On Thursday, July 28, 2022, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy published 12 appropriations bills and accompanying explanatory statements, including the FY 2023 Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations bill and explanatory statement. These measures will not go through the traditional hearing and mark-up process. The bill and explanatory statement are packed with good government reforms and significant investments in Congressional operations.
We and our civil society colleagues recommended dozens of items to include — see our FY 2023 Appropriations requests, FY 2023 appropriations testimony, and report on updating House Rules for the 117th Congress — a number of which made it into the bill and report. We are deeply appreciative of Chair Jack Reed, Ranking Member Mike Braun, and members of the committee for their consideration of our requests.
There are a few provisions in the Senate Legislative Branch Subcommittee bill and explanatory statement to note as the Senate is now moving through its appropriations process. They include:
Continue reading “Demand Progress Proposals Included in FY 2023 Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills and Explanatory Statement” →
- Strong investments in staff pay and benefits, including an increase in the SOPOEA to allow Senators to pay their full-time staff a $45,000 salary minimum, as well as the creation of a bipartisan diversity and inclusion working group.
- More resources for improving legislative branch access to Executive branch information, including the creation of a new joint CBO, LOC, and GAO working group to examine the issues of legislative data access between the Legislative branch and Executive branch agencies.
- Heightened funding for congressional operations, including creating a centralized repository for Senate documents where legislative information would be available prior to or contemporaneously with decisions; enhancing tracking of legislation on Congress.gov; improved floor scheduling information on Congress.gov; as well as improving reporting of lobbyists’ activities.
On Thursday, July 28, 2022, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy published 12 appropriations bills and accompanying explanatory statements, including the FY 2023 Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations bill and explanatory statement.
To help keep track of all explanatory statement items requested by the Senate Legislative Branch Subcommittee, we built a public spreadsheet that maintains a catalog of items, broken down by title, the entity responsible, the timeline for completion, and the due date. See the spreadsheet here and below:
Our continuously updated tracker lets you monitor the unionization movement in Congress, including which House offices are unionizing, which members of Congress supported the PRO Act and the resolution allowing House staff to collectively bargain without fear of retaliation, and more.
View the tracker as a standalone spreadsheet.
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the full House Appropriations Committee favorably (32-26) reported the FY 2023 Legislative Branch Subcommittee Bill (with amendments) and committee report. They are packed with good government reforms and significant investments in Congress’s capacity to legislate, conduct oversight, serve constituents, and more.
We and our civil society colleagues made recommendations of dozens of items to include — see our FY 2023 Appropriations requests, FY 2023 appropriations testimony, and report on updating House Rules for the 117th Congress — a number of which made it into the bill and report. We are deeply appreciative of Chair Ryan, Ranking Member Herrera Beutler, and members of the committee for their consideration of our requests. For resources on prior Legislative Branch Appropriations bills, go here.
We already have published summaries of what the House included in its FY 2023 Leg Branch Approps bill text, and you can see the changes in the appropriations line items here.
As the Senate considers what to include in its Legislative Branch Subcommittee bill and report, we highlight a few provisions in the House bill that the Senate should consider for itself. They include:
- Creation of new offices to enhance diversity and inclusion, specifically the creation of the House Intern Resource Office and the Office of Translation Services.
- Strong investments in staff benefits and care, specifically child care, emergency care (which now include custodial and contract workers), and student loan repayments.
- Heightened funding for technology and modernization projects, specifically the congressional staff directory, collaborative legislative drafting tools, standardization of legislative documents, and separate technology modernization fund.
Although we were unable to include everything below, you can find a complete list of FY 2023 Legislative Branch Appropriations report items in a comprehensive spreadsheet. The following are some of the highlights.
To help keep track of all items requested by the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, we built a public spreadsheet that maintains a catalog of items, broken down by title, the entity responsible, the timeline for completion, and the due date. See the spreadsheet here and below:
Continue reading “Demand Progress Proposals Included in FY 2023 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills and Report” →
As Congress considering appropriations levels for the Legislative branch for FY2023, we thought it would be useful to compare line items inside the Legislative Branch bill. Below contains the actual funding levels for FY21 and FY 22, the requests published in the president budget, the appropriations levels supported by the subcommittee and full committee as they come out, and a comparison of how those levels have changed.
The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee today released its draft FY 2023 appropriations bill accompanied by a press release. The subcommittee markup is tomorrow at 11 am ET — the full committee vote is next Wednesday — and we won’t know what is in the committee report until the day before the full committee markup. We reviewed the legislation and compared the proposed funding to the enacted levels from prior years. (If you’re interested in the documents from prior Congresses, we have compiled them here.)
At first glance, this bill is packed with many smart funding decisions that will help strengthen Congress. In particular, we noticed significant adjustments to personal, committee, and leadership staff funding; improving the intern pipeline by providing a living wage and the creation of a new intern resource office; a significant investment in modernizing the House’s technology and implementing the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, and providing adequate funding to support the House unionization process. There are also significant changes in funding levels for offices and policy agencies, including the GAO. We also note tremendous amounts of new money for the Capitol Police and the Architect.
We applaud the hard work of Chair Ryan, Ranking Member Herrera Buetler, and all members of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee who have demonstrated good stewardship of the Legislative branch. We look forward to seeing the many provisions that will be contained in the committee report and reflect more granular decisions concerning improving Legislative branch operations.
Appropriators have proposed a $5.7 billion funding level, which is a $954.4 million increase over FY 2022, or a 20.1 percent increase. Please note that this does not include funding for the Senate, which will add approximately $1 billion dollars. A whopping 71.4% of the increase will go to the Capitol Police and Architect. This raises significant concerns with us, most notably because historically funding for the USCP and the Architect has resulted in significant decreases in funding for Congress’s policy apparatus, which will become more of a problem in subsequent years.
Continue reading “First Reactions to the Draft FY 2023 House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Bill” →
“Today is a proud moment in congressional history and portends a significant advance in the working conditions for congressional staff,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director of Demand Progress, a non-governmental organization focused on strengthening our democracy that has led a broad coalition to advocate for the right of congressional staff to unionize and pushed for higher staff pay.
Continue reading “Statement on House Unionization Vote + Establishment of Minimum Wage” →
Earlier today, the Committee on House Administration favorably reported a resolution to provide a 10% pay adjustment to most committee staff — which sounds like good news until you remember that the House had promised a 21% adjustment, in line with increases to personal office and leadership staff. I realized the discrepancy yesterday when crunching the numbers, which I’ve published below.
Continue reading “House Breaks Promise to Committee Staff On Pay Adjustment” →
President Biden signed the FY 2022 appropriations omnibus bill into law on March 15th, 2022. Included in the omnibus package was the FY 2022 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, which contains dozens of policy provisions that aim to strengthen congressional capacity, oversight, technology, and modernization. This legislation signifies a monumental investment in restoring the Legislative branch.
We and our civil society colleagues recommended dozens of items for inclusion in the bill text and committee report — see our FY 2022 Appropriations requests, FY 2022 appropriations testimony, and 2020 report on updating House Rules — many of which were considered and included.
As the FY 2023 appropriations process begins, this blogpost highlights some of the notable policy provisions reflected in the FY 2022 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills. You can find the complete FY 22 Legislative Branch portion of the bill here and the Joint Explanatory Statement here. For resources on prior Legislative Branch Appropriations bills, go here.
We recently published a blogpost on the key funding items included in the FY 2022 Legislative Branch Bill. You can compare final line item funding for FY 21 versus FY 22 (and the proposals for FY 23) by looking at our spreadsheet. Please note that some agencies/entities are funded by more than one line on the spreadsheet.
Continue reading “Key Policy Provisions Included in the FY 2022 Legislative Branch Bill and Joint Explanatory Statement” →
We were curious about how the requests for the Legislative Branch for FY 2023 compared to prior years. So we took each line item for the requests published in the president’s budget for FY 2023 and compared it against the line items for FY 2022 and FY 2021. The following spreadsheet, which is also available online here, uses the raw data that we gathered by hand and does not adjust for inflation.
Continue reading “FY 2023 Leg Branch Approps Requests” →