Feb. 7, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

House Approves Amendments to Legislative Branch Bill

“We’re moving in that direction,” the California Republican said Thursday. “We’re probably going to follow up with legislation we’ve been preparing to see that it can get done.”

GPO spokesman Gary Somerset said the agency is disappointed with the House’s votes but added that he hopes that when the appropriations process moves to the Senate, the agency will be fully funded.

“We would be less than candid if we did not state our disappointment with the deep spending cuts affecting GPO included in the final bill, including the amendment approved today to further reduce our funding,” he said in a statement. “The skilled and resourceful men and women of the GPO know that like other Federal employees today they are being called on to do more with less, and they will respond to that call.  We hope that the GPO’s final appropriations include the funding levels we will need to continue providing the work Congress requires us to perform.”

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers praised passage of the bill.

“Our constituents asked us to get our fiscal house in order, and we are leading by example with this legislation. We all have to share in the sacrifice during this financial crisis, and this bill shows that we are doing our part to help our nation dig itself out of dangerous, job-killing debt so that we can get our economy back on track,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.

Another unexpected cut was approved in an amendment Friday for the Botanic Garden on a 299-112 vote. The garden was slated to get a $632,780 budget boost for scheduled maintenance to the greenhouse’s temperature controls and other things, but a measure fielded by Republican Reps. Nan Hayworth (N.Y.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) rolled back the increase.

“We have to get back to the creative aspect of how we look at finances,” Gosar said Friday, suggesting private donations or volunteers could help. “Any type of gardeners, they would be happy to give their time. They want to be part of the solution process.”

The House voted down an amendment from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) that would have slashed the Botanic Garden budget by about $3.2 million, bringing the budget back to fiscal 2008 levels.

The House also voted down amendments that would have banned compact fluorescent light bulbs in Member offices, forbade Styrofoam in House cafeterias, defunded the Office of Congressional Ethics by 40 percent and resurrected the long-gone Office of Technology Assessment, which from 1972 to 1995 provided reports on technological analyses of scientific and technological issues.

Other approved amendments would create a $1 million fund within the budget of the Capitol Police to help Members pay for security upgrades to their district offices and restore $1 million in funding to a Library of Congress program to help preserve books and documents.

The bill also included an amendment introduced by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and agreed to by committee chairmen that would prohibit House Members from leasing personal vehicles that cost more than $1,000 per month.

Car leases have already become a campaign issue, with Democrats running ads against Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) for leasing an expensive sport utility vehicle.

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