Legislation Makes Family-Friendly Improvements to the Capitol Complex
Washington, D.C. – The House today passed the fiscal year 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 5325), which was authored by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) who is chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations. The bill provides annual funding for the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress, security, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.
“The main focus of this legislation is to preserve the beauty, enhance the security and improve the institutions of the United States Capitol complex. Using a zero-based budgeting approach, in which each agency of the Legislative Branch was forced to justify its budget request from scratch, I’m pleased to report that we have accomplished our mission in a way that respects taxpayers,” Chairman Graves said.
“This bill also features a strong emphasis on making pro-family improvements to Capitol operations. I’ve asked the House to support pregnant staff members by allowing access to convenient parking spots. There is a bipartisan provision to add more baby changing tables to House bathrooms for young families visiting Capitol Hill. We are also carrying on the renewed tradition of sledding on Capitol Hill. While these items are minor compared to the initiatives under the Architect, Library and Capitol Police, they set a family friendly standard for the Capitol and make the People’s House a better place to work and visit. And with a strong focus on our constituents, we made sure that offices have the resources necessary to serve their districts well,” Graves continued.
The total included for the House – excluding Senate-only items – is $3.48 billion, which is $152 million below the requested level. In all, funding for the House of Representatives has been cut by more than 13 percent since Republicans gained control in January 2011. The legislation also includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2017.
Additionally, the bill eliminates the Open World Leadership Center – an outdated multi-million dollar per year program.
“Our Capitol complex houses the largest and most successful democracy the world has ever known. It is essential that Congress provide the resources needed to keep it functioning, safe, and accessible to all those who work or visit here, and maintain its image as a beacon of freedom around the world,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This legislation will target funds to critical operations to ensure effective representation of our citizens, while keeping a close eye on every tax dollar.”
H.R. 5325 passed the House with a bipartisan majority.