Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) offered the following comments after the house approved H.R. 5855, the FY 13 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, and H.R. 5882, the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.
The Homeland Security Appropriations Bill provides funding for Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Coast Guard, FEMA, TSA, and the Secret Service. H.R. 5855 proposes to fund these programs at $39.117 billion, a reduction of $483 million below last year's spending level.
The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill provides funding for the administration and operations of Congress and the Capitol Complex, including funding for Members' office budgets; congressional support agencies like the Congressional Research Service, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Government Accountability Office; and the Capitol Police. Total funding for House and joint operations -- excluding Senate-only items -- is $3.3 billion, which is $34 million below last year's level.
"Today's legislation will reduce the money spent on the House of Representatives and joint legislative operations by $34 million dollars from last year. Over the past two years, Congressional Office budgets have cut by 10.5% and this year, we continue to shrink the cost of Congress. American families and businesses have been tightening their belts and Congress must continue to do the same.
"Protecting our citizens is the fundamental role of government. With the passage of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, the House has laid out its plan to safeguard the public while saving $483 million next year. Our legislation funds frontline security operations like the Border Patrol and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement at their highest levels in history, and fully funds the programs and services our states and communities count on like the Coast Guard, disaster relief, and emergency services programs.
"Both these bills continue our commitment to protect Americans and restrain federal spending."