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Funding Freeze

House Appropriations Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) released subcommittee allocation figures for fiscal 2005 on Wednesday, revealing a near freeze in the legislative branch budget.

Although Congressional agencies had sought a combined $4.4 billion for the coming fiscal year — a 12 percent increase over current levels — the chairman’s recommendations would cap spending at nearly $3.6 million, a 1.4 percent increase over fiscal 2004. [IMGCAP(1)]

During appropriations hearings in both chambers, lawmakers encouraged agencies to reduce their spending requests in anticipation of a budget freeze.

Some agencies, including the Library of Congress, Congressional Budget Office and General Accounting Office, have suggested a freeze could lead to staff reductions, while the Architect of the Capitol said increased funds will be necessary to pursue major construction projects.

CODEL to Mark D-Day Anniversary. A Congressional delegation departs for Europe today to mark the 60th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, Allied invasion of France.

The CODEL, led by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), will travel first to the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England, for a wreath-laying ceremony. On Saturday, the group will proceed to Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, for mass with Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George and a re-enactment of the D-Day airdrop in St. Mere Eglise. Finally, on Sunday, they’ll attend a ceremony on Omaha Beach with President Bush.

World War II veterans participating include Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) and Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.), plus former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.). Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Lane Evans (D-Ill.), John Spratt (D-S.C.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Bob Ney (R-Ohio), John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Mark Souder (R-Ind.), Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) will also attend. 

— Jennifer Yachnin and Bree Hocking