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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 19, 2016.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
This bill provides FY2017 appropriations for the legislative branch, including the Senate and the agencies that support Congress.
The bill funds Joint Items such as: the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Office of the Attending Physician.
It also provides appropriations for:
the Capitol Police, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the Library of Congress (LOC), the Government Publishing Office (GPO), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Pursuant to a longstanding practice under which each chamber of Congress determines its own requirements, the Senate bill does not include funds for the House of Representatives.
The bill increases overall legislative branch funding above the FY2016 level and includes an increase for the Senate.
For other legislative branch agencies and programs, the bill:
increases funding above FY2016 levels for the Capitol Police, the LOC, and the GAO; decreases funding below FY2016 levels for the AOC; and funds the CBO and the GPO at the FY2016 level. The bill also prohibits a cost of living adjustment for Members of Congress during FY2017.
Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2016
TITLE I--LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Provides appropriations to the Senate for:
Expense Allowances; Representational Allowances for the Majority and Minority Leaders; Salaries, Officers, and Employees; the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the Senate; the Office of Senate Legal Counsel; Expense Allowances of the Secretary of the Senate, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, and Secretaries for the Majority and Minority of the Senate; and Contingent Expenses of the Senate. (Sec. 1) Requires that amounts remaining in the Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account be used for deficit reduction or to reduce the federal debt
(Sec. 2) Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2004 to permit the Senate Commission on Art to transfer funds from the Senate Preservation Fund to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for the conservation or restoration by the AOC of works of art, historical objects, documents, or material relating to historical matters placed or exhibited, or to be placed or exhibited, within the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol or any Senate Office Building.
(Sec. 3) Prohibits cost of living adjustments for Members of Congress during FY2017.
Provides appropriations for Joint Items, including:
the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Office of the Attending Physician, and the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services. Provides appropriations for:
the Capitol Police, the Office of Compliance, and the Congressional Budget Office. (Sec. 1001) Permits the Capitol Police to accept and dispose of surplus property.
Provides appropriations to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for:
Capital Construction and Operations; the Capitol Building; the Capitol Grounds; the Senate Office Buildings; the Capitol Power Plant; the Library Buildings and Grounds; the Capitol Police Buildings, Grounds and Security; the Botanic Garden; and the Capitol Visitor Center. (Sec. 1101) Prohibits funds provided by this bill for the AOC from being used to make incentive or award payments to contractors for work that is behind schedule or over budget, unless the deviations are due to unforeseeable events, government-driven scope changes, or are insignificant within the overall scope of the project or program.
(Sec. 1102) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for scrims (coverings for buildings that are being renovated) containing photographs of building facades during restoration or construction projects performed by the AOC.
(Sec. 1103) Establishes a Flag Office Revolving Fund for the AOC to use for expenses in connection with services provided by the Flag Office, including: (1) supplies, inventories, equipment, and other expenses; and (2) reimbursement of any appropriations account for the salaries of employees of the Flag Office.
(Sec. 1104) Permits the AOC to use balances of expired appropriations to reimburse the Department of Labor for unemployment compensation payments to former AOC employees.
(Sec. 1105) Requires the AOC to establish, document, and follow formal procedures for the suspension and debarment of firms or individuals that the AOC has determined should be excluded from future contracts.
Provides appropriations to the Library of Congress (LOC) for:
Salaries and Expenses, the Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service, and Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. (Sec. 1201) Limits the FY2017 obligational authority of the LOC for reimbursable and revolving fund activities funded from sources other than appropriations.
Provides appropriations to the Government Publishing Office for:
Congressional Publishing, Public Information Programs of the Superintendent of Documents, and the Government Publishing Office Business Operations Revolving Fund. Provides appropriations to:
the Government Accountability Office, the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund, and the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development. TITLE II--GENERAL PROVISIONS
(Sec. 201) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for the maintenance or care of private vehicles, except for emergency assistance and cleaning.
(Sec. 202) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from remaining available for obligation beyond FY2017 unless expressly provided in this bill.
(Sec. 203) Provides that: (1) rates of compensation or designations of offices or positions included in this bill that are either not established by the Legislative Pay Act of 1929 or are contrary to that Act are considered permanent law; and (2) provisions in this bill for official congressional expenses and clerk hire for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives are permanent law.
(Sec. 204) Limits contracts for certain consulting services to those where expenditures are a matter of public record and available for public inspection.
(Sec. 205) Permits legislative branch entities participating in the Legislative Branch Financial Managers Council to use funds provided for administrative expenses to pay a share of the cost of the council if the total cost shared among all participating entities does not exceed $2000.
(Sec.206) Permits the AOC to maintain and improve landscape features in a specified area in the District of Columbia.
(Sec. 207) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being transferred to any department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. government unless the transfer is pursuant to authority provided by an appropriations Act.
(Sec. 208) Prohibits the AOC from using funds provided by this bill to eliminate or restrict guided Capitol tours led by congressional employees and interns, subject to an exception permitting tours to be suspended for security or related reasons.