PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE 114TH CONGRESS
(House of Representatives - March 19, 2015)

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[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 47 (Thursday, March 19, 2015)]
[Pages H1789-H1792]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF 
                 REPRESENTATIVES IN THE 114TH CONGRESS

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 
152, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 132) providing for the expenses 
of certain committees of the House of Representatives in the One 
Hundred Fourteenth Congress, and ask for its immediate consideration in 
the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 152, the 
amendment printed in House Report 114-45 is adopted, and the 
resolution, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the resolution, as amended, is as follows:

                              H. Res. 132

       Resolved,

     SECTION 1. COMMITTEE EXPENSES FOR THE ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH 
                   CONGRESS.

       (a) In General.--With respect to the One Hundred Fourteenth 
     Congress, there shall be paid out of the applicable accounts 
     of the House of Representatives, in accordance with this 
     primary expense resolution, not more than the amount 
     specified in subsection (b) for the expenses (including the 
     expenses of all staff salaries) of each committee named in 
     such subsection.
       (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts 
     referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture,

[[Page H1790]]

     $10,173,096; Committee on Armed Services, $14,208,340; 
     Committee on the Budget, $10,380,424; Committee on Education 
     and the Workforce, $14,044,580; Committee on Energy and 
     Commerce, $19,531,442; Committee on Ethics, $6,201,326; 
     Committee on Financial Services, $15,086,852; Committee on 
     Foreign Affairs, $14,923,986; Committee on Homeland Security, 
     $14,407,846; Committee on House Administration, $9,293,130; 
     Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $9,197,310; 
     Committee on the Judiciary, $14,395,572; Committee on Natural 
     Resources, $13,422,774; Committee on Oversight and Government 
     Reform, $18,059,682; Committee on Rules, $5,846,964; 
     Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, $10,671,164; 
     Committee on Small Business, $6,045,228; Committee on 
     Transportation and Infrastructure, $16,728,260; Committee on 
     Veterans' Affairs, $6,958,062; and Committee on Ways and 
     Means, $17,515,290.

     SEC. 2. FIRST SESSION LIMITATIONS.

       (a) In General.--Of the amount provided for in section 1 
     for each committee named in subsection (b), not more than the 
     amount specified in such subsection shall be available for 
     expenses incurred during the period beginning at noon on 
     January 3, 2015, and ending immediately before noon on 
     January 3, 2016.
       (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts 
     referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture, 
     $5,086,548; Committee on Armed Services, $7,104,170; 
     Committee on the Budget, $5,190,212; Committee on Education 
     and the Workforce, $7,022,290; Committee on Energy and 
     Commerce, $9,765,721; Committee on Ethics, $3,100,663; 
     Committee on Financial Services, $7,543,426; Committee on 
     Foreign Affairs, $7,461,993; Committee on Homeland Security, 
     $7,203,923; Committee on House Administration, $4,646,565; 
     Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $4,598,655; 
     Committee on the Judiciary, $7,197,786; Committee on Natural 
     Resources, $6,711,387; Committee on Oversight and Government 
     Reform, $9,029,841; Committee on Rules, $2,960,982; Committee 
     on Science, Space, and Technology, $5,335,582; Committee on 
     Small Business, $3,022,614; Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure, $8,364,130; Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
     $3,479,031; and Committee on Ways and Means, $8,757,645.

     SEC. 3. SECOND SESSION LIMITATIONS.

       (a) In General.--Of the amount provided for in section 1 
     for each committee named in subsection (b), not more than the 
     amount specified in such subsection shall be available for 
     expenses incurred during the period beginning at noon on 
     January 3, 2016, and ending immediately before noon on 
     January 3, 2017.
       (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts 
     referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture, 
     $5,086,548; Committee on Armed Services, $7,104,170; 
     Committee on the Budget, $5,190,212; Committee on Education 
     and the Workforce, $7,022,290; Committee on Energy and 
     Commerce, $9,765,721; Committee on Ethics, $3,100,663; 
     Committee on Financial Services, $7,543,426; Committee on 
     Foreign Affairs, $7,461,993; Committee on Homeland Security, 
     $7,203,923; Committee on House Administration, $4,646,565; 
     Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $4,598,655; 
     Committee on the Judiciary, $7,197,786; Committee on Natural 
     Resources, $6,711,387; Committee on Oversight and Government 
     Reform, $9,029,841; Committee on Rules, $2,885,982; Committee 
     on Science, Space, and Technology, $5,335,582; Committee on 
     Small Business, $3,022,614; Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure, $8,364,130; Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
     $3,479,031; and Committee on Ways and Means, $8,757,645.
       (c) Review of Use of Funds in First Session.--
       (1) Review.--None of the amounts provided for in section 1 
     for a committee named in subsection (b) may be available for 
     expenses of the committee after March 15, 2016, unless the 
     chair or ranking minority member of the committee appears and 
     presents testimony at a hearing of the Committee on House 
     Administration held prior to such date to review the 
     committee's use of the amounts provided for in section 1 
     during the first session of the One Hundred Fourteenth 
     Congress and to determine whether the amount specified in 
     subsection (b) with respect to the committee should be 
     updated on the basis of the review.
       (2) Waiver.--The Committee on House Administration may 
     waive the application of paragraph (1) to any or all of the 
     committees named in subsection (b).

     SEC. 4. VOUCHERS.

       Payments under this resolution shall be made on vouchers 
     authorized by the committee involved, signed by the chairman 
     of such committee, and approved in the manner directed by the 
     Committee on House Administration.

     SEC. 5. REGULATIONS.

       Amounts made available under this resolution shall be 
     expended in accordance with regulations prescribed by the 
     Committee on House Administration.

     SEC. 6. RESERVE FUND FOR UNANTICIPATED EXPENSES.

       (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established a reserve 
     fund for unanticipated expenses of committees for the One 
     Hundred Fourteenth Congress.
       (b) Amount.--The reserve fund under this section shall have 
     a balance of $1,000,000, of which--
       (1) $500,000 shall be available for unanticipated expenses 
     incurred during the period beginning at noon on January 3, 
     2015, and ending immediately before noon on January 3, 2016; 
     and
       (2) $500,000 shall be available for unanticipated expenses 
     incurred during the period beginning at noon on January 3, 
     2016, and ending immediately before noon on January 3, 2017.
       (c) Allocation to Committees.--Amounts in the reserve fund 
     under this section shall be paid to a committee pursuant to 
     an allocation approved by the Committee on House 
     Administration.

     SEC. 7. ADJUSTMENT AUTHORITY.

       The Committee on House Administration shall have authority 
     to make adjustments in amounts under section 1, if necessary 
     to comply with an order of the President issued under section 
     251A or 254 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
     Control Act of 1985 or to conform to any change in 
     appropriations for the purposes of such section 1.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) 
and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady) each will control 30 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan.


                             General Leave

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous material on H. Res. 132.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 132, which is a resolution 
setting the funding levels for each House committee.
  Every Congress, it is the responsibility of the Committee on House 
Administration to establish funding levels for committees in the House 
so that they may budget appropriately and prepare their oversight and 
operational responsibilities for the rest of Congress with a full 
knowledge of the resources available.
  The Committee on House Administration started the consideration 
process out of this committee funding resolution by holding hearings to 
receive input from the chair and ranking members of each of our House 
committees. These were very productive, very informative hearings, and 
I am certain that my partner in this effort, the ranking member of our 
committee, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, certainly will share that belief. 
Each chair and ranking member worked together in the development of 
their committee's budget requests and in their advocacy for those 
requests before our committee. It was a true example of bipartisanship.
  This funding resolution that is a product of the information 
developed by our hearings is also a bipartisan product, which was 
favorably reported out of our committee by unanimous voice vote. I am 
very pleased that each committee reaffirmed their commitment to uphold 
the equitable two-thirds/one-third allocation between the majority and 
the minority sides.
  The Committee on House Administration has taken really great care, 
Mr. Speaker, in examining the funding levels authorized for each 
committee in this resolution so that the priorities of the House and 
the priorities of the American people are put front and center.
  I think it is important to note that, over the past few Congresses, 
the House has not only asked for fiscal responsibility across the 
Federal Government, but has led by example in showing fiscal 
responsibility by making reductions in our own budgets, both in 
individual Member office budgets as well as the committee budgets.
  Since the 110th Congress, for example, Mr. Speaker, the House has had 
actually a 15 percent reduction in our committee budgets. At the same 
time, our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol did not actually 
reduce the funding for their committees other than what was mandated by 
``sequestration.'' In fact, the other body actually increased their 
committee spending while the House was reducing spending, until making 
some modest reductions in the committee budgets recently at the start 
of the 114th. I just point that out. We were leading by example here.
  Additionally, the Executive Office actually had a 30 percent increase 
in

[[Page H1791]]

their spending since 2008, and, given that it is the role of the 
Congress to conduct effective and needed oversight over the entire 
executive and judicial branches, I think it is very vital that we make 
certain that our committees have the resources they need to meet this 
important duty.
  So that brings us here today, Mr. Speaker, to the consideration of 
House Resolution 152.
  After hearing from each chair and each ranking member, the committee 
was able, really, to better ascertain the needs of each committee and 
to ensure that they did have adequate and proper funding. Many 
committees, including the Committee on House Administration, received 
no increase in funding in this resolution from what we were allocated 
in the 113th Congress. Many committees received flat funding. Because 
of the increased oversight or legislative priorities, other committees 
required a very modest or targeted increase in their resources.
  The overall proposed increase in authorized funding for the 
committees is 1.63 percent for 2015 and 1.57 percent for 2016. Again, 
though, there are about half of the committees that received no 
increase in funding, got level funding.
  The committee funding resolution also takes into account that there 
might be unforeseen circumstances that will pop up during the course of 
this Congress that might require some additional resources. For 
instance, in the case of the Judiciary Committee, it was testified by 
the chair and the ranking member that there is a possibility of a 
judicial impeachment proceeding. They may have to conduct that; they 
may not. So to prepare for that kind of unanticipated need, the 
Committee on House Administration has actually allocated $500,000 for 
each session in the 114th into a reserve fund which could be allocated 
for something like that or, if there is another committee that 
demonstrates a real need for it, an emerging priority that perhaps they 
couldn't see at this point in time.
  I just think that that is a very fiscally prudent way to budget, not 
just giving money on the ``if come,'' but if we really do see that we 
need it, of course then we can protect that money; if we don't need to 
spend it, it won't be spent.
  Before authorizing any increase in funding, the Committee on House 
Administration really dove into why the increase was needed, such as a 
specific new priority, emerging challenges that some of our committees 
will face this Congress. Some of the committees requested additional 
funds for urgent equipment needs.
  Part of our responsibilities, of course, are to ensure smooth 
operations of this institution, because a breakdown of equipment that 
we rely on every day to assist with the daily function of the House may 
lead to proceedings being severely delayed or halted, and we thought 
that was an unacceptable possibility. So, as an example, some of the 
equipment that, as I say, that some of the committees are looking for, 
we wanted to make sure we had resources there.
  Another example is the need for additional specialized staff members 
to assist in the oversight functions that the committee is charged 
with. For instance, the Armed Services Committee, a good example, had 
great needs for additional staff to help with conducting vigorous 
oversight in the pursuit of major overdue reforms at the Pentagon which 
could save the Nation, literally, tens of billions of dollars. We 
thought that was a fiscally prudent use of additional resources.
  The Veterans' Affairs Committee has immense new challenges in 
conducting their oversight needed to get to the bottom of the 
scandalous treatment of our veterans at the VA hospitals across the 
Nation. Again, we thought that that was an appropriate expenditure as 
we ensure that those who have served the cause of freedom get the care 
and the benefits that they have earned. Again, not only do we believe 
that it is a prudent use of additional resources, but an imperative 
duty.
  Other committees have expressed a desire for more field hearings 
across the country, and our committee was very supportive of this 
because we really believe that getting out of Washington, if you will, 
and conducting these field hearings, talking to the American people, 
really allowing Members and committees to gather firsthand knowledge of 
how the Federal programs are functioning and their impact on our 
Nation, was a very important thing.

  So I would say this. I think it is important to note that, while 
there is a very small overall increase in authorized committee 
spending, this funding resolution does not require any new spending, 
does not require any new spending within the House's overall budget. 
This funding resolution only redirects already appropriated resources 
to new priorities.
  In summary, Mr. Speaker, we are proposing modest, targeted increases 
to meet the House committees' oversight and operational needs, and I 
would hope that each Member of the House will concur with the 
priorities that we have set forth in this funding resolution to allow 
each of our committees to continue with their important work.
  Producing this resolution, I think, was important work for our 
committee, and I certainly want to thank all of our members, both 
Republican and Democrat, particularly the distinguished ranking member, 
Mr. Brady from Pennsylvania, for his cooperation, their participation 
in the process, and the ideas that everybody brought to the table that 
helped produce this resolution that we bring to the full House today, 
which I will note as well, Mr. Speaker, was passed out of our committee 
unanimously.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 132.
  After several days of testimony by committee chairs and ranking 
members and careful review by the Committee on House Administration, we 
determined what we believe to be appropriate committee funding levels 
for the 114th Congress.
  I want to thank Chairman Miller and her staff for their diligence 
throughout this process. We have worked closely and cooperatively. 
While we would have liked to have done more, I believe that these 
levels will allow committees to perform their oversight 
responsibilities. It is my hope that we continue to explore ways to 
ensure congressional committees are equipped with the proper amount of 
resources needed to operate fully, while still maximizing the value of 
their committee funding.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on this resolution, and I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I would add that, for the 114th Congress--and I think this is a very 
important point, actually--the House remained below the amount 
authorized back in 2008. We are below the amount authorized in 2008. So 
the House has been making significant strides to take a very hard look 
at the way that we utilize our individual budgets, both in our Member 
offices as well as in our committees, and we are absolutely committed 
to being fiscally responsible stewards of the taxpayer dollar.
  This funding resolution highlights those priorities to remain 
guardians of the taxpayer dollar, and as such, each committee must 
operate responsibly, using their budget to set priorities to carry out 
their important work.
  Even after the adoption of the resolution, the Committee on House 
Administration will continue to work with each committee to assist them 
in finding solutions which deliver savings and allow every committee to 
stretch the valuable resources allocated so that they can continue to 
carry out their important duties.
  At the Committee on House administration, we understand, Mr. Speaker, 
that it is our responsibility to ensure that the House operates in a 
fiscally responsible manner, an effective and efficient manner, and 
that is a responsibility that we take very, very seriously. I believe 
strongly that we have found the appropriate balance in funding this 
resolution that will keep in place fiscal responsibility and, at the 
same time, ensure that the important work of the House is carried out.
  Mr. Speaker, I would mention to the ranking member that I don't think 
I have any other speakers.
  I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H1792]]

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I want to take this opportunity to thank the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Miller). It is no secret that she won't be returning in 
the next Congress, but this will be the last time that I will be with 
her managing the committees' funding.
  I know she is here 21 months more, but I want her to know that every 
chance I get, with this microphone, I will thank her.
  She is, without question, one of the classiest ladies I know in this 
House. She is fair. I enjoy going to the committee meetings. We smile 
and we shake hands before the meeting, and we smile and we shake hands 
after the meeting. She is a pleasure to work with. I wish her well. And 
again, for the next 21 months, any chance I get, I just hope that I do 
have the opportunity to keep on thanking her.
  I only hope that this House will take note of the way our committee 
works. We work together. We compromise together. And because of that, 
things get done.
  So, again, I wish her well, and I will have more opportunity to wish 
her well.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on the resolution, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, let me just sincerely, 
sincerely thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady), my ranking 
member.
  If I am going to miss anything in this House, it is the great 
friendships that I have made with many people, both Republicans and 
Democrats. Certainly he has been right at the top of the list. He has 
been nothing but professional in our committee deliberations, in the 
way that we handle all of these different challenges that come before 
our committee.
  I do think it is a very good thing that he points out that our 
committee does operate in a very bipartisan way. We are all about 
making sure that this institution is able to do what the American 
people expect from us, and we both share that passion. So I look 
forward to working with him for another year and a half here.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge every Member to support the passage of this 
resolution so that each committee can plan appropriately with the full 
knowledge of their available resources.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 152, the previous question is ordered on 
the resolution, as amended.
  The resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________