Thank you, Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Honda for your hard work on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013. I wish to extend my congratulations to each of you and the subcommittee staffs on both sides who have put in long hours to craft this important piece of legislation.
The Capitol building is one of the most enduring symbols of our great nation. All across the globe, when people see a picture of our Capitol dome, they think of the United States and freedom. The work that goes on here is not always pretty, but for 212 years, the Capitol has served as a central point for our democracy, and has been open to the American people to visit and meet with their elected representatives. This bill provides funding for the maintenance of our historic buildings, operations of the Library of Congress and Botanic Gardens, Capitol Visitor Center and for the safety and security of Members, staff, and thousands of visitors who come to our offices. It is crucial to our democracy that we maintain our buildings, but we must also be mindful of limited resources and have efficient operations here in Washington.
With that in mind, this bill provides $3.3 billion for the operations of the Legislative Branch, excluding Senate items that are traditionally determined by that body. This represents a reduction of $34 million below last year's level. While this has required some belt tightening in our offices, committees and agencies, the Congress must live by the same economic realities that are facing every branch of government and every family in the country. Under our leadership, we have reduced funding for the House by 10.5% since Fiscal Year 2010.
This markup today demonstrates our continued commitment to getting the nation's fiscal house in order and sharing in the sacrifices that this will require. The Legislative Branch must set itself as an example. I commend Chairman Crenshaw for a job well-done and I urge my colleagues to support this bill.