Indeed, the Senate Appropriations Committee's decision to endorse funding Dome repairs came not at the behest of subcommittee Chairman Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who did not believe there was funding available. Rather, it was secured in the legislation via an amendment offered by full committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The subpanel's ranking member, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), voted in favor of the amendment, saying that while he had hoped to find the savings within the bill itself, he believed funding the project was so necessary that he was willing to increase the bill's overall topline number by the $61 million that the AOC requested.
And while Crenshaw would not relent to pressure from his Democratic counterparts as the House prepared to pass its legislative branch spending bill, he told Roll Call before the August recess that he had always hoped that Congress would find the money for the project sooner rather than later, "whether it was for fiscal 2013 or before we reached fiscal 2014."
Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith would not say how the Speaker planned to proceed in light of Schumer's letter. Smith did say that fixing the Dome does not have to be a partisan issue.
"The Speaker is confident we can work together to fix the Capitol Dome without more political posturing from Senator Schumer," he said.
Correction: Aug. 27, 5:57 p.m.
An earlier version of this article misstated the vote total on the fiscal 2013 legislative branch spending bill. The bill was approved by the committee 22-8, while the amendment on Capitol Dome repairs was approved by a 26-3 vote. The earlier version also incorrectly stated that Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) offered the amendment to include $61 million for funding for the Capitol Dome repairs. It was offered by full committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
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.