House passes Legislative Branch spending bill

Capitol Police would receive $603.9 million, an $88.4 million increase over fiscal 2021

The East Front of the U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington on Sunday morning, May 16, 2021.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The East Front of the U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington on Sunday morning, May 16, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted July 28, 2021 at 6:58pm

The House on Wednesday passed 215-207 an amended fiscal 2022 Legislative Branch spending bill that would provide $4.8 billion in funding, including a boost for the embattled Capitol Police department.

The Capitol Police would receive $603.9 million, an $88.4 million or 17 percent increase over the fiscal 2021 funding level of $515.5 million.

A separate, $2.1 billion emergency Capitol security supplemental spending bill — which includes funding for Capitol Police equipment, trauma support, intelligence operations and money to backfill overtime — has yet to be voted on by the Senate. If it becomes law, the emergency bill would deliver money to pay for the extraordinary amount of overtime officers have worked since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Under the fiscal 2022 spending measure, the Architect of the Capitol would get $738.3 million, a substantial increase of $152.8 million over fiscal 2021, a 26 percent rise. Of that, $93 million would be allocated for the Cannon House Office Building renovation project, which has gone significantly over budget. The agency is responsible for preserving and maintaining the buildings, art and gardens on the Capitol complex.

The bill does not include funding for the Senate. That chamber will propose its own funding bill and, once it passes the Senate, the House and Senate will meet in conference and produce a final bill to become law.

Overall, the House's Legislative Branch bill provides $581 million or 14 percent more than the fiscal 2021 amount.

The Congressional Budget Office would receive $60.9 million, an increase of $3.7 million over fiscal 2021; the Government Publishing Office would get $125.6 million, a jump of $8.6 million over the 2021 level; the Government Accountability Office would receive $729.3 million, a rise of $68.1 million over fiscal 2021; the Library of Congress would receive $794.4 million, a boost of $37 million over the current fiscal year; and the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights would get $8 million, up $500,000 from the current fiscal year.

The bill would keep intact a pay freeze for members of Congress. Lawmakers, with the exception of those in top leadership positions, make $174,000 annually and have not received a pay increase since 2009.

The measure would also permit non-citizens who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to work in Congress.

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., proposed an amendment to remove the DACA language that would prevent these immigrants from working in the Legislative Branch. Grothman's amendment and another to cut funding for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion were not adopted on a vote of 243 nays and 180 yeas.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., the first quadriplegic elected to Congress, put forth an amendment that would increase funding by $3.5 million to remove accessibility barriers in the Capitol complex. The White House earlier this week celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Langevin's amendment was agreed by voice vote.

A manager's amendment by Rep. Tim Ryan, chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, was automatically adopted earlier in the day when the chamber adopted the rule for consideration of the measure and two other spending bills.

The manager's amendment directs the Architect of the Capitol to obtain a plaque to honor officers and law enforcement agencies that defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. It would also provide matching plaques to other law enforcement agencies that responded that day.

An amendment by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., that would prohibit the Capitol Police from enforcing a ban on scooters on the Capitol campus was adopted, 220-207, in a bloc of Democratic amendments.