H.R. 5681: To improve certain administrative operations of the Library of Congress, and for other purposes

H.R. 5681

To improve certain administrative operations of the Library of Congress, and for other purposes

Sponsor
Rep. Robert A. Brady

Date
July 27, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5681, on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  H.R. 5681 was introduced on July 1, 2010, by Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) and referred to the House Administration Committee, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote on July 14, 2010.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5681 would authorize the Librarian of Congress to dispose of surplus or obsolete personal property of the Library of Congress (LOC) by interagency transfer, donation, sale, or trade-in.  Any proceeds from the disposal of these properties shall be made available to the LOC to acquire the same or similar property. 

The bill would also allow the Librarian of Congress to use funds appropriated to the LOC for salaries and expenses to make student loan repayments for its employees.   Finally, the bill would allow the Librarian of Congress to use unobligated balances from appropriations to deposit into the Employees’ Compensation Fund.

Background

The Library of Congress (LOC) receives funding annually through the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which also funds the functions of the House and Senate.  In FY 2010, the LOC was provided $643.3 million, an increase of $36.3 million or 6 percent above FY 2009.  According to House Report 111-557, certain provisions of H.R. 5681 would save money for the LOC by allowing the Librarian of Congress to offset some of the costs of new property with the sale or transfer of obsolete property.  However, according to CBO, the bill’s loan repayment provision “could increase total outlays from future appropriations” by encouraging the LOC to request more funding to supplement the loan repayment program.  CBO is unable to determine the amount of potential increased appropriations.  According to the House Administration Committee, only one Library of Congress employee currently receives a student loan repayment benefit, but LOC units may draw from their own operating budgets to fund monthly repayments if they so choose.  This legislation would allow the LOC to create a pool for student loan repayment. 

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 5681 “could increase total outlays from future appropriations” to provide funding for student loan repayment, however, CBO is unable to estimate future appropriated spending.  In addition, CBO estimates that the bill “could affect direct spending by allowing the Librarian to sell property and spend the proceeds; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.”  However, CBO estimates that the net effects would be “insignificant for each year, and in total over the 2011-2020 period.”