Measure that Denies Calls for Congressional Pay Raise is Hyde-Smith’s First as Subcommittee Chairman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, today earned unanimous committee approval of a FY2020 funding measure that denies a pay raise for members of Congress and funds security requirements for the U.S. Capitol Complex.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved the FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, making it available for consideration by the Senate.

“Accountability to taxpayers is my focus in overseeing the writing of the Legislative Branch bill.  The American people want us to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars as we work on their behalf.  This means we reject renewed efforts to lift the pay freeze for members of Congress, and instead direct our attention to more important matters,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Our bill funds Government Accountability Office oversight, which supports government transparency and represents a great financial benefit to the nation.  For every $1 invested in GAO, $338 is returned to the American people,” she said.  “The bill also provides resources to the U.S. Capitol Police, who protect those who work here and the millions of visitors to the Capitol campus.  We are also doing more to strengthen IT and cybersecurity capabilities that are essential in this digital age.” 

Hyde-Smith was appointed chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee in January.

The Senate FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, which is $165.3 million below the budget request, would fund strong oversight and essential physical and cybersecurity for the U.S. Capitol, Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office, the Library of Congress, and other agencies.

Earlier this year, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives considered lifting the pay freeze imposed on members of Congress 2009.  The Senate bill maintains the existing pay freeze, rejecting a pay raise as a “poison pill” that would imperil the measure.

Hyde-Smith also ensured that the Senate bill rejects new House committee-approved language that would allow congressional offices to hire individuals in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.

“I did not support including the House provision making DACA recipients eligible to work in the legislative branch.  This bill is not the appropriate place to make changes related to the ongoing debate surrounding immigration policy,” Hyde-Smith said.

Of interest to Mississippi schools, the Senate bill retains a provision Hyde-Smith added to the FY2019 bill last year that ensures adequate funds for the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program.  This provision, which will not increase spending and has no budgetary impact, would allow the Library of Congress to promote its Surplus Books Program to more schools, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible groups.  The bill also maintains funding for the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service, located in Starkville.

Additional details in the FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill are available here.