Legislative Branch Appropriations-Spending-Budget

What’s the state of play on intern pay on Capitol Hill?
Intern compensation funding is up for discussion again

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., says he expects intern compensation funding to continue in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Securing intern compensation funding last year was a huge victory for lawmakers and advocates. Now they just have to figure out how to get the word out and expand the pie. 

As interns descend on Capitol Hill for a summer of public service, more will be paid for their work than ever before. But widespread paid internships are still in their infancy in Congress. This is the first summer that House and Senate offices have dedicated funding available to cut checks.

House Democrats telegraph policy priorities in Capitol Hill funding
Comparison of previous GOP, current Dem spending choices show differences

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attends a news conference with House Democrats on March 12 to introduce the “Dream and Promise Act.” The new majority’s Legislative Branch Appropriations bill would allow Dreamers to get jobs on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Empowered by their control of the House, Democrats are telegraphing their policy priorities in how they plan to spend taxpayer dollars on Capitol Hill, including exploring student debt relief options and employing Dreamers in Congress.

The fiscal 2020 House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill is signaling what types of issues Democrats want to be talking about and working on, both for their constituents back home and right here on Capitol Hill.

Should Congress spend more on itself to avoid deterioration?
Former lawmakers and groups think crisis is brewing if investments not made

Civil society organizations and former lawmakers are calling on appropriators to boost funding for Congress itself to avoid a “crisis.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Civil society groups and former lawmakers are calling on appropriators to boost funding for Congress itself to stem what they call a “significant loss of institutional capacity.”

Ten former lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, joined more than three dozen groups to pen letters to House and Senate appropriators asking that the Legislative Branch slice of the federal funding pie get a bit larger. Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Eva M. Clayton of North Carolina were among the former members to sign the letter, which was led by the advocacy organization Demand Progress. 

Library of Congress Tees Up Strategic Changes
Inspector general says institution has not followed through on previous plans

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said the institution would do a better job planning and executing as a knowledge base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress is looking into the future and is on track to release a five-year strategic plan in October. The agency, which has struggled with management and planning in the past, updated lawmakers on their progress on Wednesday.

The library will embark on a mission to focus on its users and providing improved services for the 1.8 million people who visit the library in person and more than 300 million digital users each year.

Podcast: First House Spending Bills Address #MeToo, Marijuana, Gitmo and More
CQ Budget, Episode 59

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., prepares for final appropriations work before he retires. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Passes Legislative Branch Spending Bill
Partisan vote followed fights over immigration vocabulary, ethics

A motion to allocate funds for the Library of Congress to drop the phrase "illegal aliens" from it's library lexicon was rejected. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Friday passed, 233-175, the $3.5 billion fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch spending bill with substantially less support than the last year's version, as election-year tensions over immigration caused rifts on even the smallest of the annual appropriations bills.  

The amended measure was the first appropriations bill this year to come to the House floor under a structured rule that limited amendments to just 13. This was seen as abandonment of an open amendment process promised by Republican leadership, but structured rules have been typical on Legislative Branch spending in previous years.