Committee Fundingby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-01-24
REID. Mr. President, 2 years ago my friend the Republican leader
and I expressed our intention that the funding allocation adopted for
the 112th Congress would serve for that and future Congresses. Over the
prior 20 years, the apportionment of committee funding had gone from a
straight two-thirds for majority and one-third for minority during the
1990s, regardless of the size of the majority and minority, to biannual
negotiations during the following decade. The new funding allocation
for Senate committees was based on the party division of the Senate,
with 10 percent of the total majority and minority salary baseline
going to the majority for administrative expenses. However, regardless
of the party division of the Senate, the minority share of the majority
and minority salary baseline will never be less than 40 percent, and
the majority share will never exceed 60 percent. This approach met our
needs for the last Congress, and I would like to see it continue.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I, too, would like to continue this approach for the 113th and future Congresses. It serves the interest of the Senate and the public by helping to retain core committee staff with institutional knowledge, regardless of which party is in the majority. We made a transition in the last Congress to restore special reserves to its historic purpose, but appropriations cuts prevented special reserves from being funded. To the extent possible, we should try to fund special reserves in order to be able to assist committees that face urgent, unanticipated, nonrecurring needs. We know that we will continue to face tight budgets for the foreseeable future, and we have to bring funding authorizations more in line with our actual resources while ensuring that committees e able to fulfill their responsibilities. I look forward to continuing to work with my friend the majority leader to accomplish this.
Mr. REID. I thank my friend the Republican leader and ask unanimous consent that a joint leadership letter be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Joint Leadership Letter We mutually commit to the following for the 113th Congress: The budgets of the Committees of the Senate, including Joint and Special Committees, and all other subgroups, shall be apportioned to reflect the ratio of the Senate as of this date, including an additional ten percent (10%) from the majority and minority salary baseline to be allocated to the Chairman for administrative expenses, to be determined by the Rules Committee.
Special Reserves has been restored to its historic purpose. Requests for funding will only be considered when submitted by a Committee Chairman and Ranking Member for unanticipated, non-recurring needs. Such requests shall be granted only upon the approval of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Rules Committee.
Funds for Committee expenses shall be available to each Chairman consistent with Senate rules and practices of the 112th Congress.
The Chairman and Ranking Member of any Committee may, by mutual consent, modifying the apportionment of Committee funding and office space.
The division of Committee office space shall be commensurate with this funding agreement.