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tv   House Appropriations Subcommittee Debates 2021 Legislative Branch Spending  CSPAN  July 30, 2020 7:40pm-8:03pm EDT

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next the legislative branch mid to discuss and vote on its fiscal year 2021 spending.
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>> we are going to call the legislative branch of the committee fiscal year 2021, subcommittee mark up to order. welcome to our subcommittees markup. i very much appreciate the hard work and attitude of all the subcommittee members and particularly the contributions and cooperation of our ranking member, mr. butler. thank you for being so great to work with. there are lots of needs and good causes within the jurisdiction of the subcommittee. we have tried to take care of the highest priorities throughout the bill with the amounts available to us. fundamentally, and the bill provides increases to support staffing and other resources needed by congress to do its job well, to maintain and build analytic capacity in the legislative branch. for example, the bill provides a 25 million dollar increase for the members representational allowance, which covers staff, district office space and other necessities. i also believe this funding is
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sufficient to address our new normal as members move to higher tech means of interacting with constituents. our bill creates a new house modernization initiatives account and provides a down payment of 2 million dollars to start the process of modernizing the house. i believe this funding is necessary to bring the house into the 21st century. the bill also provides increases to main analytical agencies in the legislative branch to continue building their capacity including the congressional budget office, congressional research service and government accountability office. now that i have mentioned all the parts of this bill that i know, there is broad consensus on i want to discuss some items that require a more difficult conversation. first, once again including language in the bill to permit holding employment authorization under the daca program to work for congress and other alleged branch agencies. dreamers are americans, and
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should be able to serve their country in this body. i included it because it is the right thing to do. i hope we can address this issue government wide at some point this year, but in the meantime, i want to welcome these members of our national community to seek employment with congress and the legislative branch agencies. second, flat funds the capital police. however the bill makes necessary adjustments to ensure the staffing levels and fiscal year 2020 can be maintained in fiscal year 2021. in addition, included in the report, our various requirements to bring greater transparency to the capital police. if we are going to demand change throughout the country, we must show that we are willing to start in our own backyard. third, the bill includes language blocking the cost of living adjustment for members of congress. right now, with everything going on in our country, i believe this is necessary. however, i would like to point
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out that this will be the 12th consecutive year that no cost of living adjustment has been provided. we cannot keep turning this into a gotcha moment. right now, every federal judge from the district court to the supreme court is compensated at a much higher rate than members. in fact, some senior executives in the executive branch are paid at higher rates. as of may 2020, average rent for an apartment in washington d.c. is 2330 dollars. we have members sleeping in their offices to save money. we need to have a real adult discussion on this issue and stop using it to score easy political points. for this body will be filled with only billionaires who do not represent the vast majority of the american people. finally, this bill includes
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long overdue language directing the architect to remove statues or bus in the u.s. capital. it represents fingers who participated in the confederate army or government, as well as the statues of for white supremacists, including roger detainee. i hope that this action will begin a larger convert station we need to have about other statues in the capital representing figures who oppose various minority groups. there may be portraits throughout the capitol complex that need to be reevaluated. i know this is part of a larger national debate that other appropriations subcommittees will address. but we need to make a statement now on something we can control. the removal of statues that many visitors to the capital find offensive. this is the peoples house. let's make sure all people are welcome. i ask for your support for this bill. i would now like to turn to mr.
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-- miss butler, for her comments. >> thank you mister chairman. it has been a pleasure, as always, to work with you. in this distinguished committee, which i would not trade. i appreciate it. i also want to say thank you to our full committee chair woman and ranking member for being here today. it has been an honor to work with you over the last nine years. you've done many more than that. i want to say how thankful i am that you and a ranking member are big taking -- have worked and endeavor to build cooperation and relationship as you navigate an incredibly important subcommittee. you will be missed. i appreciate that you all take the pandemic so seriously and really green lighting and getting the necessary precautions and play so that we can attempt to return to the normal, of which we are also anxious to do at some point. the recommendation for the
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fiscal year 2021 legislation branch bill provides 4.1, nine eight billion excluding our senate items which historically are left to the senate to determine. although, i think we should tell them not to put their names on their pencils anymore. it's a little weird. this bill is 207 million above the fiscal year 2020 level and the 297 million below the budget request. i would like to think that chairman ryan for his cooperation and support on several initiatives that are important to me and his support of the requests made by my republican colleagues. the house has had to rapidly adjust to the way it does business due to covid-19. through the collaboration of our leadership, committees and agencies, the operations of the house have become more flexible, but also more reliant on technology. i haven't seen many of my staff in d.c. for months, but we have communicated via technology, which has been good. the bill offers support that would allow the math the house to maximize its effectiveness
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for the use of technology while maintaining to quorum, increasing transparency and allowing the chamber to function for the foreseeable future through this pandemic. i am also pleased to see that this bill supports accessibility for visitors and staff with disabilities as was said, this is the people's house and we need to make sure that we are doing -- putting in real steps to make sure that anybody who wants to come and be a part of this can do so, especially people with different abilities. specifically provides an opportunity to address the need for increased assistance to the deaf or hard of hearing capitol hill staff members in terms of public visitors by seeking recommendations for technologically assisted devices. in addition to adequately funding the library of congress for the many functions that it provides, this bill supports three major construction projects. 10 million, the second installment for the library to continue its vision of the new visitor experience to the thomas jefferson building. 4.3 7 million to complete the second phase of the shelving replacement in the law
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libraries collection storage areas. and 41.5 million for the permanent collection storage module seven at the fort bead library of congress campus to alleviate the shortage of collection capacity on capitol hill. this bill also supports the critical mission of the capital police as they continue to protect members, staff, visitors and the facilities of congress with professionalism, pride and effectiveness. i as well believe that the training and updated equipment needed, that is an underlying bill, we need to look forward with, it is a good time to make sure we are making those adjustments and modifications. let me say thank you to our capital police for their service. we are grateful for you. however, there are -- a have outstanding issues with this bill. i am pleased to see that the architect of the capital was able to secure almost 60% of the funding request to maintain, operate and preserve develop office buildings. i have serious concerns regarding the absence of any additional funding to procure the claims necessary to keep
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the capital campus a safe place to do business. the inspector general report last month indicated that funds for cleaning supplies and activities would only last until the end of june. this is the people's house. the american people expect us to continue our work to help citizens to help citizens survive the pandemic. we must ensure the safety of the men and women who work and visit the capital complex as best we can, and we cannot do that if we are not able to clean our own buildings. as was noted, i also have some concern about the overall increase of funding in this bill, particularly because we did not create a new funding -- out of that, we did not allow for continued cleaning and supplies, knowing those things are going to be needed. obviously now where the very near future. last year, the bipartisan budget agreement said our funding caps for 2021. the reason this 5% increase was able to happen was because it was placed on the back of the emergency funding that had been
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used in the other bills. freeing up space within the budget caps to spend more during the regular appropriations. i remain hopeful that we can work through this and on other controversial issues that we mentioned, come up with a bill that we can all support. ultimately, that is the goal. i think the chairman and subcommittee majority and minority staff for your hard work, for putting this bill together. with that, i yield back. >> i thank the ranking member. before i recognize chairwoman flowy for her fine final legislative branch statement, i want to add to the course of committee members who are thanking you for your leadership. i came here as a very young man when i was 29 years old. i made my way on to the appropriations committee and 2006. i remember you and they've all be, check martha and some of
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the real giants from this committee and watching you outfox them, may be a way to say it in so many ways. but to also had the opportunity to travel with you and watch you articulate america's position abroad. i will never forget our trip to pakistan and several other countries where young members like me or asking you to give us a break. you were working us too hard. and you did not. big i just want to say thank you for all of your leadership over the years. you have been a joy to work with and an amazing leader in this congress. so many women members who have looked up to you. we are going to miss you. i now yield to miss lowey. >> first of all, i want to thank you very much for your generous comments. it has really been a pleasure for me and an honor to serve.
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i just want to say again, in addition to the opportunities that this position provides, as you were mentioning, whether it is pakistan or elsewhere, just getting to know the members who come from all kinds of backgrounds and sharing experience with them, especially someone like -- i will not tell you what i ask you every day -- have you've been there yet? we are all in different personalities, different lives, but we share our commitment to this great country of ours. through the appropriations process, we all have the interest of the next generations in our minds as we try to do the right thing. everything does not always come out exactly as we wanted, but having good members such as yourself and others who serve on this committee really have made a difference, not only to the country, not only to the house, but my life, so thank
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you for your kind words. so, i thank chairman ryan and ranking member beutler for their work on this bill, as well as the staff and efforts to review members requests and craft the product before us. and some are nation weathers the covid-19 pandemic, we must ensure that members of congress can effectively work on behalf of their constituents in that legislative branch employees can perform their duties safely. the fiscal year 2021 legislative branch appropriations bill we to do so by providing 640 million for the members representation on allowance, a 4% increase above the 2020 enacted levels, providing offices with the ability to meet rising costs and ensure a safe environment
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for staff. 631.3 million for the architect of the capital. 31.8 million above fy 2020 enacted levels. 2 million for modernization efforts in the house. an increase of 500,000 for the office of diversity and inclusion. this bill would also honor the rights of daca recipients who wish to work in the legislative branch. in addition to building a more diverse staff today, the bill also includes strong language removing statues and imagery that honors divisive figures who were involved in the confederacy or otherwise have unambiguous records of racial tolerance. big the capital and its grounds should be a place where all
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americans feel welcome to work and visit. i look forward to moving this bill through the appropriations process, and i thank you, all the members on this committee, for your excellent work. thank you, mister chairman. >> thank, you miss chairman. doug >> thank here, i would like to thank chairman ryan that provides funds for the operations of the legislative branch for the fiscal year 2021. i appreciate the work you and ranking member have done to address critical issues that affect the congress. this bill recognizes the important bipartisan work of the house, select committee on modernization. by stylish-ing a new account to begin implementing recommendations to make congress more effective, efficient and transparent on behalf of the american people. the bill funds priorities of the architects of the capital support the capitals aging
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infrastructure and promote the safety and health of employees and visitors. we all owe a debt of gratitude to the capital police officers who put themselves in harm's way to keep the complex safe. the women and men of the capital police demonstrate the highest standard of professionalism, and we are grateful for their service. the coronavirus has created a significant challenge in keeping members and staff safe. we learn more about this virus every day and must ensure the legislative branch can continue to operate throughout this pandemic. we hope we can work together on supplemental coronavirus appropriations to ensure funds are available when needed. i also have other concerns that will prevent me from supporting this bill in its current form. let's than a year ago, the bipartisan budget agreement set the top line spinning level for fiscal year 2021. there was consensus at the time that bills would not contain
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policy writers, this bill violates the spirit of disagreement. the total cost of the bill increases by 5% is only able to happen because of emergency funding issues and other bills with which frees up space within the budget caps, to spend more on the spill and other bills. in addition, there are new writers and -- a more appropriately addressed by the authorizing committee and a joint committee of congress on the library. i hope we can come together on these issues as the process moves forward. in closing, i want to thank the subcommittee members for their work on this bill and thank the staff, michelle, and my staff as well as the majority staff. i thank, you mister chairman. i yield back. >> thank, you ranking member granger. is there any further discussion, or does any member wish to offer an amendment to the measure before us?
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big >>? >> (inaudible) >> thank you, sir. all those in favor, say i. those opposed, say nay. the is have it. -- please ensure that the materials before you are returned the subcommittee staff before you leave the room. i would also like to thank the committee staff matt and our team on our side, the team on your side. this has been a less than stellar environment to try to
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piece these bills together. we want to say thank you to everyone for your hard work, and i know it is not over. i would like to thank you and the committee stands adjourned. and 1960, four african american students sat down today's segregated lunch counter in north carolina, launching a civil rights movement that would spread to other cities throughout the country. you are watching american history tv on c-span three.
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in 1960, four african american students sat down at a segregated will worth lunch counter in greensboro, north carolina. it launched a civil rights movement that would spread to other cities. next, tracey parker, author and university of massachusetts amherst professor of african-american studies, talks about the protest against segregation during that time. first, a look at events in 1960 greensboro from the documentary, february one. >> when we walked into the store, we were not proving we were customers. i made sure to get a receipt. >> we mulroney in

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