Senate Democrats

H.R. 2918, the Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2010

Summary

The Senate began consideration of H.R.2918, the Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2010 on June 25, 2009 An amendment was then offered to strike and replace the bill’s language, save the provisions that fund the House of Representatives, with the Senate version of the Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2010 (S.A. 1365, S.1294) (the Senate Amendment).  This legislative bulletin summarizes the Senate Amendment and the remaining provisions of H.R.2918 that pertain to the House. 

The Senate Amendment would provide $3.136 billion for Fiscal Year 2010 (including $25 million in emergency funding) for the Legislative Branch, including funding for the Government Accountability Office, Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the Library of Congress.  The Senate allocation represents a 3.3 percent increase above Fiscal Year 2009 levels, only a 2.4 percent increase when the emergency appropriations are subtracted. The remaining provisions of H.R.2918, which the Senate does not control,would add $1.475 billion.  Altogether, the bill totals $4.6 billion, which is a 4.7 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2009.  The President’sFiscal Year 2010 Budget Request requested a 15 percent increase.

The Senate will resume consideration of H.R.2918 after the July recess on July 6.

Major Provisions

Senate.  The Senate Amendment would provide $934 million for the Senate, including increases for salary and operating expenses.  This amount is $39 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, but $75.3 million below the budget request. 

Capitol Police.  The Senate Amendment would provide $331.6 million for the Capitol Police, including funding for the interoperable radio upgrade project and the merge with the Library of Congress operation.  This amount is $25.8 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, but $ 78.5 million below the budget request. 

Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  The Senate Amendment would provide $45.2 million for CBO, including increases to enable the office to provide more timely analysis of health care, financial, and global climate change issues.  This amount is $1.1 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, but $1.2 million below the budget request. 

Architect of the Capitol. The Senate Amendment would provide $445.4 million for the Architect of the Capitol.  This amount is $18.3 million below the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, and $87.3 million below the budget request.  The funding decrease reflects primarily the completion of the Capitol Visitor Center. 

Library of Congress.  The Senate Amendment would provide $638.6 million for the Library’s operations, including additional funding to update the Library’s information technology infrastructure. This amount is $31.5 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, but $19.8 million below the budget request. 

Government Printing Office (GPO).  The Senate Amendment would provide $147 million for GPO, including funding increases for Federal Digital System development.  This amount is $6.4 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level, but $19.3 million below the budget request.

Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The Senate Amendment would provide $553.7 million for GAO.  This amount is $22.7 million above the Fiscal Year 2009 funding level (excluding $25 million in emergency appropriations), and $13.8 million below the budget request.   

Legislative History

The Senate began consideration of H.R.2918, the Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2010 on June 25, 2009 and will resume consider on July 6 On the first day of debate, an amendment was offered by Senator Ben Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, to strike and replace the bill’s language, save the provisions that fund the House of Representatives, with the Senate version of the Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2010 (S.A. 1365, S.1294) (the Senate Amendment).  S.1294 was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 18, with a written reportH.R.2918 was passed in the House on June 19, 2009 by a vote of 232 to 178.

Expected Amendments

A limited number of amendments are expected to the Senate Amendment to H.R.2918

On June 25, Senator Vitter offered a motion to commit the bill back to the Senate Appropriations Committee with instructions to cap the Legislative Branch Appropriations at Fiscal Year 2009 levels.  The motion was tabled by a vote of 65 to 31

On July 6, the Senate is expected to vote on S.A. 1366, offered by Senator McCain, to strike an earmark for the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.

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