Today, H.R. 2551, the Fiscal Year 2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 252-159. The bill provides annual funding for the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.
"Under the new Republican majority, Congressional office budgets have now been cut by over 10%. This action is proof that the Congress is serious about making tough decisions and willing to start in our own backyard. When families and small business have been making difficult choices and setting priorities, they have every reason to expect the federal government to do the same. In order to put our country back on a fiscally sustainable path, I am willing to take my fair share of cuts first," Nunnelee said.
The bill contains $1.2 billion to fund the operations of the House -- a decrease of $84.7 million below last year's level and $107 million below the request. Counting this reduction, total funding for the House of Representatives has been reduced by over 10% since the beginning of the new Republican majority.
This account provides funding for Members' Representational Allowances (MRAs), which pay Member's staff salaries and office expenses including franked mail, leadership and Committee office expenses, and operating costs for officers of the House. In addition, the bill allows any unspent funding in Members' office budgets to be used for deficit reduction at the end of the year.
In January, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 22, which cut 5% from Members' Representational Allowances.