The Architect of the Capitol is soliciting bids for a contractor for the second phase of repairs to the aging Dome.
But in the fiscal 2013 appropriations cycle, House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee and in leadership balked at the price tag, saying they recognized the importance of moving forward with the Dome’s restoration but were ultimately unable to justify the expense in the current fiscal environment.
The House-passed legislative branch appropriations bill last year did not include the money, while the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill did.
Advocates for advancing repairs on the Capitol Dome fought for inclusion of the $61 million in the six-month continuing resolution that both parties and chambers agreed would hold at fiscal 2012 levels, save for a few crucial anomalies.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.