McCollum Statement on Appropriations Committee Passing FY 2020 Legislative Branch Funding Bill
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) today joined House Appropriations Democrats in voting to approve the FY 2020 Legislative Branch bill, needed investments in Congress and good governance, so that legislators can work effectively on behalf of their constituents.
The Legislative Branch bill includes $3.972 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $164 million more than in FY 2019. The bill includes provisions important to Minnesotans and the American people:
- Staffing and Operations: $1.35 billion for the U.S. House of Representatives
- Keeping up with technology: $6 million to re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment, so that Members and their staff can be fully briefed with unbiased, expert assistance in understanding the potential and the risks of technological developments and their policy implications.
- Native American representation: The legislation encourages the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to work with Native American historians and professionals at the National Museum on American Indian to ensure that the Capitol complex more accurately and respectfully depicts the history of Native Americans. It also recommends that the Congressional Research Service to appoint a specialist and senior specialist in American Indian Affairs to provide Congress with easily accessible, non-partisan information and research.
- DACA: The bill includes language permitting the Legislative Branch agencies it funds to employ “Dreamers” who hold employment authorization under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.
- Intern pay: $11 million in funding for paid interns, increasing the allowance for paying interns from $20,000 to $25,000 per Member office and extending the program to leadership offices.
- Promoting diversity: $1 million to establish an Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Protecting workers: $6 million for the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, to enforce legal rights and protections in the Legislative Branch, including laws against discrimination and sexual harassment.
“This funding bill provides smart investments to ensure the House of Representatives is able to carry out its legislative and oversight responsibilities effectively and efficiently as a co-equal branch of the federal government,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “These funds will ensure we can provide effective constituent services, ensure a safe working environment for our staff, and maintain important institutions like the Library of Congress.”
# # #