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House Approves 2.4 Percent Boost in Committee Funding

In a 269-150 vote, the House granted an across-the-board 2.4 percent increase in funds for House committees today, at the same time approving the creation of a new select committee to study global warming.

The new committee, expected to run until October 2008, will be given $3.7 million over the next two years. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she would like to see a bill that addresses climate change come out of the committee by July 4.

While the spirit of the Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee has garnered bipartisan praise, some Republicans have complained that Democrats were not open about forming the panel.

Meanwhile, with money tight because Congress — like most of the federal government — is operating under a continuing resolution, other committees received small boosts over their budgets from last year.

The Energy and Commerce Committee will receive $21 million for the 110th Congress, the most funding out of any committee. The ethics panel received $4.9 million, the least.

The decision has drawn ire from committee leaders, who say they need more money to hire staff and take on the new tasks assigned to them this Congress.

Ethics Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) hit the House floor today to ask the chamber to fully fund the committee’s request of $6.1 million, while ranking member Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) presented a failed amendment to the Rules Committee on Wednesday requesting the same thing.

— Elizabeth Brotherton

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