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Candice M.
Republican MI 10

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  • Providing for the Expenses of Certain Committees of the House of Representatives in the 113Th Congress

    by Representative Candice S. Miller

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 122, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 115) providing for the expenses of certain committees of the House of Representatives in the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.



    The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 122, the resolution is considered as read.

    The text of the resolution is as follows: Resolved, SECTION 1. COMMITTEE EXPENSES FOR THE ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS.

    (a) In General.--With respect to the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, there shall be paid out of the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives, in accordance with this primary expense resolution, not more than the amount specified in subsection (b) for the expenses (including the expenses of all staff salaries) of each committee named in such subsection.

    (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture, $10,072,374; Committee on Armed Services, $13,127,070; Committee on the Budget, $10,277,648; Committee on Education and the Workforce, $13,905,526; Committee on Energy and Commerce, $19,041,032; Committee on Ethics, $6,040,918; Committee on Financial Services, $14,788,964; Committee on Foreign Affairs, $14,776,224; Committee on Homeland Security, $14,067,176; Committee on House Administration, $9,201,120; Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $8,779,516; Committee on the Judiciary, $14,154,032; Committee on Natural Resources, $13,111,658; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, $17,880,874; Committee on Rules, $5,714,816; Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, $10,565,510; Committee on Small Business, $5,985,376; Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, $16,364,614; Committee on Veterans' Affairs, $6,097,092; and Committee on Ways and Means, $16,846,822.

    SEC. 2. FIRST SESSION LIMITATIONS.

    (a) In General.--Of the amount provided for in section 1 for each committee named in subsection (b), not more than the amount specified in such subsection shall be available for expenses incurred during the period beginning at noon on January 3, 2013, and ending immediately before noon on January 3, 2014.

    (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture, $5,036,187; Committee on Armed Services, $6,563,535; Committee on the Budget, $5,138,824; Committee on Education and the Workforce, $6,952,763; Committee on Energy and Commerce, $9,520,516; Committee on Ethics, $3,020,459; Committee on Financial Services, $7,394,482; Committee on Foreign Affairs, $7,388,112; Committee on Homeland Security, $7,033,588; Committee on House Administration, $4,600,560; Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $4,389,758; Committee on the Judiciary, $7,077,016; Committee on Natural Resources, $6,555,829; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, $8,940,437; Committee on Rules, $2,857,408; Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, $5,282,755; Committee on Small Business, $2,992,688; Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, $8,182,307; Committee on Veterans' Affairs, $3,048,546; and Committee on Ways and Means, $8,423,411.

    SEC. 3. SECOND SESSION LIMITATIONS.

    (a) In General.--Of the amount provided for in section 1 for each committee named in subsection (b), not more than the amount specified in such subsection shall be available for expenses incurred during the period beginning at noon on January 3, 2014, and ending immediately before noon on January 3, 2015.

    (b) Committees and Amounts.--The committees and amounts referred to in subsection (a) are: Committee on Agriculture, $5,036,187; Committee on Armed Services, $6,563,535; Committee on the Budget, $5,138,824; Committee on Education and the Workforce, $6,952,763; Committee on Energy and Commerce, $9,520,516; Committee on Ethics, $3,020,459; Committee on Financial Services, $7,394,482; Committee on Foreign Affairs, $7,388,112; Committee on Homeland Security, $7,033,588; Committee on House Administration, $4,600,560; Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, $4,389,758; Committee on the Judiciary, $7,077,016; Committee on Natural Resources, $6,555,829; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, $8,940,437; Committee on Rules, $2,857,408; Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, $5,282,755; Committee on Small Business, $2,992,688; Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, $8,182,307; Committee on Veterans' Affairs, $3,048,546; and Committee on Ways and Means, $8,423,411.

    (c) Review of Use of Funds in First Session.-- (1) Review.--None of the amounts provided for in section 1 for a committee named in subsection (b) may be available for expenses of the committee after March 15, 2014, unless the chair or ranking minority member of the committee appears and presents testimony at a hearing of the Committee on House Administration held prior to such date to review the committee's use of the amounts provided for in section 1 during the first session of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress and to determine whether the amount specified in subsection (b) with respect to the committee should be updated on the basis of the review.

    (2) Waiver.--The Committee on House Administration may waive the application of paragraph (1) to any or all of the committees named in subsection (b).

    SEC. 4. VOUCHERS.

    Payments under this resolution shall be made on vouchers authorized by the committee involved, signed by the chairman of such committee, and approved in the manner directed by the Committee on House Administration.

    SEC. 5. REGULATIONS.

    Amounts made available under this resolution shall be expended in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Committee on House Administration.

    SEC. 6. RESERVE FUND FOR UNANTICIPATED EXPENSES.

    (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established a reserve fund for unanticipated expenses of committees for the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress.

    (b) Balance.--The balance of the reserve fund under this section shall be equal to the sum of the following: (1) The amount by which the amount made available for ``House of Representatives--Committee Employees, Standing Committees, Special and Select'' for fiscal year 2013 exceeds the amount that would be made available for ``House of Representatives--Committee Employees, Standing Committees, Special and Select'' by division C of the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (H.R. 933, as passed by the House of Representatives on March 6, 2013), as reduced pursuant to the provisions of division D of such Act.

    (2) The amount by which the amount made available for ``House of Representatives--Committee Employees, Standing Committees, Special and Select'' for fiscal year 2014 exceeds the amount made available for ``House of Representatives-- Committee Employees, Standing Committees, Special and Select'' for fiscal year 2013.

    (c) Allocation to Committees.--Amounts in the reserve fund under this section shall be paid to a committee pursuant to an allocation approved by the Committee on House Administration.

    SEC. 7. ADJUSTMENT AUTHORITY.

    The Committee on House Administration shall have authority to make adjustments in amounts under section 1, if necessary to comply with an order of the President issued under section 251A or 254 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 or to conform to any change in appropriations for the purposes of such section 1.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Vargas) each will control 30 minutes.

    The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan.

    General Leave Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Michigan? There was no objection.

    Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in very strong support of House Resolution 115, which is providing for the expenses of certain committees of the House of Representatives for the 113th Congress and which authorizes committee budgets for the 113th Congress.

    Earlier this month, Mr. Speaker, the Committee on House Administration held two very lengthy and very informative days of hearings with our chairmen and with our ranking members from all of the 19 House committees. Each of them testified about their respective budgets, the commitment to uphold the longstanding two-thirds, one- third allocation between majority and minority offices; and most importantly, Mr. Speaker, they talked about doing more with less, which is a topic that we are all very, very familiar with.

    This funding process and these discussions significantly impact the legislative process as these committees are where, of course, the legislation that comprise much of our work begins, where our vital oversight functions occur, which is why throughout this process we adhered, Mr. Speaker, to two very important principles. First of all, we said we need to live within our means, and then prioritizing the finite resources that we have provided to us [[Page H1592]] in the Congress by hardworking American taxpayers.

    As we all know, sequestration went into effect on March 1, 2013, and Congress must live with further cuts, just as every other agency of government must live with similar cuts. As a result of the sequester, the total committee authorization level must be reduced by approximately 11 percent, in the 11 percentile range. And that means if we authorize above that amount, then we will have to take the money from somewhere else.

    When ensuring that committees have adequate resources, obviously, we have to consider their legislative objectives; we have to consider their anticipated workload and authorize the finite resources available in a way that best suits the needs of the House of Representatives as a whole.

    Although the sequestration is not certainly the ideal way to cut spending, cuts are imperative. They must happen. Our government is too big, too involved, and too costly. As those who are charged with the care of taxpayers' dollars, we need to lead by example, and we must control our spending. We must live within our own means.

    Now, this may be a far more strict budget than many had hoped or anticipated, but like so many Americans, we are coping with our circumstances, and we are making cuts to our budgets in a way that any American business or American family would have to, as every local unit of government, every State around the country has had to do. Certainly during these very trying economic times, we also have to make value judgments and budget accordingly.

    To match the available post-sequestration funding level, the total authorization amount for House committees must be reduced, as I say, by about 11 percent from the 2012 level; and, therefore, with very few exceptions, each committee authorization has been reduced, again, within that 11 percent range or certainly within a percentage point or so of the 11 percent.

    Based on the anticipated workload for the 113th Congress, the Budget Committee, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Select Committee on Intelligence have been given very much smaller reductions, a very slight reduction from the 11 percent. But every committee certainly will be faced with important oversight responsibilities for 2013. However, given that getting our economy moving again and defending this Nation are the foremost priorities that we face, the dire need for tax and entitlement reform to help grow our economy, to create good-paying private sector jobs and the increasing cyberthreats to our digital infrastructure, it was determined by our committee that these three committees certainly are the tip of the spear in doing some of the most important work for the American people.

    We must remain, as well, committed to leading by example in cutting government waste, rooting out inefficiencies, and conducting essential and efficient oversight of our vast administrative agencies.

    House Resolution 115, Mr. Speaker, we believe fulfills that mission. I would also point out that this House resolution not only reduces committee expenditures, but it also authorizes total committee funding for the 113th Congress at a level which is lower than 2005. I think that bears repeating--a level lower than 2005. By comparison, overall nondefense discretionary spending by the executive branch has actually increased 16.7 percent since 2008--quite a big difference there.

    As I said before, as chairman of the Committee on House Administration, I certainly understand the challenges of stretching committee resources, and I have a very deep appreciation for every committee's ability to absorb these cuts and their commitment to functioning at a high level, even with the reduced resources that they have, and that is due certainly in no small measure to the outstanding leadership that we have with each committee chairman and each ranking member on all of our committees, really, all committed to delivering a very high level of service to the American people.

    Some of my colleagues, I know, have voiced their opposition to this measure calling for a freeze in committee spending. They say that freezing spending for committees at 2012 levels is a more balanced approach. But since sequestration, we just don't have the money to cover a freeze. We do not have the money.

    So I would simply state that spending beyond our means, in my opinion, is not a balanced approach. In fact, I would say it's a bit irresponsible. As I said before, every American family, every small business, every State and local unit of government must live within their means, and so must the U.S. House of Representatives.

    {time} 1510 Mr. Speaker, again, this resolution has required us to make some very difficult but very necessary decisions. And I want to personally thank, and certainly all of our committee members thank, each chairman and each ranking member who testified before our committee, and our committee staffs as well, who are often unrecognized for the vital work that they do.

    I would urge, Mr. Speaker, all of my colleagues to support House Resolution 115, living within our means and prioritizing our finite resources like the rest of America.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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