Appropriations Committee Passes Chairman Yoder’s Legislative Branch Bill
Washington, DC – This afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed Chairman Kevin Yoder’s (R-KS) Fiscal Year 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill. The bill provides funding for the House of Representatives, security and police forces, services for visitors, Congressional support agencies, and Capitol operations and maintenance, and now heads to the House floor for a vote.
Overall, the bill maintains funding on the House more than 12 percent below 2010 levels and continues the policy of preventing any pay increases for Members of Congress for the eighth fiscal year in a row. In total, the bill adequately funds legislative branch operations at a level $228 million below the President’s request.
“We are leading by example by tightening our belts and spending taxpayer dollars wisely, and we are continuing the policy of preventing any pay increases for Members of Congress,” Chairman Yoder said.
A bipartisan majority of the Committee defeated an amendment proposed by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) that would have stripped provisions to promote transparency in Congress by making Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports open to the public.
“It’s more important now than ever that Americans have access to clear-cut, accurate information on the issues being debated in the halls of Congress,” Yoder said. “CRS reports are a great non-partisan resource put together at the taxpayers’ expense. It’s the fair and right thing to do to let the public have access to them.”
In response to last week’s shooting at the GOP practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, the bill also provides funding and makes structural changes that will improve security at the Capitol and at congressional events in Members’ districts.
“Our bill provides the US Capitol Police with the resources they need to meet their mission in today's increasingly polarized climate, as well as resources to provide enhanced security at constituent events in House districts across the country,” Yoder said.
- Maintains funding on the House of Representatives more than 12 percent below 2010 levels under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
- Denies any pay increases for Members of Congress.
- Provides new funding for enhanced security both at the Capitol complex and events in Members’ districts:
- Includes $7.5 million in new funding for Capitol Police and $5 million in new funding for Sergeant at Arms to fund projects related to district office security.
- Allocates sufficient funding for hired security at Congressional events in Members’ districts outside their offices.
- Increases transparency in Congress:
- Making CRS reports open and available to the public.
- Exploring feasibility of creating a central online location for access to government-wide Inspector General reports.
- Creating more user-friendly access to current law.
- Increases availability of open slots in the House’s Wounded Warrior Program to hire veterans to work on Member staff.
- Prioritizes cost-effective expansion of Child Care Center services at the Capitol.
- Improves Capitol complex infrastructure.
- Encourages franchise branded concepts for food services and improves existing services:
- Directing the House to develop composting and donation solutions for excess food in House cafeterias.
- Expresses support for permanent expansion of Library eReader Pilot Program, which provides increased access to reading materials for individuals who are blind or have physical disabilities that require the use of braille.
- Demands efficiency and accountability with regard to Congressional office inventory.
- Encourages copyright modernization.