Hoeven has been one of Capitol Hill’s biggest champions for giving the Architect of the Capitol the $61 million necessary for the second phase of restoring the Capitol Dome.
In addition to posing safety risks and putting strain on aging iconic buildings, Ayers emphasized that the longer certain projects are postponed, the more expensive they will become, citing the projected decline of various buildings along the Facility Condition Index.
“While several facilities are still trending beyond a ‘good’ condition, we are finding recently assessed facilities rated ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ are getting worse,” Ayers said. “These system renewal projects become more costly the longer they are deferred, and as such, facility conditions will continue to deteriorate.”
The need to fund the second phase of Capitol Dome restoration before that project became too exorbitantly expensive was not lost on the House appropriators who included the authorization in the continuing resolution. That funding measure is set to be considered on the floor this week.
House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Alexander, R-La., and ranking member Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., also suggested Tuesday that they are sensitive generally to the AOC’s narrative about the importance of being proactive in preserving the integrity of the Capitol grounds and structures.
Even in the face of angry constituents at town hall meetings back in members’ districts, Alexander said, “We can’t argue that we’re saving money if it’s going to cost more money later on.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.