« PreviousContinue »
APPROPRIATIONS AND ESTIMATES
The estimates upon which this bill is based were transmitted in the Budget for the fiscal year 1939 and will be found in detail in that document, pages 3 to 21, inclusive. These annual estimates have been supplemented by additional sums transmitted subsequently to the Budget. The duty of the President in transmitting the estimates for the legislative branch is purely a ministerial function, the estimates forwarded by him being in the same amount and form as they were presented to the Bureau of the Budget by the proper officers of the legislative branch.
A detailed tabulation will be found at the end of this report giving for each appropriation in this bill the amount appropriated for the fiscal year 1938, the estimate for the fiscal year 1939, together with a statement of the increases or decreases in the appropriations and estimates as compared with the amounts carried in the bill.
The total of the estimates considered by the committee in the preparation of this bill is $21,800,507.38. This sum is composed of $21,670,078 transmitted in the Budget in January last and $130,429.38 subsequently transmitted in House Documents Nos. 501, 516, 526, 538, and 531 of the present session.
The amount recommended to be appropriated in the accompanying bill is $21,644,431. This sum, compared with the appropriations for 1938 and the total estimates for 1939, shows the following differences:
It is $2,689,244.78 less than the total of the appropriations for 1938; and
It is $156,076.38 less than the total of the Budget estimates.
The following table shows in summary form the direct appropriations for 1938, the estimates for 1939, and the comparative increases and decreases:
Appropriations totaling $3,412,084 are carried in the bill for expenses of the Senate. This compares with an aggregate of $3,380, 252.78 for the current year, an increase of $31,831.22.
In accord with established practice, each estimate for the Senate has been approved in the amount submitted, with the exception of two increases, one an addition of $51,000 for mileage of Senators and the other, $12,000 for stationery, both for the current session of Congress. This action conforms to action taken on this same character of items under the House of Representatives designed to make these same allowances applicable to Members of the House. No salary increases not previously authorized or appropriated for are carried.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
A total of $8,543,288 is carried in the bill for expenses of the House, a sum in excess of the 1938 appropriations by $170,936, and an increase of $237,390 in the Budget estimates. The major portion of the increase indicated is explained in the insertion of $171,000 additional to pay for mileage of Members of the House and Delegates for the current session of Congress, and $54,750 for the customary allowance for stationery during this session.
Salary schedules for all present House and committee employees remain the same with three minor exceptions. The compensation of the assistant chief telephone operator has been increased from $1,680 to $1,800, that of the assistant clerk of the Committee on Claims has been increased from $1,700 to $2,460, and the salary of the assistant clerk of the Judiciary has been raised from $2,160 to $2,460. Evidence before the committee indicated that the salary paid these employees was much out of line with remuneration for comparable positions in the legislative establishment. The changes recommended will correct the injustice.
Ten new positions for the House are included in the bill. One a laborer in the office of the Clerk, $1,260 as authorized in House Resolution No. 404 signed January 21, 1938, and nine clerks at $1,800 each, one for each chairman of a subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee having jurisdiction over a regular annual appropriaton bill. Each such subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee has jurisdiction over appropriations for one or several separate departments, agencies, bureaus, or commissions of the Government. The enormous increase in governmental activities and units during the past several years has placed a considerable burden on the subcommittees. Chairmen of these subcommittees are being subjected to a constant stream of letters and callers seeking information on matters of appropriation and administration. The clerks indicated will assist in servicing this pressure of official business.
One position carried in the current year at a salary rate of $3,060 as a special House employee has been eliminated from the bill. The position was created by special resolution and as it is not now filled, there does not appear to be valid reason for its continuance. For miscellaneous items, $96,500 is carried in the bill.
This is an increase of $6,500 over the Budget figure and is required to meet operating expenses of the House restaurant for the balance of the current fiscal year. The amount carried under this heading will be sufficient to allow some adjustments in the salary of certain employees of the House restaurant to make their compensation more nearly conform to the scale of wages paid employees of the restaurant on the Senate side of the Capitol. The committee approves the plan to make the new salary scale effective as of the last 2 months of the current session of Congress. The sum provided will allow $21,000 for the ordinary operating fund for the House restaurant in 1939, plus $2,300 to care for the continuation of the salary increases of restaurant employees during the next fiscal year.
The only other changes of consequence are found in the items of appropriation for folding speeches and telephone and telegrapb. In the case of the former, $5,000 has been added to the estimate of $20,000 and the entire sum made available immediately. At the present rate of expenditure the additional $5,000 will be required to supply necessary folding services. In the case of the telephone and telegraph appropriation, however, the committee has felt justified in reducing the estimate of $95,000 to $85,000 on the basis of the current rate of expenditure for these charges. Certain changes in telegraph rates has tended to reduce the total outlay for telegraphic expense.
The enactement of the joint resolution to authorize an appropriation of $50,000 (of which $25,000 will come from House contingent funds) for the expenses of an inquiry into the Tennessee Valley Authority, makes necessary the appropriation of the $60,000 carried in the estimates for expenses of special and select committees and that sum appears in the bill.
Since 1868 the stationery allowance for Members of the House has been $125 per session of Congress. It is a matter of common knowledge that the amount actually expended by Members for stationery and supplies is far in excess of that figure. Certainly, if $125 were justified in 1868 for this allowance an amount considerably greater than that sum is justified today when the business of government and demands on Members of Congress from their constituents is many times greater than it was 70 years ago. The committee is hopeful that the Committee on Accounts will give this matter its consideration with a view of bringing in a resolution authorizing a stationery allowance more in keeping with the actual expenditures necessarily incurred by Members of Congress for the work tools essential in providing service to and for their constituency.
Appropriations for the Capitol Police and Joint Committee on Printing remain at their current figures, $110,080 and $11,860, respectively.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL An increase of $5,000 requested for the office of the Legislative Counsel has been disallowed by the committee. The purpose of the increase was to supply a "cushion" in order that salary increases could be extended to employees of the office who might be lured to accept other positions in the administrative arm of the Government or outside employment by the inducement of more substantial remuneration. On the present basis of expenditure there will be an unexpended balance of over $1,100 from the appropriation of $75,000 in the current year which amount will be available for increases in compensation to meet any of the above-described contingencies. The committee feel that this sum is sufficient for this purpose, but should it prove not to be, a deficiency request can be submitted and justified on the basis of the facts existing at the time.
ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL
The estimates for the Architect of the Capitol contemplated an appropriation of $1,949,406. The committee has reduced this figure to $1,762,639, a reduction of $186,767 in the estimates and less than the 1938 appropriations by $3,183,165. In considering this last figure, however, it is well to point out that there were several nonrecurring items occurring in the appropriations for the current year (the largest of which was $2,800,000 to complete construction of the annex building of the Library of Congress) aggregating $3,335,174 which, if taken into account, make the 1939 total recommended by the committee a sum actually in excess of the 1938 total by $152,009.
The installation of the new air-conditioning equipment designed to serve the Capitol Building, Senate and House Office Buildings, and the Library of Congress Annex, has necessitated, by way of maintenance funds, a considerable portion of the increase allowed. The committee has gone as thoroughly into the matter of the actual requirements for additional personnel to operate this equipment as limited time and investigatory facilities would permit. With an investment of nearly $4,000,000 in technical equipment required for this air-conditioning it is, of course, essential good husbandry to provide a maintenance
force sufficient to operate efficiently and economically the plant. The Architect has stated it to be his judgment that 33 employees would be required for this service with salaries aggregating $60,080 per annum. The committee has reduced the number of employees to be allowed to 21 at a yearly salary obligation of $40,480. The following table indicates the positions requested, the ones allowed, and those disallowed by the committee and, as will be noted, no change is made in the number of additional employees requested for the Senate Office Building:
Office of Architect: Engineer (P-5).
It is entirely possible that the experience in the operation of the plant which will be gained during the next fiscal year will indicate that some additional engineering assistance is still required. The committee will review the whole operating picture at the hearings on the bill next year and if need is manifest for more employees to properly maintain and operate the equipment necessary adjustments can be made.
Salaries, Office of the Architect: The sum of $59,100 as carried in the bill for this expense is the amount of the Budget estimate and represents an increase of $4,600 over the current appropriation. This additional sum is to pay the compensation of one supervisory engineer to have charge of the operation of the entire air-conditioning system in all of the buildings. The committee feels that it is highly desirable to have a trained technical man to exercise this character of supervision.
Capitol Buildings: The reduction of $11,366 under the Budget figure of $298,366 for this maintenance activity is explained in the disallowance of three positions for air-conditioning work with salaries totaling $4,940, and the disapproval of the request for two other positions, one an electrical engineer at $3,200 and one a senior mechanic at $1,860. The essential need of these positions was not made manifest. The total of the salaries thus eliminated amounts to $10,000. The balance of the reduction, amounting to $1,366 is made in anticipation of lapses accruing in that sum during the next fiscal year. New language carried in the bill authorizes the purchase of special distinguishing clothing for workmen in the Capitol.
Capitol Grounds: For this expense $101,000 is recommended to be appropriated. This is $2,107 less than the comparable appropriations for the current year and $51,126 under the Budget estimates. It was the plan of the Architect to devote $50,550 to starting a program of resurfacing and reconstructing the Capitol Plaza, the first work to be done on the south roadway and encompassing drainagesystem corrections and improvement, and roadway grading and repaving. It is not a matter of argument that this work is desirable, but at the same time it is not evident that it is absolutely essential that it be done now. As a measure of economy the committee proposes to defer this improvement for at least 1 more year. In the not distant future the entire plaza must be regraded and repaved and it is the feeling of the Architect that the entire project can be done more cheaply if the work is performed all at one time. Deduction for anticipated lapses has been made in the amount of $576.
Legislative garage: The estimate of $9,280 bas been reduced to $9,000. Expenditures for the fiscal year 1937 do not seem to justify an appropriation in excess of the figure recommended.
Senate Office Building: In accord with established custom of having changes in Senate items made by the Senate the estimate of $259,909 for maintenance of this building is approved in the amount provided in the estimates. Consideration being given to nonrecurring items totaling $53,125, there is a net increase in maintenance costs of $20,965 over the current appropriations, of which $12,340 is for seven additional employees for operating air-conditioning equipment.
House Office Buildings: For the fiscal year 1938, $351,370 was allowed for maintenance of the two House Office Buildings. The committee is recommending an appropriation of $370,200, which amount is $56,840 under the Budget estimates. The amount approved anticipates the elimination of the following proposed increases: