(Senate - January 07, 2015)

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[Page S53]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to engage in a 
colloquy with Senator Durbin on behalf of the Democratic leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, in the 112th Congress the Senate 
adopted a new funding allocation for Senate committees. This approach 
has served the Senate for the past two Congresses when the Democrats 
controlled the majority. I believe this approach will continue to serve 
the interests of the Senate and the public, regardless of which party 
is in the majority, by helping to retain core committee staff with 
institutional knowledge. This funding allocation is based on the party 
division of the Senate, with 10 percent of the total majority and 
minority salary baseline going to the majority for administrative 
expenses. However, regardless of the party division of the Senate, the 
minority share of the majority and minority salary baseline will not be 
less than 40 percent, and the majority share will not exceed 60 
percent. It is my intent that this approach will continue to serve the 
Senate for this Congress and future Congresses.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, this approach met our needs for the last 
two Congresses, and I too would like to see it continue. In addition, 
last Congress, special reserves was restored to its historic purpose. 
We should continue to fund special reserves to the extent possible in 
order to be able to assist committees that face urgent, unanticipated, 
nonrecurring needs. Recognizing the tight budgets we will face for the 
foreseeable future, it is necessary to continue to bring funding 
authorizations more in line with our actual resources while ensuring 
that committees are able to fulfill their responsibilities. I look 
forward to continuing to work with the majority leader to accomplish 
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a joint 
leadership letter be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                         United States Senate,

                                  Washington, DC, January 7, 2015.
       We Mutually Commit to the Following for the 114th Congress: 
     The Rules Committee is to determine the budgets of the 
     committees of the Senate. The budgets of the committees, 
     including joint and special committees, and all other 
     subgroups, shall be apportioned to reflect the ratio of the 
     Senate as of this date, including an additional ten percent 
     (10%) from the majority and minority salary baseline to be 
     allocated to the chairman for administrative expenses.
       Special Reserves has been restored to its historic purpose. 
     Requests for funding will only be considered when submitted 
     by a committee chairman and ranking member for unanticipated, 
     non-recurring needs. Such requests shall be granted only upon 
     the approval of the chairman and ranking member of the Rules 
       Funds for committee expenses shall be available to each 
     chairman consistent with the Senate rules and practices of 
     the 113th Congress.
       The division of committee office space shall be 
     commensurate with this funding agreement.
       The chairman and ranking member of any committee may, by 
     mutual agreement, modify the apportionment of committee 
     funding and office space.
     Mitch McConnell.
     Harry Reid.