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds;
(2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or
(3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.
According to CBO, H.R. 368 would have no significant cost to the federal government. The legislation could affect direct spending and revenues, so pay-as-you-go procedures apply, but CBO estimates that any such effects would not be significant.
H.R. 347 would modify and expand the current laws that prohibit access to certain federal property. Thus, the government might be able to pursue cases against violators that it otherwise would not be able to prosecute. However, CBO expects that H.R. 347 would apply to a relatively small number of offenders, so any increase in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison operations would not be significant. Any such costs would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 347 could be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might collect additional amounts if the legislation is enacted. Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and later spent. CBO estimates that any additional revenues and direct spending would not be significant because of the small number of cases likely to be affected.