Chairman Yoder Introduces FY18 Legislative Branch Bill
Washington, DC – This morning, Chairman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) introduced the Fiscal Year 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for the House of Representatives, security and police forces, services for visitors, Congressional support agencies, and Capitol operations and maintenance. The Legislative Branch Subcommittee will markup the bill tomorrow morning.
In response to last week’s shooting at the GOP practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, the bill provides funding and makes structural changes that will improve security at the Capitol and at congressional events in Members’ districts. 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.
The bill also makes several policy changes to promote transparency and efficiency in Congress, including making Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports open to the public, directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to publish Inspector General reports on Congress, and encouraging additional franchise branded concepts for cafeteria food services and exploring feasibility of elimination of food waste through charitable donations.
It continues to make Congress more family and veteran-friendly by prioritizing a cost-effective expansion of Child Care Center services at the Capitol and increases the amount of available slots in the House’s Wounded Warrior Program that helps Congressional offices hire veterans.
Chairman Yoder issued the following statement this morning:
“Crystal Griner and David Bailey’s heroism showed the country and the world what Members of Congress see every day – the bravery of the United States Capitol Police as they put their lives on the line protecting the Capitol Complex and its roughly nine million visitors every year. We owe it to them to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet their mission in an increasingly polarized climate. After additional meetings with Chief Verderosa, I believe this bill appropriately prioritizes those needs, in addition to provisions that will ensure Members can enhance their constituents' safety at events in their districts.”
“Our bill also continues the principle of Congress leading by example by maintaining funding on the House well below 2010 levels and continues the pay freeze on Members of Congress in place since Republicans gained the majority. I appreciate Chairman Frelinghuysen’s leadership and look forward to the bill’s passage.”
- 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.