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Friday, November 30, 2012

Legislative Branch: FY2013 Appropriations

Ida A. Brudnick
Specialist on the Congress

The legislative branch appropriations bill provides funding for the Senate; House of Representatives; Joint Items; Capitol Police; Office of Compliance; Congressional Budget Office (CBO); Architect of the Capitol (AOC); Library of Congress, including the Congressional Research Service (CRS); Government Printing Office (GPO); Government Accountability Office (GAO); and Open World Leadership Center. The legislative branch FY2013 budget request of $4.512 billion, which is submitted to the President by the legislative branch agencies and entities and included in the budget without change, was submitted on February 13, 2012. The request represents an increase of $205.5 million over the $4.307 billion in discretionary funding provided in the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 112-74), which was enacted on December 23, 2011.

The Subcommittees on the Legislative Branch of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees both held hearings during which Members considered the FY2013 legislative branch requests. Among issues that were considered during hearings were: the tight budget environment, prioritization of budget resources, and further options for potential savings or efficiencies; state and district office security; preparations and funding for the January 2013 Presidential Inauguration; deferred maintenance around the Capitol Complex, including the Capitol Dome; and the future of government printing in the digital age.

On May 18, 2012, the House legislative branch subcommittee marked up a bill that would provide nearly $3.333 billion for FY2013, a decrease of 1.0% from FY2012 (not including Senate items). The full committee held its markup on May 31, during which four amendments were considered, and two were adopted. The bill, H.R. 5882, was reported by voice vote. The Rules Committee reported a rule for consideration of the bill, H.Res. 679, on June 6, which was agreed to the following day. On June 8, 2012, the House considered H.R. 5882, adopting five amendments and rejecting two, before passing it by recorded vote. On August 2, 2012, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up a $4.320 billion amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 5882. The substitute was ordered reported by a recorded vote of 22–8. This vote followed an amendment offered to the mark by the chairman to include $61.2 million for the Capitol Dome restoration. The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175) provides funding for the legislative branch at the FY2012 level, increased by 0.612%, through March 27, 2013.

The legislative branch budget has decreased the last two fiscal years. The FY2012 level represented a decrease of $236.9 million (-5.2%) from the FY2011 level, which represented a $125.1 million decrease (-2.7%) from FY2010. P.L. 112-10 (enacted on April 15, 2011) provided $4.543 billion for FY2011 legislative branch operations. P.L. 111-68 (enacted on October 1, 2009) provided $4.656 billion for FY2010. The FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 111- 212) provided an additional $12.96 million for the Capitol Police. The FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-8, enacted on March 11, 2009) provided $4.402 billion. In FY2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) provided an additional $25.0 million for GAO, and the FY2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-32) provided $71.6 million for the Capitol Police and $2.0 million for the CBO. Since FY1976, the legislative branch has represented approximately 0.4% of total discretionary budget authority.

Date of Report: November 20, 2012
Number of Pages: 34
Order Number: R42500
Price: $29.95

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