H. Rept. 112-30 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
March 11, 2011, As Reported by the House Administration Committee

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House Report 112-30 - PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS




[House Report 112-30]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     112-30

======================================================================



 
   PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF 
          REPRESENTATIVES IN THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS

                                _______
                                

   March 11, 2011.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Daniel E. Lungren of California, from the Committee on House 
                Administration, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 147]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the resolution (H. Res. 147) providing for the expenses of 
certain committees of the House of Representatives in the One 
Hundred Twelfth Congress, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the 
resolution be agreed to.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    Pursuant to House Rule X, clause 6, the Committee on House 
Administration (hereinafter referred to as the ``Committee'') 
reports an omnibus, biennial ``primary expense resolution'' to 
cover the expenses of each standing and select committee of the 
House, except the Committee on Appropriations. H. Res. 147 is 
the primary expense resolution reported by the Committee on 
House Administration for the 112th Congress.
    On March 9, 2011, by voice vote, the Committee agreed to a 
motion to report H. Res. 147 favorably to the House without 
amendment. The resolution ensures that the aggregate amount of 
funding for standing and select committees will not exceed 95% 
of the funding for last Congress, and also includes a provision 
to require a review of the use of committee funds at the 
beginning of the second session of the 112th Congress.

                           GENERAL DISCUSSION

Background and Need for Legislation

    During the first three months of each new Congress, House 
Rule X, clause 7, authorizes House committees to continue 
operations based on their funding authorizations from the 
preceding session. This continuing authorization allows 
committees to organize, adopt legislative and oversight 
agendas, and seek spending authority through the adoption of a 
primary expense resolution by the House.
    The funding process begins after a House standing or select 
committee determines its biennial funding needs, and introduces 
a House resolution seeking those funds. Under House Rule X, 
clause 6, all funding resolutions, which are referred to as 
primary expense resolutions, are referred to the Committee on 
House Administration. After all committee expense resolutions 
have been introduced, the Committee combines the resolutions 
into a single, omnibus primary expense resolution. Since this 
funding process merely authorizes the expenditure of funds 
already provided (or to be provided) in appropriations acts, 
the funding measure takes the form of a simple House 
resolution, thus freeing it from the requirement of Senate or 
presidential approval. Working with whatever funds are or will 
be made available through appropriations acts, and after 
requesting and reviewing committee budget submissions, the 
Committee recommends an appropriate allocation of the available 
funds.

112th Congress Proceedings

    To gather the information necessary to create the omnibus 
primary expense resolution, the Committee required the standing 
and select committees to submit estimates for their expected 
expenses for both sessions of the 112th Congress. The Committee 
asked that committees provide line item estimates for the 
following expenses: personnel compensation (including salaries 
and lump sum payments), overtime, transit benefits, travel, 
communications, and printing and reproduction costs. The 
Committee also requested that the standing and select 
committees estimate their expenses for other services, 
including consultant contracts, detailees from executive and 
other agencies, training, representational expenses, 
specialized training, and miscellaneous expenses. Finally, the 
Committee requested budget estimates for the costs of supplies, 
materials, and equipment.
    In addition to requiring the above information, the 
Committee asked that the standing and select committee budget 
requests conform to H. Res. 22, a previously passed resolution 
that, inter alia, mandated the aggregate amount of funding for 
committees not exceed 95% of the funding for the 111th 
Congress. In submitting their budget requests, every standing 
and select committee met this goal.
    To further gather the information necessary to create the 
omnibus primary expense resolution, the Committee convened a 
hearing to provide the Chairs and Ranking Members of the 
standing and select committees an opportunity to present and 
share their views on their respective budget requests for the 
112th Congress.
    During the hearing, Members of the Committee asked the 
Chairs and Ranking Members if these smaller budget requests 
would impact their ability to conduct effective oversight or 
pursue their legislative goals. Chairs and Ranking Members 
uniformly assured the Committee that they will be able to meet 
their legislative and oversight responsibilities with the 
requested level of funding. However, some Chairs and Ranking 
Members did state that their ability to provide oversight over 
the Executive Branch agencies in their jurisdiction would be 
impaired if further cuts were undertaken.
    Members of the Committee also asked the Chairs and Ranking 
Members how they were managing and will manage their resources 
with equity and prudence. Since the 104th Congress, House 
majority leadership and the Chair and Ranking Member of the 
Committee have encouraged the Chairs of the standing and select 
committees to provide the minority with one-third of committee 
staff and/or resources authorized in the primary expense 
resolutions. During the hearings, the Committee sought to 
ensure that the minority in each committee was treated 
equitably in the funding process. Each Ranking Member was asked 
if he or she was allocated the traditional one-third share of 
committee staff positions and/or committee resources, as 
determined by each committee. These exchanges indicated that 
all of the committees appear to be in compliance with the 
traditional ``two-thirds/one-third'' distribution of funds 
among the majority and minority.
    After the hearing, the Committee used the budget 
submissions and Member testimony to create an omnibus expense 
resolution, introduced by Chairman Lungren, to authorize 
funding for all of the committees. The resolution includes a 
provision to require the Chairs and Ranking Members to return 
to the Committee after one year for an additional oversight 
hearing to review the use of funds from the first session. 
These proceedings will be open to the public, and will provide 
an opportunity to discover how effectively and efficiently 
funding allocations are being used. The provision is intended 
to promote accountability, transparency, and oversight of each 
committee's resources.
    In reporting out this resolution, the committee is 
recommending to the House an authorization to expend 
approximately $141,336,128 in the first session, and 
$143,492,530 in the second session. This amount constitutes a 
five percent reduction for each committee as compared to the 
amounts each committee received in the 111th Congress.
    When consideration is taken for the supplemental funding 
provided to the Committee on the Judiciary for the impeachment 
proceedings in the 111th Congress, as well as the amount no 
longer required for the Select Committee for Energy 
Independence and Global Warming (which was sunset at the end of 
the 111th Congress), the overall reduction in funding for the 
noted committees provides for a 6.65 percent decrease in 
authorization from last Congress.
    The amounts for each committee contained in the primary 
expense resolution are as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Committee                               1st session     2nd session     112th total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture.....................................................      $6,189,494      $6,045,553     $12,235,047
Armed Services..................................................       7,525,264       7,525,264      15,050,528
Budget..........................................................       6,033,185       6,033,185      12,066,370
Education and the Workforce.....................................       8,346,254       8,346,254      16,692,508
Energy and Commerce.............................................      10,980,940      11,428,642      22,409,582
Ethics..........................................................       2,824,535       3,043,776       5,868,311
Financial Services..............................................       8,441,264       8,958,018      17,399,282
Foreign Affairs.................................................       8,952,470       8,952,470      17,904,940
Homeland Security...............................................       8,443,724       8,443,724      16,887,448
House Administration............................................       4,949,176       5,566,837      10,516,013
Judiciary.......................................................       8,401,406       8,401,406      16,802,812
Natural Resources...............................................       7,869,766       7,869,766      15,739,532
Oversight and Government Reform.................................      10,613,054      10,613,054      21,226,108
Rules...........................................................       3,391,985       3,391,985       6,783,970
Science, Space, and Technology..................................       6,685,637       6,660,637      13,346,273
Small Business..................................................       3,214,891       3,659,109       6,874,000
Transportation and Infrastructure...............................       9,915,223       9,915,223      19,830,446
Veterans' Affairs...............................................       3,602,745       3,682,512       7,285,256
Ways and Means..................................................       9,801,365       9,801,366      19,602,731
Intelligence....................................................       5,153,750       5,153,750      10,307,500
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................................    $141,336,128    $143,492,530    $284,828,658
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                HEARINGS

    On March 1 and 2, 2011, the Committee convened a hearing to 
provide the Chairs and Ranking Members of the standing and 
select committees an opportunity to present and share their 
views on their respective budget requests.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On March 9, 2011, by voice vote, the Committee agreed to a 
motion to report H. Res. 147 favorably to the House without 
amendment.

                         COMMITTEE RECORD VOTES

    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(b), with 
respect to each record vote on a motion to report the 
resolution and on any amendment offered to the resolution, the 
Committee states that there were no record votes on the motion 
to report the resolution.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    In compliance with House Rule XXIII, clause 3(c)(1), the 
Committee states that the findings and recommendations of the 
Committee, based on oversight activities under House Rule X, 
clause 2(b)(1), are incorporated into the general discussion 
section of this report.

            STATEMENT OF BUDGET AUTHORITY AND RELATED ITEMS

    The resolution does not provide new budget authority, new 
spending authority, new credit authority, or an increase or 
decrease in revenues or tax expenditures and a statement under 
House Rule XXIII, clause 3(c)(2), and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is not required.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with House Rule XXIII, clause 3(c)(3), the 
Committee states, with respect to H. Res. 147, that the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office did not submit a 
cost estimate and comparison under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    In compliance with House Rule XXIII, clause 3(c)(4), the 
Committee states that the general discussion section of this 
report includes a statement of the general performance goals 
and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, 
for which H. Res. 147 authorizes funding.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    We have joined Chairman Lungren in supporting H. Res. 147, 
the Committee Funding Resolution, and urge our Democratic 
colleagues to do so as well.
    There is virtually unanimous, bipartisan agreement that our 
government must find creative, ground-breaking ways to do more 
with fewer resources. The same challenge faces state and local 
governments and is being duplicated in American households 
across the country. Regrettably, these efforts often require 
painful decisions.
    The total budget for the 20 Committees that come before the 
Committee on House Administration for funding is nearly $285 
million. These committees fulfill a vital, constitutional 
oversight role for a Federal Government that operates thousands 
of programs and employs more than 2.1 million civilian 
employees, excluding the U.S. Postal Service. While Committee 
Democrats understand why committee budgets were reduced by 5%, 
we also have great concern that budget cuts will negatively 
impact our ability to sufficiently conduct our oversight 
activities. We believe that any discussion or consideration of 
budget cuts must be done within the context of their impact on 
our constitutionally-mandated oversight roles and 
responsibilities.
    Virtually across the board, Chairs and Ranking Members in 
their testimony before us outlined the potential negative 
impact that reduced funding will have on their ability to hire 
and retain top-notch talent. At a time when our Nation faces 
increasingly complicated domestic and international challenges, 
these potential staff deficiencies are extremely troubling.
    We must acknowledge that resource reductions could have a 
far-reaching impact on the mission of this great institution 
and its ability to be a viable representative body for the 
American people. We strongly urge the Republican majority to 
give these concerns substantial weight when plotting a fiscal 
course forward.

                                   Robert A. Brady.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.
                                   Charles Gonzalez.