Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (07/31/1996)


Title I: Congressional Operations

Title II: Other Agencies

Title III: General Provisions

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1997 - Makes appropriations for the legislative branch for FY 1997.

Title I: Congressional Operations - Congressional Operations Appropriations Act, 1997 - Appropriates funds for the Senate.

(Sec. 1) Broadens the scope of consultant services for majority and minority conference committees to include the administration of the affairs of the committees.

(Sec. 2) Authorizes reimbursement to Senators-elect for stationery expenses.

(Sec. 3) Allows Senators to lease mobile offices for a period of up to three years (currently, one year).

(Sec. 4) Authorizes Senate offices to pay telephone bills from the appropriations for the fiscal year in which the underlying base service period ends.

(Sec. 5) Permits the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate to directly, or through the General Services Administration, transfer title to excess or surplus educationally useful equipment to a public school at the lowest possible cost to the school and to the Senate.

(Sec. 6) Provides for reimbursement to Senate day care center employees for expenses for the cost of training classes and conferences relating to child care services and for expenses incurred for travel, transportation, and subsistence in connection with such training.

(Sec. 7) Requires funds received during FY 1996 by the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate in settlement of a contract claim or dispute (not to exceed $1.45 million) to be deposited into the appropriation account for FY 1997 within the contingent fund of the Senate for such individuals and to be available for the same purposes as are the other funds in that account.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Secretary of the Senate, with the oversight and approval of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, to oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Senate legislative information system.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes the Financial Clerk of the Senate to: (1) accept payment from an individual whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate for any period of unaccrued annual leave used by that individual; and (2) withhold such amount from any amount disbursed by the Secretary which is due to or on behalf of the individual.

Makes appropriations to the House of Representatives.

(Sec. 101) Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1996 to make permanent a provision requiring receipts from vending operations of the House Restaurant System to be available to pay the costs of goods sold for such operations.

(Sec. 102) Makes permanent a provision prohibiting a Member of the House from sending as franked mail any mass mailing postmarked fewer than 90 days immediately before any primary or general election: (1) in which such Member is a candidate for reelection; or (2) for any other public office.

Appropriates funds for: (1) joint items consisting of the joint committees (including the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies of 1997), the Office of the Attending Physician, the Capitol Police Board, and the Capitol Guide Service and Special Services Office; (2) the Office of Compliance; (3) the Congressional Budget Office; (4) the Architect of the Capitol (AOC); (5) the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress; and (6) the Government Printing Office (GPO) for congressional printing and binding.

Title II: Other Agencies - Appropriates funds for: (1) salaries and expenses of the Botanic Garden, the Library of Congress, including the American Folklife Center and the Copyright Office, GPO, and the General Accounting Office; and (2) AOC for operation and maintenance of Library of Congress buildings and grounds.

Title III: General Provisions - Sets forth provisions: (1) authorizing emergency assistance for vehicles; (2) requiring public disclosure for consulting services expenditures; (3) calling for buying American and disqualifying from contracts any person who intentionally affixes a "Made in America" label to a product sold in, but not made in, the United States; (4) authorizing the transfer of funds among AOC accounts; (5) transferring security system maintenance functions from AOC to the Capitol Police Board; and (6) appropriating funds to pay awards and settlements authorized under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.

(Sec. 310) Requires amounts remaining in a House Member's Representational Allowances after all payments are made for FY 1997 to be deposited in the Treasury to be used for deficit reduction.

(Sec. 311) Requires: (1) each mass mailing sent by a Member of the House to bear a prominent notice specifying that it was prepared, published, and mailed at a taxpayer's expense; and (2) publication in the itemized report of House disbursements a summary of the total pieces and cost of mass mail by each Member.

(Sec. 312) Authorizes law enforcement personnel of the Capitol Police who are subject to the exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to elect to receive compensatory time off in lieu of overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of the maximum for their work period.

(Sec. 313) Extends for one year the availability of funds for the Senate art collection.

(Sec. 314) Requires the establishment of a program to provide the widest possible exchange of information among legislative branch agencies with the long range goal of improving technology planning and evaluation. Requests the House Committee on House Oversight and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration to determine the program's structure and operation and to provide appropriate oversight.

(Sec. 315) Revises provisions governing political recommendations relating to Federal employment to prohibit an individual examining or appointing an applicant in the competitive service from receiving or considering a recommendation of the applicant by a Senator or Representative, except as to the applicant's character or residence.

(Sec. 316) Amends Federal copyright law to provide that it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to reproduce or to distribute copies or phonorecords of a previously published, nondramatic literary work in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities. Requires the copies or phonorecords to: (1) bear a notice that any further reproduction or distribution in a format other than a specialized format is an infringement; and (2) include a copyright notice identifying the copyright owner and the date of the original publication. Exempts standardized, secure, or norm-referenced tests and related testing material and computer programs, except the portions thereof that are in conventional human language (including descriptions of pictorial works) and displayed to users in the ordinary course of using the computer programs.

(Sec. 317) Provides for a specified payment to the widow of Bill Emerson (a Representative from Missouri).