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House Legislative Branch spending bill advances

DeLauro says measure is not a substitute for the House-passed $1.9 billion security supplemental

The Capitol Police would get an $88.4 million funding increase for fiscal 2022 under the bill.
The Capitol Police would get an $88.4 million funding increase for fiscal 2022 under the bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday approved by voice vote its fiscal 2022 appropriations bill providing $4.8 billion in funding, sending it to the full committee for consideration. 

The measure includes significant boosts for the beleaguered Capitol Police force, the Members’ Representational Allowance and the Architect of the Capitol.

Capitol Police would receive $603.9 million, an $88.4 million increase over the $515.5 million the department got in fiscal 2021. Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro emphasized the measure is not a substitute for the $1.9 billion security supplemental funding bill that narrowly passed the House, 213-212, void of any Republican votes.

The emergency supplemental—which includes funding for equipment, trauma support, intelligence operations and money to backfill overtime — has yet to be voted on by the Senate.

“Let me be clear, this bill is not a substitute for the desperately needed supplemental, and I renew my call for the Senate to act on the bill that we sent over,” the Connecticut Democrat said.

Rep. Tim Ryan, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee chairman, said the Senate needs to get “busy” on the supplemental because things are “getting worse, not better” for officers from a quality-of-life standpoint, and the emergency funding bill would provide crucial investments that could help retain officers.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick J. Leahy has cautioned that the Capitol Police will run out of funds by August if the supplemental is not approved by then. On Thursday, he reiterated the sense of urgency.

“The clock is ticking,” the Vermont Democrat said. “My staff and I are, throughout the 4th of July recess, we are willing to meet and talk with anybody to get these negotiations going, because if we don’t act, the Capitol Police are going to run out of funding in a very short time in August.”

Alabama Sen. Richard C. Shelby, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said he is working on a GOP offer regarding the security supplemental funding bill. “We’re trying to see if we can come forth with what’s necessary, not a lot of frivolous things,” he said.

The Members’ Representational Allowance, used for staffer salaries, travel and office rent in the district among many other purposes, would be funded at $774.4 million, a $134 million jump over the fiscal 2021 level. Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., wrote to DeLauro and Ryan in April advocating for the boost to the MRA.

The Architect of the Capitol would get $738.3 million, a substantial increase of $152.8 million over fiscal 2021. That includes $93 million for the Cannon House Office Building renovation project, which has gone significantly over budget. The agency is responsible for preserving and maintaining the buildings, art and gardens on the Capitol complex.

Other agencies under the bill:

  • The Congressional Budget Office would receive $60.9 million, an increase of $3.7 million over fiscal 2021.
  • The Government Publishing Office would get $125.6 million, a jump of $8.6 million over the current fiscal year’s funding.
  • The Government Accountability Office would receive $729.3 million, a rise of $68.1 million over fiscal 2021.
  • The Library of Congress would receive $794.4 million, a boost of $37 million over the current fiscal year.
  • The Office of Congressional Workplace Rights would get $8 million, up $500,000 from the current fiscal year.

Katherine Tully-McManus, Jennifer Shutt and Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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