Committee Funding for the 116th Congress

1310 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Mar 12, 2019 2:00pm

Opening Statements

Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) - Opening Remarks As Prepared

"I would like to thank the members of the Committee for joining us today, and Ranking Member Davis for agreeing to this quick Committee Meeting to consider Committee Resolution 116-08 to promulgate interim regulations governing the House Paid Internship Program.
 
"The authority to provide paid internships was provided last Congress with the enactment in September of Public Law 115-244, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019.
 
"Interns under the House Paid Internship program will be subject to the same House Rules and regulations as other paid and unpaid interns and will be accountable to the Member office where they work. These interns will be required to participate in educational programming, such as the intern lecture series, as are all other interns. The Chief Administrative Officer will administer these funds and report regularly to the Committee on the program’s use.
 
"This measure authorized House offices to provide payment to interns, limiting these payments to $20,000 per office.  The overall funding for this program is $8.8 million.
 
"In providing these funds, the Appropriations Committee made an important first step in breaking down the economic barrier to those seeking entry-level to work on Capitol Hill. By expanding this opportunity for public service, it is my hope that qualified candidates for these internships will now have opportunities that they did not have before.
 
"This Committee was tasked with promulgating the regulations within which to operate this new program.  I would stress that the regulations provided for in Committee Resolution 116-08 are interim regulations, provided to get this program up and running.
 
"I have intentionally structured these regulations as “interim” because it is my intention to continually assess the effectiveness of this program and make improvements and changes after hearing feedback from both Member offices and program participants. 
 
"I plan to work with our colleague, Representative Tim Ryan, who chairs the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, to provide additional funding for this program for the fiscal year ahead and to revisit these interim regulations to build a more robust paid internship program for the House of Representatives.
 
"I am pleased that we have worked across the aisle in developing these regulations and the contributions of the Ranking Member and has staff have made this a better product. I now recognize the Ranking Member for any statement he may have before we consider this Committee Resolution."
 

Commitee Funding

"I would like to thank the Members of the Committee, our witnesses, and all those in the audience for being here today.
 
"Every Congress, the House is required to adopt a Committee expense resolution which provides funding for all the Committees of the House. Each Committee is required to introduce a Committee expense resolution and prepare a budget submission. We have received and are reviewing those budget submissions. 
 
"I ask unanimous consent for the letters regarding Committee budgets from the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Committees be entered into the record.
 
"It is my intention to mark up an omnibus expense resolution on Tuesday, March 26th and for the House to consider it on Thursday, March 28th.  
 
"Understanding the quick pace of that schedule, and after conferring with the Ranking Member, he and I decided that to most expeditiously consider these requests that we would forgo the usual testimony of our Committee Chairs and Ranking Members if there was bipartisan agreement on the request.
 
"The Committee reserves the right at any time in the future to ask Chairs and Ranking Members of any Committee to come back to this hearing room to discuss how Committee funds are being used, or to resolve any disagreements between the majority and the minority. 
 
"The Committee Funding process has traditionally been one of the most bipartisan and collaborative efforts that this Committee undertakes.  I wish to thank Ranking Member Davis for his cooperation and assistance in enabling the Committee to begin this process in an expedited fashion with the goal that the House approve the funding resolution prior to the expiration of the interim funding authorization on March 31st.
 
"Considering this agreement and the short time that remains to us to fund our Committees for this Congress, today we will hear from the Committee on Oversight and Reform."
 

Witnesses

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Reform

[Full text of testimony]