H. Rept. 112-362 - ADJUSTING THE AMOUNT PROVIDED FOR THE EXPENSES OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS112th Congress (2011-2012)
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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.