Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (09/22/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Congressional Operations

Title II: Other Agencies

Title III: General Provisions

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1999 - Makes appropriations for the legislative branch for FY 1999.

Title I: Congressional Operations - Congressional Operations Appropriations Act, 1999 - Makes appropriations for the Senate for: (1) expense allowances; (2) representation allowances for the Majority and Minority Leaders; (3) salaries of specified officers, employees, and committees (including the Committee on Appropriations); (4) agency contributions for employee benefits; (5) inquiries and investigations; (6) the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control; (7) the Offices of the Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, and Doorkeeper of the Senate; (8) miscellaneous items; (9) the Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account; and (10) official mail costs.

(Sec. 1) Amends the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1973 to raise the limit on authorized mail, telegraph, telephone, stationery, office supplies, and home State office and travel expenses for Senators. Requires amounts specifically allocated for official mail expenses to be recalculated in accordance with regulations of the Committee on Rules and Administration in lieu of such amounts being included in the recalculation formula used for amounts authorized for a Senator's expense in the event that the term of office of a Senator begins after the first month of a fiscal year or ends (except by reason of death, resignation, or expulsion) before the last month of a fiscal year.

(Sec. 2) Increases, from $10,000 to $35,000, the annual limitation on the disbursements from the Office of the Chaplain Expense Revolving Fund.

(Sec. 3) Amends Senate Resolution 149, 103d Congress, to extend the Senate Arms Control Observer Group through December 31, 2000.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1977 to authorize the President pro tempore of the Senate to appoint and fix the compensation of one consultant, on a temporary or intermittent basis, at the daily rate of compensation not in excess of that specified in Federal provisions relating to appointment of consultants by the Majority and Minority Leaders, the Secretary of Senate, and the Legislative Counsel of the Senate. Provides that provisions under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees' Retirement System relating to annuities and pay on reemployment are inapplicable to any individual serving in a position under such Federal provisions.

Permits any or all appointments under such provisions to be at an annual rate of compensation rather than at a daily rate, under specified conditions.

(Sec. 5) Establishes the Senate Leader's Lecture Series. Provides that: (1) expenses incurred in connection with such Series shall be paid from the appropriations account "Secretary of the Senate" within the contingent fund of the Senate and shall not exceed $30,000 in any fiscal year; and (2) such payments may cover expenses incurred by speakers, including travel, subsistence, and per diem, and the cost of receptions, including food, food related items, and hospitality.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate to appoint and fix the compensation of employees necessary to operate Senate Hair Care Services (Services).

Establishes the Senate Hair Care Services Revolving Fund in the Treasury within the contingent fund of the Senate to be made available, without fiscal year limitation, for disbursement by the Secretary of the Senate for: (1) payment of salaries and agency contributions of employees of the Services; and (2) necessary supplies, equipment, and other Services' expenses.

Requires the Secretary, at the direction of the Committee on Rules and Administration, to withdraw from the Fund and deposit in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts, all moneys in the Fund that the Committee may determine are in excess of the current and reasonably foreseeable needs of the Services.

Transfers to the Fund any unobligated balance in the Senate Employees Barber Shop Revolving Fund. Repeals Federal provisions: (1) establishing the Senate Employees Barber Shop Revolving Fund; and (2) authorizing the Sergeant at Arms and the Doorkeeper of the Senate to employ and fix the compensation of employees that operate the Senate Beauty Shop.

(Sec. 7) Increases the amount made available to the Committee on Rules and Administration for expenses of consultants, under S. Res. 54, 105th Congress.

(Sec. 8) Provides for increases in the aggregate compensation paid to employees in Senate offices.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, with the prior written approval of the Committee on Rules and Administration, to enter into agreements with public or private parties for the purpose of demonstrating the use of alternative fuel vehicles in Senate fleet operations. Allows such: (1) agreements to provide for necessary fueling infrastructure in connection with the vehicles; and (2) vehicles to be made available for a maximum 90-day period.

(Sec. 10) Authorizes the Committee on Appropriations in its discretion to: (1) hold hearings, report such hearings, and make investigations as authorized by rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate; (2) make expenditures from the contingent fund of the Senate; (3) employ personnel; (4) with the prior consent of the Government department or agency concerned and the Committee on Rules and Administration use, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, the services of personnel of any such department or agency; (5) procure the services of individual consultants, or organizations thereof; and (6) provide training of the professional staff of such Committee.

Amends S. Res. 54 (Omnibus Committee Funding Resolution for 1997 and 1998) to delete provisions authorizing expenditures by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes the Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to transfer funds from the appropriation account for: (1) salaries for the Committee to the account, within the contingent fund of the Senate, from which expenses are payable; and (2) expenses, within the contingent fund of the Senate for the Committee, to the account from which salaries are payable for such Committee.

(Sec. 12) Amends the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to exempt travel awards relating to air transportation for a Member of the Senate, the Member's spouse, son, or daughter between the Washington metropolitan area and the Member's State from provisions which consider any travel award that accrues by reason of official travel of a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate to be the property of the office for which the travel was performed and prohibits the conversion of such award to personal use.

(Sec. 13) Amends S. Res. 286, 102d Congress, to make fees established under such resolution for services received from the Attending Physician by a Senator or an officer of the Senate equal to the fees for such services received by a Member of the House of Representatives.

Makes appropriations for the House of Representatives for: (1) a specified widow of a deceased Member of Congress; (2) House leadership offices; (3) Members' representational allowances; (4) committee employees; (5) officers and employees; (6) specified allowances and expenses; and (7) the House Child Care Center.

(Sec. 101) Amends H. Res. 611, 97th Congress, to exclude the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) from the Page Board's composition.

(Sec. 102) Amends H. Res. 1047, 95th Congress, to increase the limitation on expenses for House participation in interparliamentary institutions, reception of members of foreign legislative bodies and foreign officials, and meetings with Government officials.

(Sec. 103) Establishes an account in the House for purposes of carrying out training and program development activities of the Republican Conference and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 104) Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriations, Act, 1991 to allow the Official Mail Allowance to be used for payment of any nonpostage fee or charge, including fees or charges for express mail, express mail drop shipment, certified mail, registered mail, return receipt, address correction, or postal insurance. Removes provisions permitting the use of the Members' Representational Allowance for a Representative's payment of nonpostage fees and charges for the above services and for postage for mail for official business sent outside the United States.

(Sec. 105) Requires any information on payments made by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to an individual for attendance as a witness before the Committee in executive session during a Congress to be reported by the second semiannual report filed under specified provisions of the House of Representatives Administrative Reform Technical Corrections Act in the following Congress.

(Sec. 106) Permits the Committee on House Oversight to prescribe by regulation appropriate conditions for the incidental use, for other than official business, of equipment and supplies owned or leased by, or the cost of which is reimbursed by, the House.

(Sec. 107) Authorizes the Speaker and the Majority and Minority Leaders to each appoint and fix the compensation of one consultant, on a temporary or intermittent basis, at a daily rate of compensation not in excess of the per diem equivalent of the highest gross rate of annual compensation which may be paid to employees of a House standing committee.

(Sec. 108) Provides that amounts appropriated in this Act for House salaries and expenses and Members' representational allowances shall be available only for FY 1999 and any amount remaining after all payments are made under such allowances shall be deposited in the Treasury to be used for deficit reduction.

(Sec. 109) Allows official resources to be used during a fiscal year (beginning with FY 1999) to reimburse a Member, officer, or employee of the House for the ordinary and necessary expenses related to the official use of telecommunications lines in the residence of such individual.

(Sec. 110) Allows funds deposited by the AOC resulting from the sale of certain real property in the District of Columbia to be used for reimbursement of expenses incurred by the Chief Administrative Office of the House to cover the costs of furnishings and furniture to accommodate the needs of the House child care center.

Makes appropriations for: (1) the Joint Economic, Printing, and Taxation Committees; (2) the Office of the Attending Physician; and (3) the Capitol Police Board.

(Sec. 111) Sets forth administrative provisions regarding the Capitol Police Board.

Appropriates funds for the Capitol Guide Service and Special Services Office and for statements of appropriations.

Makes appropriations for: (1) the Office of Compliance; (2) the Congressional Budget Office; (3) the AOC for salaries and expenses, Capitol buildings and grounds, Senate office buildings, House office buildings (requires an amount to be used exclusively for waste recycling programs), and the Capitol power plant; (4) the Library of Congress for the Congressional Research Service's (CRS) salaries and expenses; and (5) the Government Printing Office (GPO) for congressional printing and binding.

Sets forth authorized uses of, and limitations on, such funds.

(Sec. 112) Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1998 to revise amounts appropriated to GPO for congressional printing and binding.

Title II: Other Agencies - Appropriates funds for: (1) the Botanic Garden; and (2) the Library of Congress for salaries and expenses, the Copyright Office, books for the blind and physically handicapped, and furniture and furnishings.

(Sec. 201) Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1989 to allow the Secretary of the Treasury to invest, under specified conditions, any portion of the Botanic Garden, Gifts, and Donations account that, as determined by the AOC, is not required to meet current expenses.

(Sec. 202) Provides a limited amount of funds for the Library and for CRS for attendance at meetings concerned with the function for which an appropriation is made.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits the use of funds by the Library to administer any flexible or compressed work schedule which: (1) applies to any manager or supervisor in a position equal to or higher than a GS-15 grade; and (2) grants such individual the right to not be at work on a workday because of time worked on another workday.

(Sec. 204) Establishes limits on: (1) the number of employees hired by the Library to perform reimbursable work for other agencies; and (2) funds for representation and reception expenses associated with the Library incentive awards program and Overseas Field Offices.

(Sec. 207) Specifies limits on the obligational authority of the Library for reimbursable and revolving fund activities funded from sources other than appropriations to the Library in appropriation Acts for the legislative branch.

(Sec. 208) Authorizes the Library of Congress to receive funds from participants in, and sponsors of, an international legal information database led by the Law Library of Congress, and to credit such funds to the Library's appropriations, up to the extent authorized in appropriations Acts, for the development and maintenance of the database.

Makes appropriations for: (1) the AOC for the Congressional Cemetery and for Library buildings and grounds; and (2) salaries and expenses of the GPO's Office of Superintendent of Documents and for the General Accounting Office.

(Sec. 209) Requires the AOC to make a grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in accordance with an agreement entered into by the AOC with the National Trust and the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery in order to assist in the Cemetery's perpetual care and maintenance. Specifies the terms and conditions of such agreement.

(Sec. 210) Limits, for FY 1999, gifts and trust funds of the Library of Congress transferred to the AOC for the structural and mechanical work and refurbishment of the National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia.

(Sec. 211) Transfers the unexpended balance appropriated in the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997 for the Secretary of Health and Human Services for a study of effects of Medical Savings Accounts on small group markets to the General Accounting Office for necessary expenses.

Title III: General Provisions - Sets forth prohibitions on the use of funds appropriated by this Act.

(Sec. 305) Sets forth Buy American provisions.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes appropriations as necessary to an account for awards and settlements authorized under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.

(Sec. 307) Makes a limited amount of funds available for costs of the Legislative Branch Financial Managers Council.

(Sec. 308) Amends Federal civil service law to apply severance pay provisions to AOC employees, other than temporary employees. (Currently, such provisions apply only to full-time employees of the Senate restaurants.) Sets forth early retirement provisions with respect to AOC employees.

Includes AOC employees: (1) (currently, up to 50 eligible Senate restaurant employees) in the voluntary program established by the AOC under which voluntary separation incentive payments may be offered to such employees for voluntary separation, through resignation or retirement, through FY 1999; and (2) in the program established by the AOC to provide retraining, job placement, and counseling services to current and certain former Senate restaurant employees (other than reemployed annuitants or temporary employees).

Prohibits the voluntary separation incentive payments from being paid unless the AOC submits a described plan to specified congressional committees and the committees approve the plan.

(Sec. 309) Amends Federal civil service law to apply severance pay provisions to GPO employees, other than temporary employees. Sets forth early retirement provisions with respect to such employees and entitles them to annuities.

Requires the Public Printer to establish a program under which voluntary separation incentive payments may be offered to eligible GPO employees (other than reemployed annuitants, employees eligible for Federal disability retirement systems, or temporary employees) for voluntary separation, through resignation or retirement, through FY 2001.

Prohibits such voluntary separation incentive payments from being made unless the Public Printer submits a described plan to the Joint Committee on Printing or any applicable successor committees and the Committee or its successors approve the plan.

Authorizes the Public Printer to establish a program to provide retraining, job placement, and counseling services to current and former GPO employees (other than reemployed annuitants or temporary employees).

(Sec. 310) Requires the AOC to: (1) develop and implement a cost-effective energy conservation strategy for all facilities currently administered by the Congress to achieve a net reduction of 20 percent in energy consumption on the congressional campus compared to fiscal year 1991 consumption levels on a Btu-per-gross-square-foot basis within seven years after the adoption of this Act; (2) submit to the Congress a comprehensive energy conservation and management plan which includes life cycle costs methods to determine the cost-effectiveness of proposed energy efficiency projects; (3) submit to the Committee on Appropriations in the House and Senate a request for the amount of appropriations necessary to carry out this Act; (4) annually present a report to the Congress on congressional energy management and conservation programs which details energy expenditures for each facility, energy management and conservation projects, and future priorities to ensure compliance with the requirements of this Act; (5) perform energy surveys of all congressional buildings and update such surveys as needed; (6) use such surveys to determine the cost and payback period of energy and water conservation measures likely to achieve the required energy consumption levels; (7) install energy and water conservation measures that will achieve the requirements through previously determined life cycle cost methods and procedures; and (8) produce information packages and "how-to" guides for each Member and employing authority of the Congress that detail simple, cost-effective methods to save energy and taxpayer dollars.

Authorizes the AOC to: (1) contract with nongovernmental entities and employ private sector capital to finance energy conservation projects and achieve energy consumption targets; (2) develop innovative contracting methods that will attract private sector funding for the installation of energy-efficient and renewable energy technology to meet the requirements of this Act; and (3) participate in the Department of Energy's Financing Renewable Energy and Efficiency (FREE Savings) contracts program for Federal facilities.

(Sec. 311) Allows the Senate Commission on Art to use certain unobligated prior fiscal year funds for the restoration of art in the Capitol and Senate office buildings.

(Sec. 312) Amends the American Folklife Preservation Act to add the following individuals to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress: (1) four members appointed by the Librarian of Congress from among individuals widely recognized by virtue of their scholarship, experience, creativity, or interest in American folklife traditions and arts; (2) the President of the American Folklore Society; and (3) the President of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Requires the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the Librarian of Congress to give due consideration to the appointment of individuals who will provide diversity on the Board.

Revises provisions regarding reimbursement of travel expenses. Requires Board members to serve without pay and authorizes members who are not regular full-time Federal employees, at the Librarian's discretion, to be reimbursed for actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred in the performance of Board duties. (Currently, such members are entitled to receive compensation at rates fixed by the Librarian of up to $100 per diem while serving on business and allowed travel expenses.)

Requires the Board to meet at least once each fiscal year.

Fixes the annual pay of the Center Director at a minimum of 120 percent of the minimum rate of pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule or a maximum of the pay under level IV of the Executive Schedule. (Currently, the Director's pay is not to exceed the annual rate for GS-18.)

Eliminates the position of Deputy Director of the Center.

Makes permanent the authorization of appropriations for the Center.

Establishes a six-year term for Board members appointed by the Librarian under this Act, with exceptions.

(Sec. 313) Provides that, for purposes of Federal provisions relating to the Employees' Compensation Fund, GPO is not considered an agency which is required by statute to submit an annual budget pursuant to or as provided by Government corporations requirements and is not required to pay an additional amount for administrative costs.