Appropriators propose $34M cut to Capitol operations

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The appropriations bill would cut $34 million from the $4.3 billion allocated to the Legislative Branch agencies last year, and $190 million from this year’s requested spending level.

Lawmakers will be spared further cutbacks in their operations budgets, however. The bill proposes keeping House operations funding at $1.2 billion after lawmakers experienced reductions of more than 10 percent since last year. 

The chairmen and ranking members of House committees warned appropriators last year that further cuts to their budget would likely require staff layoffs.  

The Capitol Police department was not only spared further cuts, but could see an increase of $20 million in funding. The proposed $360 million will support 1,775 sworn officers and 370 civilian positions, “providing critical safety and security functions for all members, staff and visitors of the Capitol complex,” the statement from appropriators noted. 

The Library of Congress could also see more funding. The proposed $592 million funding level for the department is a 1 percent increase over the previous year, and will go toward funding for salaries and expenses at the Copyright Office and the Congressional Research Service.

The Government Accountability Office could also see a sizable boost of $8.5 million under the proposed funding levels. But the $520 million recommended by House appropriators is still $6.4 million below the agency’s funding request for 2013.

The Architect of the Capitol might not be so lucky, though — House appropriators have recommended a $52.5 million cut from last year’s level, $145 million below what the agency requested. 

The Government Printing Office could also see a cut in their budget. Lawmakers recommend cutting $3.6 million from the agency’s budget for a total of $123 million.

House appropriators said the legislation “continues to cut spending on Congressional printing and binding services” for the agency.

The proposed 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill will be considered in subcommittee Friday.

— This story was updated at 3:47 p.m.