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House Appropriations Committee approves $3.2 billion legislative appropriations bill

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The House Appropriations Committee approved July 18 a bill that would fund the legislative branch, including the Government Accountability Office and Government Printing Office, at $3.2 billion.

Under the bill (.pdf), the GAO would be authorized to start charging fees for filing bid protests, which would fund an electronic filing system. The bill does not specify how much the fee to file a bid protest would be, according to a committee report (.pdf). The Senate's Appropriations counterpart bill also includes the same provision.

The House bill allocates $486 million in total funding for the GAO, a decrease of $20 million below the fiscal 2013 enacted level. The Senate bill appropriates $505.4 million for the GAO.

The funding level would allow the GAO to hire an additional 61 full-time employees for a total staffing level of 2,945.

The Government Printing Office would get $115 million under the bill, which is $4 million below both the fiscal 2013 enacted level and Obama's request.

The legislation continues reductions to congressional printing and binding services, and implements limitations on delivery of documents to individual member offices, the accompanying report says.

The lion's share of the proposed GPO appropriations comes from congressional printing and binding, which would be funded at $79.7 million. That amount is $3.9 million below the fiscal year 2013 level and is the same as the Senate's proposed allocation.

The bill recommends $101.2 million for the Congressional Research Service, which is $5.6 million less than the fiscal 2013 enacted level and $8.8 million less than Obama's request.

The Congressional Budget Office would be funded at $41.5 million under the bill, which is $2.3 million less than the 2013 funding level and $4.2 million less than Obama's request.

The House bill does not include appropriations for Senate operations. The Senate bill set overall appropriations for the legislative branch at $2.978 billion; Senate operations cost less than House operations.

For House operations, which include members' representational allowances, committee office expenses and operating costs for officers of the House, $1.2 billion would be appropriated under the House Appropriations Committee mark. For the same services for its chamber, the Senate allocated $394 million.

For more:
- download a the bill
- download the committee report

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