Newspaper article Roll Call

House Funds Itself at Same Level as '12

Newspaper article Roll Call

House Funds Itself at Same Level as '12

Article excerpt

House Republicans and Democrats found some rare common ground Friday, passing a bill to fund their offices at the same level as last year while making an overall 1 percent cut in legislative branch spending for fiscal 2013.

By a 307-102 vote, the chamber backed a $3.3 billion legislative branch appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 that would provide $1.2 billion for House operations, including Members' Representational Allowances.

Democrats split 96-83 in favor of the bill; Republicans backed it 211-19.

Though the bill, which excludes funding for Senate operations, is a tad slimmer than last year's incarnation, allocations were distributed so that some agencies took bigger hits than others, and some received an increase.

Most notably, the budget for all House operations, including MRAs, got the same allocation as last year.

The Capitol Police would get a 6 percent boost, while the Government Accountability Office would see a 2 percent increase. Congressional Budget Office funding would increase by 1.1 percent. The Library of Congress would get a 0.5 percent boost.

On the other side of the ledger, the Architect of the Capitol would see its budget cut by 13.4 percent.

During floor consideration Friday morning, the House adopted a handful of amendments to trim funding a bit further.

One cut $1.2 million from the Botanic Garden's $12 million allocation. Another cut $878,000 from the Congressional Research Service's $107.7 million allocation, restoring the CRS to its fiscal 2012 funding level. Lawmakers also zeroed out funding for the Open World Leadership exchange program, which was already being funded at just $1 million for shut-down purposes.

Some Democrats said the additional cuts moved them to vote against the bill.

"After the adoption of amendments to further cut Legislative Branch agencies, especially the Congressional Research Service, I felt compelled to vote against final passage of the bill," Rep. …

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