GPO Name Change, Dome Restoration in Legislative Branch Funding
Legislative branch spending in the year-end spending bill includes a slight increase from fiscal 2014, allocating $4.3 billion to agencies and instituting a number of policy changes, including changing the name of the Government Printing Office and developing online sexual harassment training for staffers.
Under the bill, the GPO would be re-named the Government Publishing Office “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” GPO spokesman Gary Somerset said Wednesday the office is pleased with the change and hopes Congress will pass the bill. Appropriators also directed the chief administrative officer to develop and offer online sexual harassment training for congressional staff and supervisors.
The legislative branch spending section allocates more than $21 million for the Capitol Dome restoration project. But don’t expect the Capitol Dome to be wrapped in a covering that covers the scaffolding. The bill prohibits funds from being used for a scrim with a photograph of the building facade, such as the kind that covered the U.S. Supreme Court during construction, for any restoration or construction projects.
Nearly $350 million will be allocated to the Capitol Police, an increase of $9.5 million from fiscal 2014, but nearly $8 million below the agency’s request. According to the bill, roughly $286 million will be used for salaries, which will be able to support 1,775 sworn officers and 370 civilian personnel.
The Library of Congress will also receive $591 million from the package, an increase of $11 million 2014 levels.
Notably absent from the legislative branch section is a provision that would have addressed campaign finance disclosures for U.S. Senate candidates. Currently, Senate candidates are required to file paper disclosure forms with the secretary of the Senate, which are then sent to the FEC to be transferred into a PDF and posted online. Massive disclosure reports caused a backlog in FEC postings this year.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told CQ Roll Call last week that the financial disclosure provision was one of the technical issues that leadership asked that the legislative branch subcommittee leave on the table.
Legislative Branch Funding Takes Shape
Legislative Branch Bill Keeps House Spending in Check
Capitol Dome Braces for Next Phase of Restoration
The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.