H.R. 5882: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2013

H.R. 5882

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2013

Date
June 8, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Friday, June 8, 2012, the House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 5882, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of FY 2013, subject to a rule. The bill was introduced on June 1, 2012, by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. The bill is scheduled to be considered under a rule (H.Res. 679), which provides for the consideration of seven amendments which are summarized below.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5882, the Fiscal Year 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill would provide a total of $3.33 billion in discretionary budget authority for all non-Senate Legislative Branch activities, which is $34 million, or 1 percent, below FY 2013 levels and $189 million, or 5.4 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 112-511, which accompanies the legislation, the Senate appropriations estimate is $956.1 billion. When House and Senate appropriations are combined, total Legislative Branch funding would be $4.28 billion. According to the Appropriations Committee, since Fiscal Year 2010, the spending overseen by the Legislative Branch Subcommittee has been cut by 10.5 percent. H.R. 5882 would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.028 trillion for FY 2013 as contained in H.Con.Res. 112, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

 

H.R. 5882 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).

 

H.R. 5882 Appropriated Budget Authority  
(in thousands)

 

FY 2012

President Request

H.R. 5882

Change from FY 2012

Change from Request

Change from FY 2012 %

Change from Request %

Total Budget Authority

3,367,279

3,522,564

3,332,873

-34,406

-189,691

-1.0%

-5.4%


House of Representatives: H.R. 5882 would provide a total of $1.22 billion for the operations of the House of Representatives, the same level as last year and the same level as the President’s request. Spending in the bill reflects last year’s across-the-board 6.4 percent levels to individual Member, Committee, and Leadership office budgets, as well as the 5 percent cut contained in H.Res. 22.

 

Specific funding for the House of Representatives is as follows:

  • MRAs: H.R. 5882 would provide $573.9 million for the Member's Representational Allowances (MRAs), the same amount as last year and the same amount as the President’s request. The FY 2010 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (PL 111-68) provided $660 million for MRAs. H.R. 5882 would represent a cut of $86 million, or 13 percent, in MRA funding since FY 2010. MRAs are provided to Members of the House to pay for employees and other related expenses for each Member's office. Under the bill, unspent MRAs would be dedicated to deficit or debt reduction.
  • Leadership: H.R. 5882 would provide $23.2 million for House leadership offices, the same amount as last year and the same amount as the President’s request.
  • Committees: H.R. 5882 would provide a total of $152.6 million for all standing, special, and select committees and their staffs.  Funding for committee employees is the same amount as last year and $400,000 below the President’s request.
  • Officers of the House: H.R. 5882 would provide $173.6 million for the salaries and expenses of House officers and employees, which represents a reduction of $4 million or 2 percent below FY 2012 and $1.2 million 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. 5882 would provide $302 million for House allowances and expenses, which represents an increase of $9.7 million or 3 percent above FY 2012 and $1 million above 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. $272 million of these funds would be used to provide the employer share of retirement, health care, and unemployment compensation payments for House employees.

 

Joint Items: H.R. 5882 would provide $19 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 $1 million or 6 percent below FY 2012 and the same as the President’s request.

Capitol Police: H.R. 5882 would provide $360.1 million for the salaries and expenses of the U.S. Capitol Police, which is $20 million more than last year and $13 million below the budget request. The bill would provide $297 million for salaries to employ 1775 officers.

Office of Compliance: H.R. 5882 would provide $3.8 million for the Office of Compliance, which is the same as last year and $389,000 below the President’s request. The Office of Compliance enforces various employment and workplace safety laws that apply to Congress and certain legislative branch entities.

CBO: H.R. 5882 would provide $44.2 million for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which represents an increase of $493,000 above last year and $357,000 below the President’s request. 

Architect of the Capitol: H.R. 5882 would provide $444 million for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), which represents a reduction of $52 million or 10 percent below FY 2012 and $144 million below the budget 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. 5882 would provide $592.6 million for the Library of Congress (LOC), which represents an increase of $5 million above last year and $11 million below the budget request.

GPO: H.R. 5882 would provide $122 million for the Government Printing Office (GPO), which represents a reduction of $3.7 million below FY 2012 and $3.7 million below the budget request.

GAO: H.R. 5882 would provide $519.8 million for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which represents an increase of $8 million above last year and $6.4 million below the budget request. In addition, GAO would receive $24 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. 5882 would provide $1 million for the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund (OWC), which represents a reduction of $9 million or 90 percent below FY 2012 and $9 million below the budget 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. House Report 112-148 (the report filed in conjunction with the FY 2012 appropriations bill) outlined the reasons for shutting down the OWC, stating, “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. 5882 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. 5882 would provide $3.332 billion in discretionary budget authority for all non-Senate Legislative Branch activities as follows:

Program

FY 2012

President Request

H.R. 5882

Change from FY 2012

Change from Request

Change from FY 2012 %

Change from Request %

House of Representatives

Office of the Speaker

6,943

6,943

6,943

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Office of the Majority Leader

2,278

2,278

2,278

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Office of the Minority Leader

7,433

7,433

7,433

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Office of the Majority Whip

1,971

1,971

1,971

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Office of the Minority Whip

1,525

1,525

1,525

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Republican Conference

1,573

1,573

1,573

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Democratic Caucus

1,554

1,554

1,554

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Total House Leadership Offices

23,277

23,277

23,277

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Transition to Calendar Year Funding

5,818

0

0

-5,818

0

0.0%

0.0%

Members' Representational Allowances Account

573,939

573,939

573,939

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Committee Employees

152,631

153,031

152,631

0

-400

0.0%

-0.3%

Salaries, Officers and Employees

177,628

174,912

173,669

-3,959

-1,243

-2.2%

-0.7%

Allowances and Expenses

292,387

300,522

302,165

9,778

1,643

3.3%

0.5%

Total House of Representatives

1,225,680

1,225,681

1,225,681

1

0

0.0%

0.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House of Representatives Joint Items

Joint Economic Committee

4,203

4,219

4,203

0

-16

0.0%

-0.4%

Joint Committee on Taxation

10,004

10,004

10,004

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Office of the Attending Physician

4,763

4,800

4,830

67

30

1.4%

0.6%

Total Joint Items

20,207

19,023

19,037

-1,170

14

-5.8%

0.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Capitol Police

340,137

373,769

360,137

20,000

-13,632

5.9%

-3.6%

Office of Compliance

3,817

4,206

3,817

0

-389

0.0%

-9.2%

Congressional Budget Office

43,787

44,637

44,280

493

-357

1.1%

-0.8%

Architect of the Capitol

496,381

588,796

444,021

-52,360

-144,775

-10.5%

-24.6%

Library of Congress

587,344

603,589

592,642

5,298

-10,947

0.9%

-1.8%

Government Printing Office

126,200

126,200

122,456

-3,744

-3,744

-3.0%

-3.0%

Government Accountability Office

511,296

526,233

519,802

8,506

-6,431

1.7%

-1.2%

Open World Leadership Center

10,000

10,000

1,000

-9,000

-9,000

-90.0%

-90.0%

John C. Stennis Center

430

430

0

-430

-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)

3,367,279

3,522,564

3,332,873

-34,406

-189,691

-1.0%

-5.4%

 

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 5882 would provide $3.332 billion in non-security discretionary budget authority

Amendments

Amendment No. 1—Rep. Gosar (R-AZ): The amendment would reduce funding for the Architect of the Capitol meant for the upkeep and maintenance of the Botanical Garden by $1.235 million. This would reduce funding for the Botanical Garden from $12.1 million to $10.9 million, the same level as FY 2009. $1.235 million would be deposited into the bill’s Spending Reduction Account.

Amendment No. 2—Rep. Broun (R-GA): The amendment would reduce funding for the Congressional Research Service for salaries and expenses by $878,000. This would reduce funding for CRS from $107.6 million to $109.2 million, the same level as FY 2012. $878,000 would be deposited into the bill’s Spending Reduction Account.

Amendment No. 3—Rep. Holt (D-NJ): The amendment would reduce and increase funding for the Government Printing Office for Congressional Printing and Binding by $218,379. According to the sponsor, the intent of the amendment is to “address the availability of pocket versions of the United States Constitutions for members of the House. Currently the House has no additional pocket constitutions for members to disburse to their constituents.”

Amendment No. 4—Rep. Scalise (R-LA): The amendment would eliminate all funding for the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund (OWC), reducing the account by $1 million and transferring the funds to the bill’s Spending Reduction Account. The $1 million provided in H.R. 5882 would be used to shutdown the program which supports cultural exchanges for citizens of Russia and former Soviet republics to visit the U.S. House Report 112-148 (the report filed in conjunction with the FY 2012 appropriations bill) outlined the reasons for shutting down the OWC, stating, “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.”

Amendment No. 5—Rep. Moran (D-VA)/Welch (D-VT)/Pingree (D-ME): The amendment would prohibit funds made available in the bill from being used to obtain polystyrene products for use in House of Representative’s food service facilities.

Amendment No. 6—Rep. Harper (R-MS): The amendment would prohibit funds made available in the bill from being used to provide more than 50 printed copies of any edition of the United States Code to all offices of the House of Representatives.

Amendment No. 7—Rep. Flake (R-AZ): The amendment would prohibit funds made available in the bill for Member’s Representational Allowances (MRAs), House Leadership Offices, or Committee Employee funds from being used to purchase paid advertisements on any Internet site other than an official site of the Member, leadership office, or committee involved.