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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-362

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

 
ADJUSTING THE AMOUNT PROVIDED FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF 
    THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS

                                _______
                                

  January 17, 2012.--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

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 496]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the resolution (H. Res. 496) adjusting the amount provided 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.

                 BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE RESOLUTION

    Under House rule X, clause 6, the Committee on House 
Administration is charged with the responsibility of reporting 
an expense resolution to grant authorization for the expenses, 
including salaries, of the select and standing committees of 
the House. To accomplish this goal, the Committee convened a 
hearing to provide the Chairs and Ranking Members of the 
standing and select committees an opportunity to present and 
justify their respective budget requests. These budget requests 
covered both sessions of Congress.
    On March 9, 2011, by voice vote, the Committee met and 
unanimously agreed to a motion to favorably report H. Res. 147, 
the omnibus expense resolution, to the House. This resolution 
combined the standing and select committees' initial budget 
requests after consideration of available funds and budget 
constraints. Further, section 3(c) of the resolution stipulated 
that none of the funds for the second session may be made 
available after March 15, 2012, until the Chairs and Ranking 
Members appeared and presented testimony before House 
Administration to review the use of funds in the first session.
    On July 22, 2011, the House passed H.R. 2551, the 
Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2012. This bill 
appropriates $125,964,870 for salaries and expenses of the 
standing and select committees for 2012. That amount represents 
a 6.4% reduction from the 2011 appropriation level for 
committee budgets.
    To meet the section 3(c) requirement of H. Res. 147, on 
November 30, 2011, the Committee held an oversight hearing to 
review the budgets for all the standing and select committees 
(except the Committee on Appropriations) in 2011, and to review 
budget planning for 2012. During the hearing, Committee members 
asked the Chairs and Ranking Members about how each committee 
operated with their lower budgets and whether the committees 
could continue to perform their responsibilities with future 
cuts to their budgets. Each committee was also questioned on 
whether they have held to the practice of giving the minority 
one-third of the committee's budget.
    On December 14, 2011, Chairman Lungren introduced a second 
committee funding resolution, H. Res. 496, to adjust committee 
authorization levels. This resolution--matching authorization 
levels with the reduced funding levels--required the Committee 
to make extremely difficult decisions.
    Most committees will be faced with tremendous oversight 
responsibilities in 2012. Particularly daunting will be Armed 
Services' charge of managing the automatic sequestration of 
$600 billion in defense funding triggered by the Budget Control 
Act. In addition to Armed Services, the Ethics Committee--
tasked with holding Members and staff to the highest ethical 
standards--requested and received reprieve from authorization 
reductions in this resolution.
    To offset these exceptions, the Committee identified and 
reduced the authorizations of committee budgets most able to 
absorb a slightly larger reduction in 2012. In addition to the 
Committee on House Administration, the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology and the Committee on Small Business 
received a slightly higher reduction than the 6.4% cut applied 
to the remaining House committees.
    On December 16, 2011, the Committee, by voice vote, agreed 
to a motion to favorably report the resolution to the House.

                SUMMARY AND SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1(a) adjusts the aggregate amount paid out of the 
applicable accounts of the House of Representatives with 
respect to the 112th Congress for the expenses (including the 
expense of all staff salaries) of the select and standing 
committees of the House (except the Committee on 
Appropriations).
    Section 1(b) adjusts the amount provided for the expenses 
of each standing and select committee of the House (except the 
Committee on Appropriations) for expenses incurred during the 
second session of the 112th Congress (the period beginning at 
noon on January 3, 2012, and ending immediately before noon on 
January 3, 2013).
    The amounts for each committee contained in the primary 
expense resolution are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Committee                 112th total       Second session
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture.......................        $11,848,132         $5,658,638
Armed Services....................         14,900,023          7,374,759
Budget............................         11,680,246          5,647,061
Education and Workforce...........         16,158,348          7,812,094
Energy and Commerce...............         21,678,149         10,697,209
Ethics............................          6,218,310          3,393,775
Financial Services................         16,825,969          8,384,705
Foreign Affairs...................         17,331,982          8,379,512
Homeland Security.................         16,347,050          7,903,326
House Administration..............         10,118,345          5,169,169
Judiciary.........................         16,265,122          7,863,716
Natural Resources.................         15,235,867          7,366,101
Oversight & Gov't. Reform.........         20,546,873          9,933,819
Rules.............................          6,566,883          3,174,898
Science, Space, and Technology....         12,671,660          5,986,023
Small Business....................          6,598,427          3,383,536
Transportation and Infrastructure.         19,195,872          9,280,649
Veterans' Affairs.................          7,049,575          3,446,830
Ways and Means....................         18,975,444          9,174,079
HPSC on Intelligence..............          9,977,660          4,823,910
                                   -------------------------------------
    Totals........................        276,189,937        134,853,809
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 496

                       INTRODUCTION AND REFERRAL

    On December 14, 2011, Representative Daniel E. Lungren of 
California introduced House Resolution 496, which was referred 
to the Committee on House Administration.

                                HEARINGS

    On November 30, 2011, the Committee held an oversight 
hearing to review the budgets for all the standing and select 
committees (except the Committee on Appropriations) in 2011, 
and to review budget planning for 2012. The Chairs and Ranking 
Members of the select and standing committees provided 
testimony on their respective use of committee funds.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On December 16, 2011, the Committee met to mark up House 
Resolution 496. The Committee ordered the resolution reported 
favorably to the House by voice vote, with a quorum present.

                         COMMITTEE RECORD VOTES

    In compliance with House rule XIII, clause 3(b), with 
respect to each record vote on an amendment or motion to 
report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, the Committee states that there were no recorded votes 
during the consideration of this 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 House Resolution 496, 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 House Resolution 496 authorizes funding.

                          ADVISORY ON EARMARKS

    In accordance with House rule XXI, clause 9, the Committee 
states that the provisions in House Resolution 496 that 
warranted a referral to the Committee on House Administration 
do not contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 
9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

MINORITY VIEWS OF RANKING MEMBER ROBERT A. BRADY, REP. ZOE LOFGREN AND 
                        REP. CHARLES A. GONZALEZ

    Committee Democrats oppose this unprecedented committee 
defunding resolution which would reduce budgets by an average 
of 6.4% during the second session. These cuts come just nine 
months after House Resolution 147 instituted an average cut of 
5 percent in funding for each committee.
    As committee chairmen and ranking members repeatedly 
testified at our November 30, 2011, oversight hearing, this 
reduction in funding will undermine the House's most 
fundamental legislative and oversight functions. The end result 
is likely to be an increase in total government spending as 
well as decreased efficiency, as was noted by many Republican 
Members at the hearing. The testimony of the chairs and ranking 
Members should be heeded. The rationale behind the biennial 
committee budgeting process, supposedly one of the great 
reforms of the Gingrich Republican Revolution of 1995, is being 
undermined.
    Testimony at our oversight hearing by both chairs and 
ranking members confirmed that additional budget cuts as 
contemplated by House Resolution 496 would have an adverse 
impact on both staff jobs and salaries. The resolution makes 
cuts just so we can say that we cut. The minority would be 
particularly hard hit. If the majority is contemplating 
additional cuts, they should be considered with the next 
biennial funding resolution, when proper notice and planning 
could occur at the committees.
    Committee Democrats unsuccessfully offered an amendment 
during the markup to provide 60 days severance pay to any 
committee staff dismissed as a result of passage of H. Res. 
496. This is a common practice in the private sector. The 
amendment, which was defeated on a party-line vote, itself was 
based on House Resolution 1104, brought to the Floor at the end 
of the 109th Congress by our former chairman, Vern Ehlers, with 
the support of Rep. Lungren. Unfortunately, that measure had 
been rejected by voice vote under suspension.
    As Rep. Lungren said in debate on H. Res. 1104: ``I happen 
to be one of those who has been accused about not being 
concerned enough about staff, but the fact of the matter is, if 
we want small government to work well, we need to have good 
people to work here. I don't know why we are taking the time 
tonight to berate, in essence, our people, to suggest that 
somehow they knew this was coming.''
    We told committees earlier this year that we were making a 
5 percent cut, and then we gave them their budgets for the 
112th Congress. Committee chairs and ranking members planned 
and hired their staffs accordingly. That promise created at 
least a semblance of finality after the change of party 
majorities following the 2010 election, when the Democratic 
minority was forced to dismiss half of our former committee 
staff.
    We urge the defeat of House Resolution 496.

                                   Robert A. Brady.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.
                                   Charles A. Gonzalez.