Capitol Police, Architect of the Capitol both get boost under proposed budget

Budget would bolster Capitol Police, Members’ Representational Allowances

a man wearing a suit and tie
Steven A. Sund, chief of police of the U.S. Capitol Police, left, says threats to lawmakers have continued to increase. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Posted February 10, 2020 at 7:02pm

President Donald Trump’s budget for fiscal 2021 would boost spending for the Capitol Police, an agency whose leader has said security threats are increasing.

According to the proposal released Monday, the Capitol Police would get a salary boost from $379 million to $417.1 million over the previous year, with overtime not to exceed $50.2 million. The 2020 limit is $47 million. Those salary-related expenses include overtime, hazardous duty pay and employee benefits.

General expenses, meanwhile, would rise from $85.2 million to $103.1 million. This includes police cars, uniforms, weapons and security equipment. Overall, the combined salary and general expenses would make the Capitol Police budget $520.2 million.

The Legislative Branch numbers are typically submitted by Congress for inclusion in the president’s budget.

In prepared testimony before a House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing scheduled for Feb. 11, Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund will say threats have increased substantially. Capitol Police are charged with securing and protecting Congress.

“Since Calendar Year 2017, the number of threats we have investigated has increased by more
than 75 percent,” Sund’s testimony states. “Our special agents are aggressively pursuing all leads and investigating threats from many sources. As a result of their efforts, we have also seen the number of threat cases that we have closed by arrest increase significantly.”

Another pressing issue in the Legislative Branch is a renovation project in Cannon that has the potential to go $100 million over its initial budget.

The entity responsible for the upkeep of buildings on the Capitol complex is the Architect of the Capitol. Under the proposal, the AOC budget would rise from $120 million to $139.2 million. Senate office buildings would get an increase from $88.4 million to $90.9 million, while House office building funding would dip from $153.2 million to $145 million.

House Members’ Representational Allowances would jump from $615 million to $672 million. This is the pot of money used to pay for the expenses associated with a lawmaker’s office, including staffer salaries. Senate officers and employees would get an increase from $216.3 million to $223.6 million.

Other notable Legislative Branch budget proposals:

  • Office of Congressional Workplace Rights would go from $6.3 million to $7.5 million.
  • Library of Congress from $504.1 million up to $544.5 million.
  • Congressional Research Service from $120.4 million to $129.5 million.
  • Government Accountability Office from $630 million to $706.1 million.
  • Government Publishing Office from $79 million down to $78 million.