Chairman Daines Secures Increased Accountability, Transparency, Security in Congress

U.S. SENATE — Today, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee, secured increased accountability, transparency and security within Congress.

The Subcommittee passed the 2019 Fiscal Year Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which includes provisions to create an E-file system for U.S. Senate candidates, investments to help meet the Capitol’s security needs, and direct the Congressional Budget Office to be transparent with its studies.

“When spending taxpayer money, our government must be transparent and serve as a responsible steward of Americans’ hard-earned dollars,” said Chairman Daines. “This bill will do just that by increasing public access to campaign filings, strengthening accountability in how government property is used, and improving security for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who visit and work in our Capitol every year.”

The Legislative Branch Subcommittee appropriates funds for all of the legislative branch. This includes the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Capitol Police, Congressional Budget Office and the Architect of the Capitol, among other entities. For a full list of the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction, click HERE.

Read the full bill text, HERE.

Highlights from Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill:

Increasing Public Transparency

The bill includes a provision, known as E-File, which increases public transparency and access to U.S. Senate campaign fillings.

This provision reduces unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, and would save taxpayer dollars by having candidates for the U.S. Senate directly file to the Federal Election Commission, instead of the current practice. 

Strengthening Member Security

One year ago today, America witnessed tragedy strike on a baseball field in Alexandria, where the lives of  Members of Congress and their family and friends at that practice were put into imminent danger.

This bill makes investments that will help meet the security needs of the Capitol campus and ensure the operations of the legislative process. 

  • The bill provides $453 million for the Capitol Police
  • Additional funding of $1,000,000 is included to enhance Member security off of the Capitol complex in the D.C. area.

Increasing Accountability and Oversight

The bill includes reforms related to telecommunications procurements from certain countries (China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea), blocking pornography on Legislative Branch computer networks, and electronic filing by Senate candidates.

The bill directs the Congressional Budget Office to increase transparency on how it reaches conclusions on its cost analysis and scoring.

Preparing for Modern Security Threats

The bill also addresses cybersecurity threats by providing funding for the continued cybersecurity initiatives of the Sergeant at Arms for Senate networks.

The bill includes a provision prohibiting Open World from hosting senior officials of the Putin regime and limits appropriated funding for Russian participants to those engaging in free market development, humanitarian activities, and civic engagement.