The Legislative Branch fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill provides $6.761 billion in funding for the operations of the United States Senate, the United States Capitol Police, the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Architect of the Capitol, and the Office of the Attending Physician.
“Working under difficult fiscal constraints, we managed to advance a bipartisan bill that will strengthen institutions of democracy and boost the legislative branch’s capacity to better serve the public. This bill delivers funding, staffing levels, and infrastructure needed to ensure the safety of the U.S. Capitol complex and keep it accessible and open to the public,” said Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chair of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. “In addition to upgrading Congress’ physical security and cyber defenses, it also maintains the capacity of important legislative branch agencies, such as the non-partisan watchdog Government Accountability Office, which helps enhance transparency and accountability throughout the federal government to save taxpayers money. It also makes needed investments to modernize America’s public library—the Library of Congress. And it prioritizes operations at places like the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Economic Committee, and Government Publishing Office, which are crucial to providing lawmakers with trusted information and keeping the American public well-informed.”
“This bill ensures there’s the necessary resources so that we can deliver for our constituents and carry out our responsibilities as legislators—and it invests in the brave Capitol Police officers who keep everyone in the Capitol safe,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This bill will help more working class moms and parents be able to work here in Congress by creating a pathway to make child care more affordable for staff and updating lactating rooms for nursing mothers. And I am glad that this strong, bipartisan bill provides resources to support the nonpartisan legislative expertise and oversight we all rely on to craft strong laws.”
Key Points & Highlights
Security: The bill provides $792 million for the United States Capitol Police (USCP) to protect the Capitol and includes funds to recruit, support, and retain a highly-qualified workforce to secure the Capitol complex—including by supporting recruitment and retention incentives for USCP officers, re-implementing USCP’s tuition reimbursement program, and funding its student loan repayment program.
The bill provides funding to address threats to members, their families, and staff to ensure that the work of the American people can be carried out safely. It also provides the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms with the funding necessary to support state office operations and security, so that Senators have the tools to meet the needs of their constituents.
The bill provides critical funding for the Architect of the Capitol to support Capitol complex physical security requirements to protect members, staff, and visitors on a daily basis, and provides funds to support strong cybersecurity practices within the Senate and the legislative branch agencies, so that the people’s business can be carried out without disruption or interference.
Finally, it includes funding for preparations for the Presidential Inauguration, so that the American people may see the orderly transition of their government.
Oversight: The bill ensures the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Congressional Research Service have the funding necessary to support the legislative work of Congress.
It provides $813 million to support the auditing and oversight role of the Government Accountability Office to ensure that federal programmatic and grant activities are executed in an efficient and effective manner as intended by statute.
Campus Operations: The bill provides the necessary funding for the Architect of the Capitol to maintain the buildings, grounds, and other facilities on the Capitol complex and funds the infrastructure and security requirements necessary to support demonstrations on the Capitol complex, as people exercise their First Amendment rights.
Capitol Workforce: The bill provides some additional resources to support the Senate workforce and legislative branch agencies through training and work-life programs. It provides $1 million to retrofit lactation rooms on campus for nursing mothers and provides Senate offices and legislative branch agencies with the authority to use their existing budgets to provide child care subsidies to staff. The bill also protects funding for the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.
Constituent Services: The bill sustains critical funding to support the operations of Senate offices and committees to carry out the Senate’s work on behalf of the American people and provide services to constituents.
Copyright Office: The bill funds the operations of the Copyright Office, so it may fulfill its responsibilities for administering the copyright processes for the country.
Library of Congress: The bill provides necessary funding for the Library of Congress, so it may serve as a resource to not only the Senate, but to the American people.
Member Pay: The bill continues a longstanding freeze on members’ pay.
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