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Committee Reports

104th Congress (1995-1996)

House Report 104-657

House Report 104-657 1 of 1

This Report: To Accompany H.R.3754     Printer Friendly: HTML  |  PDF




{link: 'http://www.congress.gov:80/cgi-bin/cpquery?',title: 'THOMAS - Committee Report - House Report 104-657' }

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 1997

25-649

104TH CONGRESS

Report

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

2d Session

104-657
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 1997

July 8, 1996- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. PACKARD, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following
REPORT
together with
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
[To accompany H.R. 104-3754]

The Committee on Appropriations submits the following report in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for the legislative branch for the fiscal year 1997, and for other purposes.

INDEX TO BILL AND REPORT
Page number
Bill Report
Summary of bill 2
Highlights of bill 4
Structure of bill 7
Legislative branch wide matters 7
Title I--Congressional operations:
House of Representatives 2 9
Joint Items:
Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997 7 16
Joint Economic Committee 7 16
Joint Committee on Printing 8 16
Joint Committee on Taxation 8 16
Office of the Attending Physician 8 17
Capitol Police Board 9 17
Capitol Guide Service and Special Services Office 11 18
Statements of Appropriations 12 18
Office of Compliance 12 18
Congressional Budget Office 12 18
Architect of the Capitol (except Senate and Title II items) 14 19
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress 16 21
Congressional printing and binding, Government Printing Office 17 21
Title II--Other agencies:
Botanic Garden 18 23
Library of Congress (except Congressional Research Service) 18 23
Architect of the Capitol: Library buildings and grounds 26 26
Government Printing Office (except Congressional printing and binding) 27 26
General Accounting Office 29 28
Title III--General provisions 31 29
Inflationary impact statement 30
Comparison with budget resolution 30
Five-year projection of outlays 30
Assistance to State and local governments 30
Transfers of funds 31
Rescissions 31
Appropriations not authorized by law 31
Changes in the application of existing law 31
Compliance with clause 3--rule XIII 34

SUMMARY OF BILL

The bill, as recommended by the Committee, provides appropriations for fiscal year 1997 legislative branch operations which total $1,681,311,000. Of that amount, $1,039,692,000 is for congressional operations and $641,619,000 is for other agencies.

A summary of the recommendations follows:

Fiscal year 1997 Amount
Congressional operations 1 $1,039,692,000
Other agencies 641,619,000
Total 1,681,311,000
1 Excludes Senate items, including those Senate items under the Architect of the Capitol.

Conforming with long practice under which each body of Congress determines its own housekeeping requirements and the other concurs without intervention, funds for the Senate are not included in the bill as reported to the House. Current appropriations estimates for the Senate for fiscal year 1997, including those under the Architect of the Capitol, total $529,270,000.

A comparative summary of the bill by title and agency follows:

SUMMARY OF THE BILL
[Note- Excludes Senate items including those Senate items under Architect of the Capitol.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agency                                                                                                New budget (obligational) authority, fiscal year 1996 Budget estimates of new (obligational) authority, fiscal year 1997 New budget (obligational) authority recommended in bill                                  Bill compared with--                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       New budget (obligational) authority, fiscal year 1996 Budget estimates of new (obligational) authority, fiscal year 1997 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TITLE I--CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
House of Representatives                                                                                                                       $671,061,000                                                       $738,777,000                                            $683,831,000                                           $12,770,000                                                       -$54,946,000 
Joint items                                                                                                                                      84,839,000                                                         99,689,000                                              84,520,000                                              -319,000                                                        -15,169,000 
Office of Technology Assessment                                                                                                                   6,115,000                                                                                                                                                                       -6,115,000                                                                    
Office of Compliance                                                                                                                              2,500,000                                                          3,268,000                                               2,609,000                                               109,000                                                           -659,000 
Congressional Budget Office                                                                                                                      24,288,000                                                         24,775,000                                              24,288,000                                                                                                                 -487,000 
Architect of the Capitol (except Senate and Title II items)                                                                                     101,213,000                                                        100,818,000                                             100,134,000                                            -1,079,000                                                           -684,000 
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress                                                                                              60,084,000                                                         63,056,000                                              62,641,000                                             2,557,000                                                           -415,000 
Congressional printing and binding, Government Printing Office                                                                                   83,770,000                                                         83,770,000                                              81,669,000                                            -2,101,000                                                         -2,101,000 
Total, title I--Congressional operations                                                                                                      1,033,870,000                                                      1,114,153,000                                           1,039,692,000                                             5,822,000                                                        -74,461,000 
TITLE II--OTHER AGENCIES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Botanic Garden                                                                                                                                   $3,053,000                                                         $2,902,000                                              $2,902,000                                             -$151,000                                                                    
Library of Congress (except Congressional Operations)                                                                                           264,616,000                                                        281,593,000                                             268,117,000                                             3,501,000                                                        -13,476,000 
Architect of the Capitol (Library buildings and grounds)                                                                                         12,428,000                                                          9,003,000                                               9,003,000                                            -3,425,000                                                                    
Government Printing Office (except Congressional printing and binding)                                                                           30,307,000                                                         30,827,000                                              29,077,000                                            -1,230,000                                                         -1,750,000 
General Accounting Office                                                                                                                       374,406,000                                                        371,673,000                                             332,520,000                                           -41,886,000                                                        -39,153,000 
Total, title II--Other agencies                                                                                                                 684,810,000                                                        695,998,000                                             641,619,000                                           -43,191,000                                                        -54,379,000 
Grand total, new budget, including transfers (obligational) authority (for items considered by House)                                         1,718,680,000                                                      1,810,151,000                                           1,681,311,000                                           -37,369,000                                                       -128,840,000 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HIGHLIGHTS OF BILL

SUMMARY OF ESTIMATES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Budget estimates.--The budget estimates considered by the Committee total $1,810,151,000. By law, budget requests for the legislative branch are transmitted to the Congress by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the President without change in the amounts submitted by the originating agency. The 1997 proposals appear on pages 385 through 387 of the `Analytical Perspectives' volume, and pages 15 through 43 of the `Appendix' volume of the 1997 Federal Budget (H. Doc. 104-162), and amendments contained in H. Doc. 104-193 and H. Doc. 104-212.

Committee recommendations.--A total of $1,681,311,000 in new budget (obligational) authority is recommended for fiscal year 1997. The recommendation is $128,840,000 less than was transmitted to the Congress, a reduction of 7.1 percent under the budget request. The bill, as reported, is $506,689,000 below the 602(b) allocation established by the Committee on Appropriations pursuant to the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget. The bill does not include Senate items. If the Senate items were included at the level specified in the Committee's 602(b) limits, the bill would be $21,689,000 below the amount allocated for the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act.

Staffing.--For the past several years, the Committee has generally denied funding for net staffing increases throughout the legislative branch, or provided only those positions with very high priority. A 4% full-time equivalent (FTE) job reduction was enacted in the fiscal year 1993 appropriations act for the legislative branch. Since that time, the agencies of the legislative branch have eliminated 4,768 FTE positions. In this bill, funding for an additional 726 FTE's are being eliminated from legislative agency rolls. Based on information supplied by the agencies and base employment data verified by the General Accounting Office, the overall FTE reduction during the 1992-1997 time frame is projected to total about 18.6% of the 1992 FTE job base, or almost 5,500 full time jobs. The fiscal year 1996 and 1997 reductions will cumulate to 1,753 FTE's, which is a 6.8% reduction over the two-year period.

Comparison with fiscal year 1996 appropriations.--Compared with the appropriations enacted for fiscal year 1996, $1,718,680,000, the recommendation of $1,681,311,000 for fiscal year 1997 is a reduction of $37,369,000. Legislative agencies will continue to economize and rightsize under the 1997 appropriations bill. Some activities will continue to be restricted, others are undergoing increased outsourcing, and still other programs are being made more cost effective through the use of automation and increasing use of electronic document formats and telecommunication technologies. The concept of a CyberCongress is becoming more of a reality as these technologies are introduced.

Areas of major change.--The recommended amount for fiscal year 1997 is a net decrease of $37,369,000 below the level appropriated for fiscal year 1996. This decrease has several components. The sum of $40,428,000 has been added over the amounts provided for fiscal year 1996, in order to pay for mandatory and pay related costs. Another component is `estimated savings' which results in a decrease of $7,764,000 below the amounts appropriated for fiscal year 1996 since some agencies are not expending the amounts provided in fiscal year 1996 for staff salaries and other compensation, primarily because they are leaving positions unfilled. These funds have been removed from the base amounts in the budgets of these agencies because they are not being utilized for the purposes appropriated. To meet the increased costs of inflation necessary to maintain the current level of services requires $6,297,000. These costs primarily reflect year-to-year price changes for the same amount of services consumed. There will be a net decrease of $76,330,000 for programs, of which $950,000 is due to legislation for the 1997 inaugural. Also included in the program decrease is a reduction in workload of $70,571,000 and a decrease of $6,709,000 for equipment, alterations and repairs. Many of these workload and equipment decreases have been achieved through productivity enhancements.

A summary of the areas of majors changes recommended by general category follows:

AREAS OF MAJOR CHANGE--COMMITTEE BILL VERSUS FISCAL YEAR 1996 ENACTED
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Item                                            Mandatory pay & related costs Estimated savings FY 1996 pay & related costs Price level changes Program type changes              Equip., altr., maintenance, repairs, etc. Total changes 
                                                                                                                                                         Legislation     Workload                                                         
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TITLE I--CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                         
House of Representatives                                          $14,122,000                                                        $2,772,000                      ($5,580,000)                                $1,456,000   $12,770,000 
Joint Items:                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997                                                                                                              950,000                                                              950,000 
Joint Economic Committee                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Joint Committee on Printing                                            27,000                                                                                                                                                      27,000 
Joint Committee on Taxation                                           354,000                                                                                                                                                     354,000 
Office of the Attending Physician                                      17,000                                                             2,000                          (43,000)                                  (11,000)      (35,000) 
Capitol Police Board                                                1,715,000                                   (3,876,000)                                               546,000                                             (1,615,000) 
Capitol Guide and Special Services Office                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Statements of Appropriations                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Total, joint items                                                  2,113,000                                   (3,876,000)               2,000              950,000      503,000                                  (11,000)     (319,000) 
Office of Compliance                                                   89,000                                                            25,000                           (5,000)                                                 109,000 
Office of Technology Assessment                                                                                                                                       (6,115,000)                                             (6,115,000) 
Congressional Budget Office                                           705,000                                                                                           (705,000)                                                         
AOC (except Senate & Title II items)                                2,120,000                                                           555,000                       (3,696,000)                                  (58,000)   (1,079,000) 
Congressional Research Service                                      2,562,000                                                                                             (5,000)                                               2,557,000 
Congressional printing & binding, GPO                                                                                                 1,889,000                       (3,990,000)                                             (2,101,000) 
TITLE II--OTHER AGENCIES                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Botanic Garden                                                         86,000                                                                                           (237,000)                                               (151,000) 
Library of Congress (except CRS)                                    7,621,000                                   (3,888,000)             303,000                         (232,000)                                 (303,000)     3,501,000 
AOC, Library bldg & grounds                                           199,000                                                                                           (624,000)                               (3,000,000)   (3,425,000) 
Government Printing Office (except CP&B)                              314,000                                                           751,000                       (2,177,000)                                 (118,000)   (1,230,000) 
General Accounting Office                                          10,497,000                                                                                        (47,708,000)                               (4,675,000)  (41,886,000) 
Total                                                              40,428,000                                   (7,764,000)           6,297,000              950,000 (70,571,000)                               (6,709,000)  (37,369,000) 
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STRUCTURE OF THE BILL

The bill is divided into three titles:

TITLE I--CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS

Title I--Congressional Operations contains the appropriations for the actual operation of the Congress. Traditionally, Congressional operations has included the House of Representatives (Senate items will be added by that body), joint items, the Office of Compliance, the Congressional Budget Office, the Architect of the Capitol (except Senate office buildings and Library of Congress buildings and grounds), the Congressional Research Service, and the Congressional printing and binding portion of the Government Printing Office.

TITLE II--OTHER AGENCIES

Title II--Other Agencies contains the budget for several activities which do not provide primary support to the Congress. For instance, the activities of the Library of Congress, except the Congressional Research Service, are carried in this title. This includes such Library activities as the program to provide books for the blind and physically handicapped, the operation of the Copyright Office (including copyright royalty regulation) and Library services to the public and to the government of the United States. The non-Congressional operations of the Government Printing Office are contained in title II, such as the depository library program, which acquires or prints federal publications for distribution to the libraries, and sales of government publications to the general public. Also, although much of the workload of the General Accounting Office is in direct support of the Congress, including work mandated by statute or requested by committees and Members of Congress, the balance of that agency's workload involves its more general legislative requirements. The nature of that work is directed toward the improvement of the operation of the Federal government through review and evaluation of programs and the prevention of fraud and waste, as well as accounting and financial management improvements. The GAO budget, therefore, is carried in title II of the bill. The Botanic Garden rounds out the items included in title II.

TITLE III--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Title III contains general provisions.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH WIDE MATTERS

The Committee bill continues to stress the use of cost-effective electronic format and telecommunications technologies. The agencies of the Legislative Branch are striving toward a CyberCongress mode whereby information can be shared more easily among the agencies and with the public at large. It has been estimated that the accompanying legislative branch appropriations bill contains over $211 million for computer, telecommunications, and other information processing operations and investments. These resources, amounting to about 12.5% of the entire amount appropriated, include the investments necessary to maintain an effective legislative process during times of continued budget restraint while, at the same time, continuing to develop capabilities that will facilitate information exchange among agencies and the public.

This is not a small undertaking. In the House of Representatives, funds are provided to equip Member, committee, and staff offices with up-to-date computing and communications capabilities to facilitate information processing within and between Congressional offices, including district office locations. The THOMAS system at the Library of Congress has made tremendous progress in making Congressional information products available to both Congress and the general public through Internet. The Library of Congress continues to develop the technology for a digital library. The Government Printing Office continues to upgrade their own electronic data base, ACCESS, which also provides a great deal of legislative information in direct access, on line format. The Superintendent of Documents is pursuing a program to transition the Federal Depository Library program to electronic format within a reasonable period of time. In addition, the General Accounting Office has virtually completed a `shared resources' project which facilitates audit and program evaluation work done in the field by that agency. The Congressional Research Service and Copyright Office are investing in optical storage systems and other advanced technologies, and the Architect of the Capitol continues to maintain the basic telecommunications infrastructure `CAPNET', which provides the communications pathway for legislative agencies to share this data with each other.

These are only a few examples of the inexorable movement toward CyberCongress. All of these and other related efforts are funded in this appropriations bill. Much of the savings made necessary due to the constraints on funding of legislative activities are only possible because of the continued investments made in information processing technology. This bill maintains the commitment to going forward with the infrastructure necessary to utilize modern telecommunications capabilities.

In a related matter, the Committee on House Oversight and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration have begun a process to develop a common information dissemination system. The Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate have been called upon to coordinate the project with the oversight of those Committees and to ultimately propose the standards for a legislative branch wide information system to the Committees for approval.

An open exchange of technology, projects, plans and developments are crucial to the success of a legislative branch wide information system. It is expected, therefore, that the following organizations will be relied upon to participate and assist in all the efforts of the Clerk and the Secretary: the Library of Congress, the Government Printing Office, House Information Resources, the Senate Computer Center, the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Architect of the Capitol.

Section 209 of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1996, directed the Library of Congress to develop a plan and supporting analyses for this system. In so doing, the Library identified the major programs under development in various parts of the legislative branch as well as a significant amount of duplication. The process begun by the oversight committees will enable the strengths of each program to be recognized and integrated into a system that will benefit Congress as a whole.

The agencies, offices, and joint items included within the bill are reminded that budget justifications are due to the Committee by mid-December.

TITLE I--CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS

The Committee bill recommends a total of $1,039,692,000 for fiscal year 1997 for those activities in direct support of the operations of the Congress (exclusive of the Senate) which is an increase of $5,822,000 above the fiscal year 1996 level. Budget estimates considered by the Committee total $1,114,153,000 which have been reduced by $74,461,000.

A summary of the recommendations follows:

Title I--Congressional Operations
Item Amount
House of Representatives $683,831,000
Joint items 84,520,000
Office of Compliance 2,609,000
Congressional Budget Office 24,288,000
Architect of the Capitol (except Senate and Title II items) 100,134,000
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress 62,641,000
Congressional printing and binding, Government Printing Office 81,669,000
Total 1,039,692,000

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The Committee recommends a total of $683,831,000 for the operation of the House of Representatives during fiscal year 1997. The allowance is $54,946,000 below the appropriations requested, and $12,770,000 above the amount appropriated for the current fiscal year.

The following tabulation summarizes the recommendations:

House of Representatives
Item Amount
Salaries and expenses:
House leadership offices $11,592,000
Members' representational allowances 363,313,000
Committee salaries and expenses 97,802,000
Salaries, officers and employees 86,259,000
Allowances and expenses 124,865,000
Total, Salaries and Expenses 683,831,000
Total, House of Representatives 683,831,000

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $671,061,000
1997 budget estimate 738,777,000
Committee recommendation 683,831,000

The appropriation for the operations of the House of Representatives is the salaries and expenses appropriation. The account includes the following House activities: House leadership offices; Members' representational allowances; committee salaries and expenses; salaries, officers and employees; allowances and expenses; and the day care center. The amount provided is $683,831,000, and includes a prospective cost-of-living adjustment for staff salaries (estimated at 2.3% for all Federal employees in the President's budget), the normal merit increases, and a continuation of the investments being made in computing resources and telecommunications, i.e., the CyberCongress initiative.

HOUSE LEADERSHIP OFFICES

1996 appropriation $11,271,000
1997 budget estimate 11,889,000
Committee recommendation 11,592,000

The Committee recommends a total of $11,592,000 for the operations of the leadership offices during fiscal year 1997.

At the beginning of the 104th Congress, there was need to establish transition teams and procedures due to the switch in majority and minority leadership. These teams encountered expenses for temporary staff to plan and organize transition activities, the necessary supplies, equipment, and materials, and other related expenses. No additional funds were provided for these activities and had to be absorbed from leadership allowances which were not supplemented for these additional, unplanned expenditures. In the event of future transitions, the bipartisan leadership has suggested that provision be made for accommodating these necessary expenses. The Committee believes, therefore, that a modest reprogramming of House funds, if they are identified by the Chief Administrative Officer as savings, may be requested on a parity basis by the Speaker and Minority Leader for such purposes. The time period allotted for such funded activities is unpredictable, but should be expected not to extend beyond the beginning of the Congress in which the transition occurs. All expenditures from such reprogrammed funds will be vouchered and approved in the customary manner.

The allocation by office follows:

House leadership offices
Item Amount
Office of the Speaker $1,535,000
Office of the Majority Floor Leader 1,526,000
Office of the Minority Floor Leader 1,534,000
Office of the Majority Whip 957,000
Office of the Minority Whip 949,000
Speaker's Office for Legislative Floor Activities 376,000
House Republican Conference 1,130,000
Republican Steering Committee 664,000
Nine Minority Employees 1,127,000
House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee 1,191,000
House Democratic Caucus 603,000
Total 11,592,000

MEMBERS' REPRESENTATIONAL ALLOWANCES

1996 appropriation $360,503,000
1997 budget estimate 398,898,000
Committee recommendation 363,313,000

A total of $363,313,000 is recommended for the representational allowances of the Members of the House. In recommending this amount, the Committee was provided with estimates of $253,683,000 for clerk hire salaries, $88,933,000 for office expenses, and $20,697,000 for official mail. It should be pointed out that each Member has an overall consolidated allowance established by the Committee on House Oversight from which staff salaries, office expenses, and mail costs are drawn.

Many Members do not expend their full allowance. That is why the Committee bill does not fully fund this account. The frugality of those Members is already projected in the bill presented by the Committee. Since these prospective savings are already taken in the bill, they reduce the need for appropriated funds and, therefore, contribute directly to the reduction in federal spending and consequently lower the projected deficit. If the Committee bill were to fully fund the Members' Representational Allowance, the amount appropriated would have to be increased by $27 million. Thus, the account is underfunded by almost 7%.

The provision that prevents sending unsolicited mass mailings within 90 days of an election has been made permanent in the bill. It should be pointed out that, on May 23, 1996, the Committee on House Oversight unanimously adopted the following resolution:

Resolved, That the following regulation relating to unsolicited Mass Communications is hereby adopted:

Effective August 7, 1996, with respect to elections occurring on or after November 5, 1996, expenditures from the MRA for unsolicited mass communications are prohibited if such communication occurs fewer than 90 days immediately before the date of any primary election or general election (whether regular, special, or runoff) in which the Member or Member-elect is a candidate for any other public office. `Unsolicited mass communication' is defined, consistent with Franking Regulations, as any unsolicited communication of substantially identical content to 500 or more persons in a session of Congress. The 90-day cutoff applies to every Member whose name is to appear on an official ballot for election or re-election to public office.

Mediums for unsolicited mass communications to which this restriction applies include, but are not limited to, the following:

This restriction does not apply to communications which are not unsolicited mass communications including the following:

Resolved further, That the Chairman of the Committee, in consultation with the Ranking Minority Member, is authorized to direct changes in this regulation as necessary, and shall report all such changes to the Committee.

COMMITTEE EMPLOYEES

1996 appropriation $95,574,000
1997 budget estimate 98,954,000
Committee recommendation 97,802,000

In the 1996 appropriations bill, the Committee employees account was consolidated from several component accounts. The staff of the Committees of the House were reduced by 33% at the beginning of the 104th Congress. The funding in this bill reflects those reductions and provides $97,802,000 for the salaries and expenses of the 19 standing committees and one permanent select committee of the House, as follows:

Standing Committees, special and select- For the salaries and expenses of committees funded in the biennial funding resolution, $80,222,000 is provided.

Committee on Appropriations- For the salaries and expenses of the Committee on Appropriations (including the studies and investigation activities authorized by section 202(b) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946), $17,580,000 is provided.

Details of the funding resolution approved by the House for the 104th Congress, second session, follow:

Committee: Amount authorized
Agriculture $3,540,751
Banking and Financial Services 4,483,475
Budget 4,972,000
Commerce 7,023,596
Economic and Educational Opportunities 4,844,343
Government Reform and Oversight 6,943,668
House Oversight 3,084,688
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 2,293,680
International Relations 5,074,621
Judiciary 4,976,003
National Security 4,840,609
Resources 4,792,983
Rules 2,234,250
Science 4,420,172
Small Business 1,928,290
Standards of Official Conduct 971,700
Transportation and Infrastructure 5,492,810
Veterans' Affairs 2,196,105
Ways and Means 5,302,618
Total $79,416,362

SALARIES, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

1996 appropriation $83,452,000
1997 budget estimate 102,515,000
Committee recommendation 86,259,000

The Committee recommendation for the salaries and expenses of House officers and employees of the various activities funded through this consolidated item totals $86,259,000. This amount represents an overall decrease of $16,256,000 below the budget request and $2,807,000 above the amount enacted in fiscal year 1996. Cost of living and merit adjustment funds are provided, as are projected overtime costs.

The Committee has provided resources to the Clerk for a newly established Office of House Employment Counsel, and has transferred to the Clerk three technicians who control the audio amplification in the House chamber. Vacant garage attendant positions have not been funded in the budget of the Sergeant at Arms. The Chief Administrative Officer's budget has been set at $55,209,000, including $16,577,000 for the net operating costs of House Information Resources (HIR). In addition, HIR is authorized to expend $6,000,000 in reimbursements. With respect to HIR telecommunications projects, the Committee has provided $8,253,000. These funds include all high priority items. Items reduced or not funded in the telecommunications budget request include: district networking (-$320,000), flagship data (-$2,533,200), wiring infrastructure (-$500,000), telephone replacement (-$3,000,000), campus data networking (-$1,000,000), and equipment maintenance (-$200,000). All other telecommunication items are funded. The Committee understands that the Committee on House Oversight will have final approval authority on these purchases and that Committee may wish to rearrange the purchase priorities for these items. It is possible that some of the items not funded may be acquired through reprogramming savings, if they can be found. The Committee will be willing to consider such reprogrammings. The Office of the Inspector General has been provided one more FTE, out of base level funding.

The Clerk of the House is encouraged to continue with efforts to implement various print on demand capabilities related to legislative documents, subject to appropriate approvals. In particular, the Clerk should establish, in consultation with the Committee on House Oversight and the Joint Committee on Printing, a formal system in accordance with Title 44, United States Code, to expand print on demand use in the House Document Room. The Clerk should prepare a report for submission to the Committee on House Oversight outlining the various print on demand goals, a timetable for their implementation, and a projection of the benefits, costs, and cost reductions associated with each.

The Clerk has indicated there has been a nearly 80 percent reduction in requested document reprints from the Government Printing Office for use in the House Document Room. The Committee supports this cost saving effort and encourages the Clerk, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Printing, to continue these efforts to minimize reprinting where feasible.

The Clerk is also directed, in consultation with the Secretary of the Senate, the Joint Committee on Printing, and the Government Printing Office, to study and determine alternatives to the current procedures being used for creating, formatting and transmitting Committee and other House documents in preparation for printing. As the Congress moves toward modernization of technology and print-on-demand capability, alternatives to continued reliance upon GPO details should be evaluated. It may be that in-house expertise and technology can be used more cost-effectively. The Clerk will be expected, after due consultation as noted above, to present recommendations in the next appropriations cycle. Funds for this effort, which should not exceed $100,000, may be derived from savings in the Clerk's budget, or elsewhere in the `salaries, officers and employees' line item. If necessary, the Committee will consider a reprogramming of funds presented in the customary manner. Moreover, it is expected that the same staff resources can expedite posting of committee legislative information on the THOMAS system.

The Clerk has also indicated that various steps are being taken to establish common standard generalized markup language (SGML) definitions for the creation of legislative documents in electronic format. This is consistent with actions being taken throughout the Legislative Branch. The Clerk should seek guidance from the Committee on House Oversight, the Joint Committee on Printing, Government Printing Office, House Information Resources, the Secretary of the Senate, private industry, and other interested parties, in establishing standards that are based upon past and ongoing GPO, HIR, and Senate efforts. The overarching objective should be the development of standards and systems that will be of common use by the Clerk and other interested Legislative Branch entities.

The administrative staff officers of the House (the Clerk of the House, Sergeant at Arms, Chief Administrative Officer, and the Inspector General) are reminded that funding levels are provided on the basis of a certain number of full time equivalent positions. If additional FTE's are authorized during the fiscal year, the officers should determine the source of the additional personnel funding, including the need for a reprogramming of funds, and advise the Committee accordingly. This is the current procedure and is designed to inform the Committee on Appropriations of the potential impact on future year funding needs.

In the event the summer intern program is reinstituted during fiscal year 1997, the Committee will consider a reprogramming of the necessary funds out of savings.

Salaries, officers and employees
Item Amount
Office of the Clerk $15,074,000
Office of the Sergeant at Arms 3,638,000
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer 55,209,000
Office of Inspector General 3,954,000
Office of the Chaplain 126,000
Office of the Parliamentarian 1,036,000
Parliamentarian (713,000)
Compilation of Precedents (323,000)
Office of the Law Revision Counsel 1,767,000
Office of the Legislative Counsel 4,687,000
Other authorized employees 768,000
Total 86,259,000

House of Representatives Child Care Center- The bill provides authority for the House day care center budget, as required by Sec. 312(d)(1) of Public Law 102-90, as presented to the Committee by the Chief Administrative Officer. It should be noted that day care center operations are funded by tuition and other center-generated revenues.

ALLOWANCES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $120,261,000
1997 budget estimate 126,521,000
Committee recommendation 124,865,000

A total of $124,865,000 is recommended for fiscal year 1997 for allowances and expenses. This amount is $1,656,000 below the budget request and $4,604,000 above the current level. These funds include supplies, materials, administrative costs, and Federal tort claims; the costs of official mail for the Committees, leadership, and administrative offices; reemployed annuitants; employee benefits; and miscellaneous items. Over 96% of these funds is for the employer share of retirement, health care, and unemployment compensation payments for House employees.

The following table sets forth the various expense categories within this appropriation:

ALLOWANCES AND EXPENSES

Detail Recommended 1997
Supplies, materials, administrative costs and Federal tort claims $2,374,000
Official mail 1,000,000
Reemployed annuitants reimbursement 71,000
Government contributions 120,779,000
Miscellaneous items:
House automobiles 86,000
Gratuities to beneficiaries of deceased staff 500,000
Interparliamentary receptions 55,000
Subtotal miscellaneous items 641,000
Total, allowances and expenses 124,865,000

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Section 101 makes permanent a provision included in the 1996 bill which allows the receipts from House vending machines to be used to replenish inventories. Section 102 makes permanent a provision enacted in the 1996 bill regarding a ban on unsolicited mass mailings sent within 90 days of an election.

JOINT ITEMS

The Committee recommends appropriations totaling $84,520,000 for fiscal year 1997 for the various joint committees and activities carried under this heading. The recommendation is $15,169,000 under the amounts requested for fiscal year 1997 and a reduction of $319,000 under the amounts appropriated in fiscal year 1996.

The following summarizes the recommendations:

Joint Items
Item Amount
Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997 $950,000
Joint Economic Committee 3,000,000
Joint Committee on Printing 777,000
Joint Committee on Taxation 5,470,000
Office of the Attending Physician 1,225,000
Capitol Police Board 71,077,000
Capitol Guide Service and Special Services Office 1,991,000
Statements of appropriations 30,000
Total 84,520,000

JOINT COMMITTEE ON INAUGURAL CEREMONIES OF 1997

1996 appropriation ...........................
1997 budget estimate $950,000
Committee recommendation 950,000

The bill contains $950,000 for the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997.

JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

1996 appropriation $3,000,000
1997 budget estimate 3,000,000
Committee recommendation 3,000,000

The Committee has provided $3,000,000 for the Joint Economic Committee.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING

1996 appropriation $750,000
1997 budget estimate 777,000
Committee recommendation 777,000

The bill provides $777,000 for the operations of the Joint Committee on Printing.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION

1996 appropriation $5,116,000
1997 budget estimate 7,716,000
Committee recommendation 5,470,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $5,470,000 for the Joint Committee on Taxation, an increase of $354,000 over the current level. Employee benefits will continue to be paid by the House of Representatives.

OFFICE OF THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN

1996 appropriation $1,260,000
1997 budget estimate 1,225,000
Committee recommendation 1,225,000

The Committee has approved $1,225,000 for medical supplies, equipment, expenses, and allowances of Navy personnel detailed to the Office of the Attending Physician.

CAPITOL POLICE BOARD

1996 appropriation $72,692,000
1997 budget estimate 84,000,000
Committee recommendation 71,077,000

The recommendations in the bill provide a total of $71,077,000 for the expenses and personnel authorized for police services throughout the Capitol buildings and grounds during fiscal year 1997.

The following tabulates the number of FTE positions and the funding provided:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Items                                             Authorized FTE's        Amount 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Salary expenses, Capitol Police on House Payroll             1 595   $32,927,000 
Salary expenses, Capitol Police on Senate Payroll            2 640    35,465,000 
Subtotal                                                     1,235  3 68,392,000 
General expenses                                                       2,685,000 
Grand total, all police services                                      71,077,000 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAPITOL POLICE

SALARIES

1996 appropriation $70,132,000
1997 budget estimate 76,394,000
Committee recommendation 68,392,000

The Committee recommends $68,392,000 for 1,235 full time equivalent positions for the Capitol Police, of which $32,927,000 and 595 FTE's are for the House rolls and $35,465,000 and 640 FTE's are for the Senate rolls. These amounts include $4,000,000 for overtime, equally divided between House and Senate details. Overtime funding has been increased by 100% over 1996. The provision for overtime has increased from $1.5 million a few years ago; the amount provided represents a 166% increase over that level. Unquestionably, the enactment of the Congressional Accountability Act has necessitated a potential increase in overtime expenditures. This should signal more stringent overtime management by police supervisory personnel in order to conserve limited resources. Six security maintenance personnel have been transferred from the Architect of the Capitol, completing a function transfer that began last year. The salary costs funded in the bill reflect the current level of FTE's maintained including the recent class of recruits that was sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Careful management of personnel attrition will free up the additional FTE's necessary to absorb the next recruit class.

Also, $1.4 million of these funds are fenced pending approval by the appropriate authorities of COLA and comparability salary adjustments. -

CAPITOL POLICE

GENERAL EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $2,560,000
1997 budget estimate 7,606,000
Committee recommendation 2,685,000

The sum of $2,685,000 is recommended for supplies, materials, equipment, training and other expenses of the Capitol Police force during the next fiscal year. Regarding the funds requested for security improvements, which have not been included, the Capitol Police Board may request use of the special fund already available for security enhancements. Priority will be given to those uses which will enable reductions in overtime or the number of staffed posts.

CAPITOL GUIDE SERVICE AND SPECIAL SERVICES OFFICE

1996 appropriation $1,991,000
1997 budget estimate 1,991,000
Committee recommendation 1,991,000

The Committee bill provides $1,991,000 for the operation of the Capitol Guide Service and Special Services Office during the next fiscal year.

STATEMENTS OF APPROPRIATIONS

1996 appropriation $30,000
1997 budget estimate 30,000
Committee recommendation 30,000

The sum of $30,000 is included in the bill for the preparation of the usual compilation of the statements of appropriations for the 2nd session of the 104th Congress. This publication is compiled jointly by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.

OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $2,500,000
1997 budget estimate 3,268,000
Committee recommendation 2,609,000

The bill provides $2,609,000 for the Office of Compliance, including one additional staff counsel position for the Board. A provision has also been included which appropriates funds for awards and settlements.

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $24,288,000
1997 budget estimate 24,775,000
Committee recommendation 24,288,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $24,288,000 for the Congressional Budget Office and has removed the staffing limitation, which in the future will be handled administratively between CBO and the Committee. Also, provisions have been included making permanent the authority previously included in the Legislative bill regarding property procurement and disposal. A new provision authorizes lump sum payments for terminated employees.

ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

(CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT ITEMS ONLY)

1996 appropriation $101,213,000
1997 budget estimate 100,818,000
Committee recommendation 100,134,000

The Committee recommends a total of $100,134,000 for fiscal year 1997 for the various operational and maintenance activities under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) that are directly related to the operation of the Congress. Excluded are Senate housekeeping items which are traditionally left for consideration by that body, as well as the appropriations for the Botanic Garden and the structural and mechanical care of the Library of Congress buildings and grounds that are contained in title II of the bill. This amount is $684,000 below the amount requested, and $1,079,000 below the fiscal year 1996 appropriation. A requested 5% FTE base cut has been approved, and will be achieved through attrition.

The Acting Architect of the Capitol is commended for developing a plan for reorganizing this operation. The Committee expects this plan to be carefully evaluated at such time as the appointment process for selecting the permanent Architect of the Capitol is completed. Also, the Office of the Architect is directed to consult with the General Accounting Office and the Library of Congress regarding an improved financial management system. The goal is to participate in an effort to converge on one overall, standard financial accounting and management system that can serve the entire legislative branch.

A summary of the appropriations recommended follows:

Architect of the Capitol (Excluding Senate and Title II Items)
Item Amount
Office of the Architect of the Capitol:
Salaries $8,454,000
Contingent expenses 100,000
Capitol buildings and grounds:
Capitol buildings 23,255,000
Capitol grounds 5,020,000
House office buildings 32,556,000
Capitol Power Plant 30,749,000
Total 100,134,000

OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

Salaries- A total of $8,454,000 is recommended for the Architect's office in the coming year. Six security system maintenance personnel have been transferred to the Capitol Police rolls.

Contingent expenses- The sum of $100,000 is provided to cover the costs of surveys and studies and to meet unforeseen expenses.

CAPITOL BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

Capitol buildings- A total of $23,255,000 is recommended for the operation and maintenance of the Capitol building and the electrical substations of the Senate and House office buildings during fiscal year 1997. A reduction has been made for the three sound technicians transferred to the Clerk of the House. For lightning protection of the Capitol building, $200,000 is provided.

The Architect is directed to study, with assistance from the Chief Administrative Officer and the Clerk of the House, the feasibility and associated costs of an audio broadcast capability for House Floor proceedings. All options, including private sector alternatives, should be considered. The Architect should report back to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on House Oversight in this regard not later than December 31, 1996.

The Architect is directed to undertake, in consultation with and with assistance from the Chief Administrative Officer and the Clerk of the House, the design for a modern audio system for the chamber of the House of Representatives. The resultant design will be subject to approval by the Committee on House Oversight. The design phase should be completed in time for consideration during the fiscal year 1998 funding cycle.

Capitol grounds- The appropriation of $5,020,000 is recommended for the care and improvement of the grounds surrounding the Capitol, the Senate and House office buildings, and the Capitol power plant during the ensuing fiscal year. This is the amount requested and $123,000 below the amount enacted in fiscal year 1996.

House office buildings- The sum of $32,556,000 is recommended for the operation of the House office buildings during the next fiscal year. The amount provided reflects the anticipated outsourcing of custodial services at the Ford House Office Building. All displaced employees will be absorbed in available vacant positions. The Architect of the Capitol is directed to conduct a study, with assistance from outside experts, of the O'Neill House Office Building. The study should focus on the need to improve the building's structural integrity, its optimum use as an office building or other appropriate application, and the alternatives that the House Office Building Commission may want to consider in deciding the long-term plan for the use of the building.

Capitol Power Plant- The Committee recommends the appropriation of $30,749,000 for the power plant for fiscal year 1997, in addition to offsetting collections of $4,000,000. Upon completion of the ongoing study of the prospects for privatizing or other cost effective alternatives for the operation of the power plant, the report should be presented to the appropriate House and Senate authorities for review. It will be expected that the Architect of the Capitol, when the selection process is completed, will make appropriate recommendations.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

1996 appropriation $60,084,000
1997 budget estimate 63,056,000
Committee recommendation 62,641,000

Salaries and expenses- The Committee recommends $62,641,000 for fiscal year 1997 for the salaries and expenses of the Congressional Research Service. This amount provides for the level of FTE staffing projected through the end of the current fiscal year, including mandatory salary adjustments, merit increases, ingrades and reallocations during fiscal year 1997.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

CONGRESSIONAL PRINTING AND BINDING

1996 appropriation $83,770,000
1997 budget estimate 83,770,000
Committee recommendation 81,669,000

The Committee has included $81,669,000 for printing and binding of congressional documents at the Government Printing Office for use by Congress and by-law programs. The amount provided reflects a savings of $1,050,000 by converting the permanent, bound Congressional Record to a CD-ROM format. The daily Congressional Record will continue to be distributed in the formats preferred by the recipients, i.e., paper or microfiche, and is also available electronically via the widely-accessible Internet distribution network through the THOMAS system and the GPO ACCESS network. The permanent, paper-based bound Record, which is delayed in production by 8 years at the present time, is a perfect candidate for electronic format. Each set costs almost $12,000 to print and bind, and is made available in limited quantities. CD-ROM's can be provided at a fraction of this cost and will be very flexible research tools in library or office settings, where the bound paper sets are normally utilized. The bill provides $100,000 for a more limited number of printed, permanent Records which can be produced from the less expensive CD-ROM format data base setup. These copies can be distributed at the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing. For those offices and institutions that cannot do without paper copies, CD-ROM's can be printed by commercial printing establisments at a much smaller cost than current charges against the Congressional printing and binding appropriation.

The Committee has been informed that the conversion to CD-ROM will expedite the availability of the permanent version of the Congressional Record by several years, thereby making it available much sooner than the current 8-year delay. The GPO is directed to develop a plan that will minimize the time necessary to distribute this record of House and Senate debate. The plan should include the objectives and a time line for achieving the time savings. Also, the GPO, in consultation with the Library of Congress, should plan to make the CD-ROM version of the permanent Record available on Internet to the broadest possible audience.

Both plans should be presented in the fiscal year 1998 budget submission.

A general reduction of $1,051,000 has also been taken. The GPO, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Printing, should review those materials which are non-legislative in nature now being charged against this appropriation and determine the extent to which House or Senate can provide direct reimbursement or reduce the need for such material.

A comparative summary of the recommendation by category of work follows:

CONGRESSIONAL PRINTING AND BINDING
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Appropriation 1996 Requested 1997 Recommended 1997 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Congressional Record program                  $21,833,000    $18,504,000                  
Other Electronic products                         809,000        716,000                  
Miscellaneous publications                      5,428,000      6,240,000                  
Miscellaneous printing and binding             15,600,000     15,826,000                  
Details to Congress                             2,800,000      3,042,000                  
Document envelopes and document franks          1,394,000      1,428,000                  
Business and committee calendars                2,368,000      1,748,000                  
Bills, resolutions, and amendments              9,506,000     11,110,000                  
Committee reports                               4,048,000      3,510,000                  
Documents                                       2,528,000      2,349,000                  
Hearings                                       15,776,000     16,632,000                  
Committee prints                                1,680,000      2,665,000                  
Total                                          83,770,000     83,770,000       81,669,000 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TITLE II--OTHER AGENCIES

A total of $641,619,000 is recommended for the five agencies carried in this title of the bill. This allowance is $54,379,000 less than requested and $43,191,000 below the amount appropriated in the fiscal year 1996 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act.

A summary of the amounts recommended by agency follows:

TITLE II--OTHER AGENCIES

Fiscal year 1997
Agency recommendations
Botanic Garden (including Conservatory renovation) $2,902,000
Library of Congress (except Congressional Research Service) 268,117,000
Architect of the Capitol: Library buildings and grounds 9, 003,000
Government Printing Office (except Congressional Printing and Binding) 29,077,000
General Accounting Office (net appropriation) 332,520,000
Total 641,619,000

BOTANIC GARDEN

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $3,053,000
1997 budget estimate 2,902,000
Committee recommendation 2,902,000

The amount recommended for the Botanic Garden is $2,902,000, the amount requested.

The question of the proper organizational location of the Botanic Garden remains open. Clearly, this program, while much admired and of high interest to visitors to the Capitol complex, is not a function which is integral to the legislative process. It may conceivably benefit the Botanic Garden program if it were organizationally integrated with a more appropriate institution. Such institutions will have a much better experience base, including private fund raising capabilities, upon which to undertake the very extensive renovations needed at the Conservatory. For example, the National Arboretum and the Smithsonian have similar, in some cases duplicative, missions and programs. There may be other non-profit, institutional privatization possibilities. Perhaps none of these possibilities may turn out to be feasible, but a thorough examination of the alternatives should be made. The Architect of the Capitol, when the confirmation and appointment to that position is concluded, should undertake a study to determine these alternatives and present them to the appropriate committees and authorities. In conducting this study, assistance should be sought from appropriate, independent sources with expertise in this area.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

(EXCEPT CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE)

The Committee recommends appropriations totaling $268,117,000 for the operations of the Library of Congress (except the Congressional Research Service which is carried in title I of the bill) for fiscal year 1997. The following table summarizes the allocation of funds by appropriation account:

Library of Congress
Item Amount
Fiscal year 1997:
Salaries and expenses $207,138,000
Copyright Office 11,133,000
Books for the blind and physically handicapped 44,964,000
Furniture and furnishings 4,882,000
Total 268,117,000

TOTAL RESOURCES

The Library also receives funds from other appropriations and sources estimated to total $232,253,000 for fiscal year 1997 including $62,641,000 for the Congressional Research Service in title I of the bill, and $9,003,000 appropriated to the Architect of the Capitol for the structural and mechanical care of the Library buildings. The remainder consists of receipts from copyright fees and the sale of catalog cards and publications, income from gift and trust funds, and reimbursements for services performed for other Government agencies. Thus, a total of $500,370,000 from all sources will be available to the Library during the next fiscal year. Of that amount, $127,327,000 (25.5%) is for support of Congress. The balance is general government or public service in nature, such as the Copyright Office, the National Library Service, the Federal Research Division, and the many services conducted for the Nation's libraries.

The appropriations in the bill for all Library programs will finance the level of full time equivalent positions currently projected for fiscal year 1996, now estimated by the Library of Congress at 4,138. In addition, there are several hundred other positions financed through reimbursable and gift and trust fund programs. The Committee bill provides full funding for the projected 4,138 FTE level, and an additional $10,179,385 in mandatory and related costs for the current FTE base. Thus, the Library of Congress has received full funding for their current staffing service level.

A breakdown by source and amount of funding follows:

Total resources, Library of Congress, 1997
Item Amount
Annual Appropriations:
Title I--Congressional Research Service $62,641,000
Title II--Library (direct) 268,117,000
Architect of the Capitol, Library buildings and grounds 9,003,000
Total annual appropriations (in bill) 339,761,000
Receipts from copyright fees and sale of catalog cards and publications 30,138,000
Gift, trust and revolving funds 28,906,000
Reimbursement for services performed 101,569,000
Total 500,374,000

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $203,795,000
1997 budget estimate 218,366,000
Committee recommendation 207,138,000
(Plus: Authority to spend receipts) (7,869,000)
Total available 215,007,000

The sum of $215,007,000, including $7,869,000 in offsetting receipts, is recommended for salaries and expenses, which is the basic appropriation for the operation of Library programs, a reduction of $11,228,000 under the budget request and an increase of $3,343,000 above 1996. This level of funding provides for 2,762 FTE's, including all necessary mandatory costs, which is the number of FTE's projected for the current year in the salaries and expenses program. No new positions are provided. To the extent additional positions are required, the Library is encouraged to fund them through attrition. The additional positions requested for security should not be filled until the authorizing Committees complete their ongoing reviews of the Library's risk assessment and the overall organization of the security program.

Last year, the committee instructed the Capitol Police Board to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of consolidating the Capitol Police, the Library of Congress police, and the Supreme Court police under a unified service command. The report of the Board clearly shows that there is an uneven level of training among these forces and that consolidation would, in the long run, improve that situation. This is one alternative that should be explored to improving the security of the Capitol complex, the collections of the Library of Congress, and the Court. The Committee encourages the committee of legislative jurisdiction to move forward with a review of this consolidation proposal.

It is not unexpected that there will be opportunities to use attrition or other savings to fill positions that have not been funded in the appropriations process. Because of the necessity to economize the legislative branch budget over the past several years, the Library of Congress has, like all other legislative agencies, rearranged their staffing patterns to meet priorities by using attrition and hiring restrictions. The priorities given to cataloging and security of the collections, arrearages, reading room coverage, and the research needs of Congress are inarguable. The Library is reminded that it is necessary to obtain reprogramming authority, and keep the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations informed, in those cases where staffing and other resources are augmented significantly beyond the levels approved in appropriations bills. Otherwise future budget year Library funding resources may be committed to activities that have not been approved through the normal process. The Library should continue to follow established procedures.

There appear to be opportunities to economize in some of the Library's programs. For example, the Library expends close to $5 million per year to lease office and storage space. With the extensive Library buildings renovation project coming to an end, there is space available that should be evaluated to determine the extent to which such space can be used to offset the need for outside leasing. Also, vacant legislative branch warehousing at Fort Meade, MD is available which provides similar possibilities. Space analysis and planning should be emphasized to identify such economies.

In addition to the resources provided through managed attrition and economies that may be developed through fiscal year 1997, a general provision has been included which will authorize transfers of funds among the several Library appropriations accounts. This authority will provide much greater flexibility for shifting funds where exigency and opportunity arise during the course of the fiscal year.

A provision has been included in the appropriating paragraph which allows receipts collected by the Cataloging Distribution Services to remain available until expended, subject to appropriation.

CONSOLIDATION OF AMERICAN FOLKLIFE ACTIVITIES

The Committee believes the community and family-based values of the American people and their arts and skills are a national resource to be preserved amd celebrated. This was formally recognized om 1976 with enactment of the American Folklife Preservation Act. That Act, passing with widespread bipartisan support, established the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as an organization reporting to a Board of Trustees under general supervision of the Librarian. In the 20 years of its existence, the American Folklife Center has done much good and positive work to preserve and protect this important heritage.

The Committee believes it may be an appropriate time to integrate the Library's American folklife collections into the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution. The Librarian is directed to create a plan which includes cost savings to transfer the Library's American Folklife Center (including its board, budget, staff, and collections) to the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution. This plan should presume that the transfer is to commence beginning on October 1, 1996. Such plan shall be formulated in full consultation with the Smithsonian Institution and the Board of Trustees of the Library's American Folklife Center and shall include any necessary legislative proposals required for implementation. The plan shall be submitted for approval to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, the House Committee on Oversight, and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration by August 15, 1996.

COPYRIGHT OFFICE

1996 appropriation $10,988,000
1997 budget request 12,288,000
Committee recommendation 11,133,000
(Plus: Authority to spend receipts) (22,269,000)
Total available 33,402,000

Salaries and expenses- The appropriation of $11,133,000 is provided for the Copyright office during fiscal year 1997, and authority has been provided to spend up to $22,269,000 in receipts received from copyright fees and assessments to the copyright owners fund for the costs of administering the copyright royalty program. This funding provides all mandatory increases for the number of FTE's projected for the current fiscal year.

BOOKS FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED

1996 appropriation $44,951,000
1997 budget estimate 46,057,000
Committee recommendation 44,964,000

Salaries and expenses- A total of $44,964,000 is recommended for this public service program in fiscal year 1997, an increase of $13,000 over the amount provided in fiscal year 1996. This funding provides for the mandatory increases necessary to staff at the FTE level projected for the current fiscal year, plus 7 additional positions which will be converted from indefinite to permanent status.

FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS

1996 appropriation $4,882,000
1997 budget estimate 4,882,000
Committee recommendation 4,882,000

The bill provides a total of $4,882,000 for Library furniture and furnishings for fiscal year 1997, the amount requested.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

The routine administrative provisions have been approved by the Committee. In addition, a provision has been included which will authorize transfers of funds, subject to approval, among all Library accounts. This provision is explained in more detail in the discussion under `Salaries and expenses'. A provision has also been included authorizing the Library to provide financial management support to the Office of Compliance.

ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

LIBRARY BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

1996 appropriation $12,428,000
1997 budget estimate 9,003,000
Committee recommendation 9,003,000

The Committee bill provides $9,003,000, the amount requested, for the care and maintenance of the Library of Congress buildings and grounds, which is administered by the Architect of the Capitol. The Architect, when formally nominated, confirmed and appointed, should undertake an evaluation of this program to determine if it is a candidate for privatization.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

(EXCEPT CONGRESSIONAL PRINTING AND BINDING)

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS

1996 appropriation $30,307,000
1997 budget estimate 30,827,000
Committee recommendation 29,077,000

The Committee recommends the appropriation of $29,077,000 for the salaries and expenses of the Superintendent of Documents, a part of the Government Printing Office. The principal component is the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), which is responsible for supplying 1,400 designated libraries throughout the country with federal documents.

The budget request has been approved with the following exceptions:

Last year, the conference agreement on the Legislative bill endorsed the need to study and plan a transition to an electronic format oriented Federal Depository Library Program. In order to expedite serious consideration of the steps necessary for achieving this transition, a two-year time frame was established as a possible benchmark objective. In the meantime, the Public Printer, the Director of OMB, and many librarians and other interested parties throughout the depository community have made known their judgment that the move to electronic format cannot be accomplished within a two-year time frame. Some have suggested it will take five to seven years to develop the technology and to make the necessary adjustments in the depository program. While that time frame seems somewhat lengthy, a blueprint has been presented in the March 29, 1996 draft `Study to Identify Measures Necessary for a Successful Transition to a More Electronic Federal Depository Library Program' and `The Electronic Federal Depository Library Program: Transition Plan, FY 1996-FY 1998,' the latter presented in the GPO fiscal year 1997 budget documents.

The Committee commends the Public Printer and the Superintendant of Documents for their leadership in preparing these proposals. Also, much credit should be given to the working group staff and advisors from the many agencies and representatives of other interested organizations who participated. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget also recognized the importance of the objectives of the transition and has made several suggestions on its content. It is clear that the transition proposals and their underpinnings have struck a chord in the inexorable advance toward a more cost-effective and user friendly program for providing citizen access to federal documents. The library community and information-generating federal agencies are moving rapidly in the direction of electronic formats for information storage and sharing. It is obvious that the depository program must be able to compete in this changing environment. That the GPO program for making federal documents available to the public will have to adapt to that technology is inevitable, a fact clearly recognized in the GPO proposals.-

It is not within the jurisdiction of this appropriations bill to enact such wide-sweeping legislation included in these proposals. Going back over several years, this program has been identified in the appropriations process as one that requires serious attention in order to find the means to continue its extremely important public service objectives. The proposals that have been presented contain potential organizational and document distribution solutions that show promise of great benefit to all users and providers of Federal information.

It is now appropriate that the oversight committees of Congress take this blueprint under advisement, perhaps hold hearings, and amend Title 44 accordingly with the statutory authority for an electronic format oriented program. The proposals and the legislation necessary to carry them out should be given high priority.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REVOLVING FUND

Revolving fund- The bill includes the usual language authorizing the operation of the revolving fund, authority to hire or purchase automobiles, advisory councils, consultants, and flextime. The limit on FTE's has been set at 3,700. The Committee believes there are opportunities that should be explored to further privatize the Goverment Printing Office. It is recognized that considerable privatization already exists. The GPO printing procurement program is highly developed and effective, and serves the entire executive branch of government with thousands of outside vendor contracts each year. By most accounts, this program is cost effective and meets the need. However, there may be cost-effective possibilities at the printing plant itself to outsource some of the printing workload. For example, the Congressional Record and Federal Register workloads are somewhat predictable and sufficiently routine so that it may be possible that one or both products can be outsourced. The Public Printer is directed to conduct a study, using independent outside experts, to determine if such opportunities exist. To the maximum extent practicable, the current workforce should be utilized, as should the installed equipment base. Another option that should be considered is the cost-benefit of converting to a two-shift operation at the plant. These studies should be conducted in consultation with the Joint Committee on Printing and should reflect the needs of GPO's Congressional client base.

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

1996 appropriation $374,406,000
1997 budget estimate 371,673,000
Committee recommendation 332,520,000
Offsetting collections (5,905,000)
Total available 338,425,000

The Committee has provided $332,520,000 in direct appropriations for the General Accounting Office. Additionally, $5,905,000 is authorized in offsetting collections derived from rent receipts and reimbursements for conducting financial audits of government corporations. These receipts will be used for the operations and maintenance of the headquarters building, including the asbestos removal and renovation project. The appropriation is $39,153,000 less than the amount requested and $41,886,000 below the amount appropriated in fiscal year 1996. This funding will support 3,340 FTE's and represents a reduction of 11% from current year funding. This reduction also completes the two-year, 25% downsizing in the GAO budget approved in last year's conference agreement. The Committee has been advised by GAO that no further reductions-in-force will be necessary to achieve this FTE level.

The Committee believes that GAO can accomplish its core mission at the recommended level. Additional funding has been provided for outsourcing audit and evaluation work, which will increase the agency's flexibility to acquire needed ad hoc expertise and will allow the agency to make more use of private sector financial auditing capabilities.

The Committee recognizes the important workload placed upon the GAO through its role in auditing the government's 1997 consolidated financial statements as required by the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO) Act (Public Law 101-576). The agency plans to realign existing resources to properly fulfill its responsibilities under the Act. Accordingly, the 100 additional positions requested are not needed. Also, the implementation of the CFO Act and the recent completion of work on accounting standards by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) may have a significant impact on the future roles of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) and the FASAB. Working with the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department, GAO should reevaluate the roles of these two organizations and reassess their overall contribution to effective financial management in government. It may be that one or both are now redundant due to the overall upgrading and reorganization of financial management in the federal sector. The results of this evaluation, which should include recommendations regarding future size, scope of work, the need for continued, routine staffing of standards and procedure setting, and the potential for a more cost-effective organization of these resources at GAO, may suggest a reorganization or consolidation.

In addition, GAO should carefully monitor its progress in implementing the agency's CFO Act responsibilities, including its planned implementation timetable, its progress in achieving implementation goals and the number of FTE's and associated contract funds. If changes in scheduled implementation result in the use of fewer resources than planned, those resources should be reassigned to other high priority audit and evaluation work.

TITLE III--GENERAL PROVISIONS

The customary language regarding emergency assistance for vehicles, positions and allowances, consulting services and buy American is included. A provision has been included authorizing the transfer of funds, subject to approval, among several Architect of the Capitol accounts. Two provisions transferring personnel and leave balances have been included. Sec. 309 provides appropriations for awards and settlements.

INFLATIONARY IMPACT STATEMENT

Clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the House of Representatives requires that each committee report on a bill or resolution shall contain a statement as to whether enactment of the bill or resolution would have an inflationary impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national economy. It is the considered judgment of the Committee that enactment of this bill would have little overall inflationary impact on the operation of the national economy.

COMPARISON WITH BUDGET RESOLUTION

Section 308(a)(1)(A) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, requires that the report accompanying a bill providing new budget authority contain a statement detailing how that authority compares with the reports submitted under section 602(b) of the Act for the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year.

This information follows:


[In millions of dollars]
----------------------------------------------------------------
                   Sec. 602(b)                This Bill         
              Budget authority Outlays Budget authority Outlays 
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discretionary           $2,188  $2,179           $1,682  $1,658 
Mandatory                   92      92               92      92 
Total                    2,280   2,271            1,774   1,750 
----------------------------------------------------------------

The bill provides no new spending authority as described in section 401(c)(2) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended.

FIVE-YEAR PROJECTION OF OUTLAYS

In accordance with section 308(a)(1)(C) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, the following table contains five-year projections of the outlays associated with the budget authority provided in the accompanying bill:

Five-year projection of outlays [In millions]
Budget authority $1,682
Outlays:
1997 1,470
1998 144
1999 37
2000 18
2001 7

ASSISTANCE TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

In accordance with section 308(a)(1)(D) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, the Committee is required to report new budget authority and outlays providing financial assistance to State and local governments. The accompanying bill contains no funding for State and local assistance programs.

TRANSFERS OF FUNDS

No transfers of funds are included.

RESCISSIONS

Pursuant to clause 1(b) of rule X of the House of Representatives, the following table is submitted describing the rescissions recommended in the accompanying bill:

There are no rescissions recommended in the bill.

APPROPRIATIONS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW

Pursuant to clause 3 of rule XXI of the House of Representatives, the following table lists the appropriations in the accompanying bill which are not authorized by law:

There are no appropriations in the accompanying bill that are not authorized by law.

CHANGES IN THE APPLICATION OF EXISTING LAW

Pursuant to clause 3, rule XXI of the House of Representatives, the following statements are submitted describing the effect of provisions in the accompanying bill which directly or indirectly change the application of existing law:

1. The bill provides that certain appropriation items remain available for more than one year where programs or projects are continuing in nature under the provisions of authorizing legislation but for which that legislation does not specifically authorize such extended availability. Most of these items have been carried in previous appropriation bills. This authority tends to result in savings by removing the incentive to commit funds at the end of the fiscal year.

2. The bill includes a number of provisions which place limitations on, or which authorize or reauthorize, the use of funds in the bill, or change or extend existing limitations or authorizations, and which under some circumstances might be construed as changing the application of existing law.

3. There is language which allows reimbursement for service to be used by the servicing entity.

4. The bill continues the practice of providing official reception and representation allowances for officers and offices of the legislative branch.

5. The bill authorizes expenses for employee awards, such as certificates or plaques and related ceremonial presentations, by certain agencies.

6. Section 101 authorizes the use of vending machine receipts to replenish inventories.

7. Section 102 makes permanent a provision included in last year's bill regarding a 90 day before election cutoff in unsolicited mass mailings.

8. There is language authorizing the operations and payment authority of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997.

9. There is language under `Capitol Police Board, General Expenses' authorizing advance payments for travel by Capitol police personnel for training or other purposes, expenses associated with the relocation of liaison or instructor personnel from the Capitol police force to and from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA, and for the costs of basic training of police personnel.

10. The bill authorizes the transfer of funds within `Capitol Police, Salaries', and between `Capitol Police, Salaries,' and `General Expenses,' subject to approval.

11. There is language making permanent an exemption for the Congressional Budget Office from the requirement that all price reductions provided by vendors must be offered government-wide and providing authority for property disposal.

12. There is language authorizing the CBO to make lump-sum payments to terminated employees for unused annual leave.

13. There is language under `Capitol Power Plant', Architect of the Capitol, allowing reimbursements for chilled water and steam provided to the Government Printing Office, the Washington City Post Office, the Supreme Court, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, Union Station Complex and the Folger Shakespeare Library to be credited to this appropriation and made available for obligation.

14. There is language under `Congressional Research Service' which prohibits the publication of material unless approved by the appropriate committees, and language is extended regarding the compensation of the Director.

15. There is language under `Congressional printing and binding' restricting the use of funds appropriated to the Government Printing Office for the permanent edition of the Congressional Record for individual Representatives, Resident Commissioners, or Delegates, and language providing that appropriations recommended shall be available for the payment of obligations incurred under appropriations for similar purposes for preceding fiscal years, primarily due to the unpredictability of the volume of work generated by the Congress.

16. There is authority to expend funds collected under the authority of 2 U.S.C. 150, the balance to remain available until expended.

17. There is a limitation on funding for attendance at meetings for the Library of Congress and limiting top-level management participation in compressed work schedules.

18. There is a limitation on the number of indirect employees that are paid from appropriated funds received by the Library of Congress from other agencies. These funds are generated by performing reimbursable work for these other agencies and are used to cover general and administrative overhead work generated by these reimbursable programs.

19. Section 207 limits obligational authority for assistance to foreign parliaments.

20. Section 208 authorizes the transfer of funds.

21. Section 209 authorizes the Library of Congress to perform certain financial management functions.

22. There is language under `Salaries and Expenses', Office of Superintendent of Documents, which limits travel expenses and which authorizes the use of current appropriations for printing certain publications for the depository library program.

23. There is language that provides reimbursement to the Superintendent of Documents for the costs of printing and distributing certain publications.

24. There is language authorizing the operation of the GPO revolving fund, and which authorizes travel expenses for advisory councils.

25. Under the GPO revolving fund, there is language which provides expenses not to exceed $75,000 for attendance at meetings.

26. The bill includes a limitation on GPO employment of not more than 3,700 full-time equivalent work years.

27. There is a limitation on the participation at GPO of top-level management in flexible or compressed work schedules.

28. There is language relating to the General Accounting Office authorizing the direct procurement of expert and consultant services under 5 U.S.C. 3109, at certain rates; authorizing the hire of one passenger motor vehicle, as required by 31 U.S.C. 1343; authorizing the General Accounting Office to make advance payments in foreign countries in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3324; and to provide certain benefits, including rental of living quarters in foreign countries; appropriations are authorized for administrative expenses of any other member department or agency to finance an appropriate share of the costs of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP); asbestos removal and renovation contracts up to 5 years; the American Consortium on International Public Administration (ACIPA), and the National Intergovernmental Audit Forum or a Regional Intergovernmental Audit Forum. The ACIPA language satisfies the requirements of P.L. 100-202.

29. In Section 301, there is language prohibiting the use of funds in the Act for the maintenance or care of private vehicles except for emergency assistance and cleaning as may be provided under regulations relating to parking facilities for the House issued by the Committee on House Oversight and for the Senate by the Committee on Rules and Administration.

30. Section 303 provides that whenever in this Act any office or position not specifically established by the Legislative Pay Act of 1929 is appropriated for or the rate of compensation or designation of any office or position appropriated for is different from that specifically established by such Act, the rate of compensation and the designation in this Act shall be the permanent law with respect thereto: Provided, That the provisions in this Act for the various items of official expenses of Members, officers, and committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, and clerk hire for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be the permanent law with respect thereto.

31. Section 304 requires that certain information regarding consulting services shall be a matter of public record.

32. Section 305 is a sense of Congress provision regarding American-made products.

33. Section 306 authorizes the transfer of certain funds.

34. Sections 307 and 308 transfer certain employees and leave balances.

COMPLIANCE WITH CLAUSE 3--RULE XIII

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

SECTION 107A OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1996

SEC. 107A. [Struck out->][ For fiscal year 1996, subject ][<-Struck out] (a) Subject to the direction of the Committee on House Oversight of the House of Representatives, [Struck out->][ of the total amount deposited in the account referred to in section 107(b)(3) of this Act from vending operations of the House of Representatives Restaurant System, the cost of goods sold shall be available to pay the cost of inventory ][<-Struck out] the amounts deposited in the account specified in subsection (b) from vending operations of the House of Representatives Restaurant System shall be available to pay the cost of goods sold for such operations.

(b) The account referred to in subsection (a) is the special deposit account established for the House of Representatives Restaurant by section 208 of the First Supplemental Civil Functions Appropriation Act, 1941 (40 U.S.C. 174k note).

-

SECTION 3210 OF TITLE 39, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 3210. Franked mail transmitted by the Vice President, Members of Congress, and congressional officials

(a)(1) * * *

* * * * * * *

(6)(A) It is the intent of Congress that a Member of, or Member-elect to, Congress may not mail any mass mailing as franked mail--

* * * * * * *

COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF NEW BUDGET (OBLIGATIONAL) AUTHORITY FOR 1996 AND BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR 1997 PERMANENT NEW BUDGET (OBLIGATIONAL) AUTHORITY--TRUST FUNDS
[Becomes available automatically under earlier, or `permanent' law without further, or annual, action by the Congress. Thus, these amounts are not included in the accompanying bill. All amounts are in the form of `appropriations' unless otherwise indicated]
[In millions of dollars]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agency and item                                                    New budget (obligational) authority, 1996 1  Budget estimate of new (obligational) authority, 1996 1  Increase (+) or decrease (-) 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Library of Congress                                                                                                                                                                                   
Gift and trust fund accounts, non-revolving                                                                 $27                                                      $28                           +1 
U.S. Capitol Preservation Commission                                                                                                                                                                  
Trust funds                                                                                                   1                                                        1                              
Architect of the Capitol, Botanic Garden                                                                                                                                                              
Gifts and donations                                                                                           2                                                        2                              
John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development                                                                                                                                    
Trust funds                                                                                                   1                                                        1                              
Total, trust funds                                                                                           31                                                       32                           +1 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PERMANENT NEW BUDGET (OBLIGATIONAL) AUTHORITY--FEDERAL FUNDS
[Becomes available automatically under earlier, or `permanent' law without further, or annual, action by the Congress. Thus, these amounts are not included in the accompanying bill. All amounts are in the form of `appropriations' unless otherwise indicated]
[In millions of dollars]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agency and item                                                        New budget (obligational) authority, 1996 1  Budget estimate of new (obligational) authority, 1997 1  Increase (+) or decrease (-) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House of Representatives                                                                                                                                                                                  
Congressional use of foreign currency                                                                            $5                                                       $5                              
International conferences and contingencies: House and Senate expenses                                            1                                                        1                              
Compensation of Members and related administrative expenses                                                      74                                                       76                          +$2 
Library of Congress                                                                                                                                                                                       
Payments to copyright owners (indefinite, special fund)                                                         204                                                      209                           +5 
Total, federal funds                                                                                            284                                                      291                           +7 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF HON. DAVE OBEY

The cost of this bill for the entire Legislative Branch of Government is the same as the cost of buying one fully equipped B-2 bomber. While this fact should not be construed as a reason to quit looking for inefficiency and waste in the Legislative budget, it does put into perspective the relative size of the resources used by the Legislative Branch to exercise its constitutional duty to `check and balance' the Executive and Judicial branches of government.

Since FY 1992, Congress has reduced total Legislative Branch staffing by 5,500 `full time equivalent' positions--a reduction of nearly 20 percent. More than half of these reductions were made by Democratic congresses. But the same political pressures to cut House resources that started out as necessary reductions of bloated staffing and inefficient operations continue today with much more insidious implications for the ability of Congress to perform its fundamental constitutional mission.

I am concerned that the continued zeal for cutting back the quantity and quality of Congressional staff resources needed to analyze complex legislative proposals is now having the effect of removing impediments for special interests to more directly affect legislative products. Sadly, the first session of the 104th Congress that started with so much fanfare and rhetoric about reform, has actually relied very heavily on support from the special interests with incidents of lobbyists writing major legislation and so-called `think tanks' financed by private individuals providing self-interested and biased analyses for use as the principal basis for justifying legislation.

An important part of reversing this trend is to provide the resources necessary to maintain a professional staff of high quality that has the ability to analyze competing claims and provide Members with objective assessments. This includes quality professionals at the GAO, CRS, and other offices that support Congressional research and analysis. Overall staffing, budget, and pay policies of the majority seem to discount the importance of this. We have a growing problem of key staff positions being turned into a `kiddie corps' of junior people who do not have the experience or background to deal with highly paid representatives of the special interests. This just adds to the influence of the special interests.

The Committee bill begins to slow this erosion. Committee and personal Member office staffing levels are stabilized. The total reduction in the bill of $37 million if financed overwhelmingly from the $42 million reduction to the GAO to fulfill a two-year staff reduction commitment of the Comptroller General.

While the Committee put together a generally responsible bill, the same cannot be said about the FY 1997 House budget request submitted by the newly appointed House officers. After much fanfare about cost cutting and deficit reduction just one year ago, these appointees asked for a total budget increase of $66.5 million--nearly 10 percent over last year.

The Chief Administrative Officer of the House led the way, asking for a 32 percent increase in his budet--from $53.6 million to $70.5 million. The Sergeant At Arms requested a 14 percent increase while the Clerk of the House asked for close to an eight percent increase. These large dollar increases were requested at the same time that their request for overall support staff would decrease by another 19 FTE's. The impression left is that the overriding motivation is not deficit reduction is not deficit reduction but simply to reduce staff and replace it with high priced contractors. I commend the Committee for rejecting this approach.

FISCAL YEAR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS BILL--SUMMARY
[Excluding Senate items]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agency                           Fiscal year--                               
                                  1996 enacted  1997 request 1997 comm. bill 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
House of Representatives          $671,061,000  $738,777,000    $683,831,000 
(CAO)                             (53,556,000)  (70,464,471)    (55,209,000) 
(Clerk)                           (13,807,000)  (15,370,000)    (15,074,000) 
Joint Inaugural                                      950,000         950,000 
Joint Economic                       3,000,000     3,000,000       3,000,000 
Joint Printing                         750,000       777,000         777,000 
Joint Tax                            5,116,000     7,716,000       5,470,000 
Attending Physician                  1,260,000     1,225,000       1,225,000 
Capitol Police: House               34,213,000    37,286,000      68,392,000 
Capitol Police: Senate              35,919,000    39,108,000                 
Capitol Police: Expenses             2,560,000     7,606,000       2,685,000 
Capitol Guides & SSO                 1,991,000     1,991,000       1,991,000 
Statements of Approps                   30,000        30,000          30,000 
Office of Compliance                 2,500,000     3,268,000       2,609,000 
OTA                                  6,115,000                             0 
CBO                                 24,288,000    24,775,000      24,288,000 
AOC(excluding Senate)              113,641,000   109,821,000     109,137,000 
Botanic Garden                           3,053     2,902,000       2,902,000 
LOC (excluding CRS)                264,616,000   281,593,000     268,117,000 
CRS                                 60,084,000    63,056,000      62,641,000 
GPO                                114,077,000   114,597,000     110,746,000 
GAO                                374,406,000   371,673,000     332,520,000 
Total Appropriation              1,718,680,000 1,810,151,000   1,681,311,000 
Receipts (power Plant, LOC, GAO)    40,099,000    38,447,000      40,052,000 
Total Available                  1,758,779,000 1,848,598,000   1,721,363,000 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Internet Access. I find deeply troubling the Committee's action of refusing to accept the amendment of our colleague Vic Fazio to allow Internet users direct and unfettered access to the views of the minority on the important issues being considered by the various House Committee. In this day and age, it is surprising en encounter such attempts to discourage and restrict public access to the views of their democratically elected representatives. It seems especially ironic that the majority would attempt to discourage access to information on the internet, which is founded on the precepts of free, easy, fast and unrestricted access to information.

This issue revolves around the `Committee Internet Policy' adopted by the House Oversight Committee on May 23, 1996, governing the availability of Committee Information on the Internet and the World Wide Web. This policy, which will not be voted on by the full House, would require all internet and World Wide Web users to access information on Democratic Committee Web pages only through their Republican Web counterparts. In addition, we understand the House Information Resources office has been directed by House Leadership to make technical changes to Democratic Web pages to prevent an internet user who finally reaches the information provided by Committee Democrats from `bookmarking' that Web site for future reference. Bookmaking is a common practice that permits a user to go back directly to a site of his/her choosing.

This policy restricts the free flow of information in many ways. Most important, if the Republican leadership of a Committee refuses to establish or terminates its `home page', the Committee minority must automatically follow suit. With no bookmarks and a Committee table of contents written and controlled by the majority, users may be required to scroll through an unlimited number of majority pages including full page color photos of the committee chairman, biographies of majority members, press releases, Committee publication listings, Committee rules, etc., before one even knows if the minority has a home page.

This is a pure, simple and not so subtle restriction on the dissemination of viewpoint the majority may not like. It runs contrary to our democratic tradition and should be overturned by the full House if the Committee does not revoke it.

American Folklife Center. I was pleased that the Committee adopted my amendment requiring the Librarian of Congress to submit a plan for transferring the budget, staff and collections of the Library's American Folklife Center to the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution. This was necessitated by continuing actions of the Library administration to diminish the role of the Folklife Center and to siphon off resources for other purposes it considers more important.

The nation and the Congress strongly support efforts to preserve and celebrate American's folk heritage and the community and family values this heritage embodies. The Library's American Folklife Center, established by the American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976, has done much good and positive work to preserve and protect this important heritage.

Unfortunately, actions over the last years make it quite clear that the Library has a questionable commitment to continuing and expanding the work of this Center. Most recently, the Librarian sent an unsolicited letter to the Committee on House Oversight dated May 16, 1996 calling for major reductions in Folklife Center staffing (-30%), budget (-20%), and outreach activities (elimination), with savings to be reallocated to `higher priority library activities.' I understand that these recommendations were made without prior consultation with the Board of Trustees appointed under law to oversee the work of this Center.

With the Library's demonstrated intent to dim1nish the work of its Folklife Center, it is appropriate to transfer these activities to an organization having a better appreciation for our folklife traditions and heritage. The Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution has shown a solid commitment towards preserving, protecting, and celebrating our folk heritage. It's mission can be strengthened and enhance by transfer of the Library's American Folklife Center (including its budget, staff, Board, and collections). My amendment to the Committee report calls for such a transfer plan to be completed by August 15, 1996 in time for final Congressional action before the end of the fiscal year.

DAVE OBEY.



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