Politics

Capitol Police, Library of Congress Get Boost in Omnibus

Bill would provide an additional $77 million compared to fiscal 2016

Additional funds for the Capitol Police are planned for boosting recruiting and for training and administrative needs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:00 p.m. | The Capitol Police and the Library of Congress would both get a boost in the $4.4 billion Legislative Branch title of the fiscal 2017 omnibus bill released early Monday. The bill would provide an additional $77 million compared to the fiscal 2016 level.

The bill would provide $632 million for the Library of Congress, which is $32 million more than the fiscal 2016 enacted level. The extra funds would be used to upgrade the library’s technology infrastructure to support growing storage needs and for increased cybersecurity measures for the institution, according to House Democrat and Republican summaries.

The House is expected to take up the measure as an amendment to an unrelated bill, according to an explanatory statement from House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

The measure would provide about $1.189 billion for House operations, according to a separate House Appropriations explanatory statement on the Legislative Branch title, and $871.2 million for Senate operations.

Report language accompanying the bill includes a nod to last year’s controversy in the Legislative Branch bill over language instructing the library to use terms used in Title 8 of the U.S. Code as subject headings for library searches — including the term “illegal alien” to describe undocumented immigrants. The fiscal 2017 language instead directs the library to make publicly available its process for changing or adding subject headings.

The Capitol Police would see an $18.3 million boost over fiscal year 2016, with $393.3 million provided for the force, which provides security for the Capitol as well as protection for top congressional leaders. The additional funds are slated to boost recruiting, training and administrative needs. Once new officers are fully trained, there would be a reduced need for overtime pay, according to the Republican summary.

The report also includes language instructing the Capitol Police to consider the “family-style neighborhood that the Capitol shares with the surrounding community” and to “forebear enforcement” when encountering snow sledders on Capitol Hill.

The Architect of the Capitol’s office, which is responsible for maintaining the Capitol complex and its grounds, would receive $617.9 million under the measure — a $5 million increase from the fiscal 2016 enacted level. This includes $20.8 million for the rehabilitation of the Rayburn House Office Building garage and $17 million for the revitalization of historic buildings.

Funding is also included for modernization of the 108-year-old Cannon House Office Building. That project is expected to take a decade and cost nearly $800 million, with $62 million provided for fiscal 2017.

The Government Accountability Office, the independent nonpartisan agency that does investigative and oversight work for Congress, would receive $544.5 million, according to the Democratic summary. This would be a $13.5 million increase over fiscal 2016 levels.

Funding levels for the Congressional Budget Office would be set at $46.5 million, a slight increase from $46 million enacted in fiscal 2016.

Two Legislative Branch agencies slated for the same funding levels as fiscal 2016 are the Government Publishing Office at $117 million and the Open World Leadership Center at $5.6 million.

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