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within this line item. The reduction in one category is offset by an increase in another.
POSTAGE Postage. -Another component of the Official Expenses of Members is postage. We are budgeting $261,000 to cover postage which is necessary, in addition to the franking privilege, for Members to perform their official and representational duties.
DISTRICT RENT District Rent.—The U.S. House of Representatives currently averages over one half million dollars per month in payment for district office rent. Our estimate for fiscal year 1980 is $7,666,800 and includes reimbursements to GSA. Built into each Member's Official Expenses Allowance is an amount to lease 2500 square feet of office space at the highest rate in your district as established by GSA. Members may lease private or Federal space. The House reimburses GSA quarterly for space in Federal Buildings. Mr. Chairman, I will place in the record at this time a table of relevant statistics regarding the leasing of district office space which I believe you will find most informative.
TRAVEL Travel.—The portion of Official Expenses of Members pertaining to travel for fiscal year 1980 is $3,214,000. This includes all travel for Members and staff any. where in the United States or to their district if outside the contiguous United States in performance of their official duties. That portion of each Member's allowance for travel should allow approximately 32 round trips to the district per session. Of course, as with the other component parts we are discussing, a Member may use whatever portion he wishes of his Official Expenses Allowance for travel.
In calendar year 1978, the House paid over 2.1 million dollars for Members' travel and nearly 1 million dollars for travel by staff.
Members and staff may be reimbursed for the direct cost of commercial transportation. Where they are able to charge the expense, Members may authorize direct payments to the carrier or credit card company. Reimbursements for using noncommercial transportation are based on “out of pocket” expenses or mileage in accordance with the following rates per mile: autombile, 17 cents; motorcycle, 15 cents; or private aircraft, 36 cents. Transportation is one of the three variable components of each Member's total annual Official Expenses Allowance and is based on the distance from Washington, D.C. to the farthest point in a Member's district multiplied by applicable decreasing mileage rates. Members within 235 miles of Washington, D.C. have a minimum of $2,250 in their Official Expenses Allowance for travel.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications. -We estimate that the House will spend $10,817,000 out of “Official Expenses of Members" for telecommunications in fiscal year 1980.
Since the telecommunications account covers a variety of costs, I would like, in the limited time available, to highlight our most material amounts.
Our most prominent cost estimate is the WATS which we feel will cost $3,836,000, representing a network of 230 WATS lines. The long distance toll charges which cannot be handled by the WATS network will be $790,200. We estimate an annual cost of $2,282,800 for contract services which represents the cost of equipment used in association with the House Telephone System.
The balance of the total telecommunications budget for 1980 includes telephone message units, the part-time FTS, district office telephone expenses, FTS mileage costs and telegraph expenses.
OFFICE SUPPLIES Office supplies.-We have included $2,319,000 for office supplies. Each Member's Official Expenses Allowance includes $6,500 per session for stationery and related supplies. It is interesting to note that our estimate is approximately one-half million dollars less than if all Members spent $6,500 per year.
OTHER OFFICIAL EXPENSES Office expenses. The last subcategory in Official Expenses of Members covers all other types of expenses which are not specifically summarized in the aforementioned cost centers. These types of disbursements are referred to as just "Official Expenses" on your monthly Member's Allowance Statement. We estimate $3,867,000
will be expended in fiscal year 1980 in this category. Each Member's individual allowance includes $7,000 per session for these types of expenditures.
This concludes the detailed analysis of the component accounts which make up the subcategory “Official Expenses of Members” within “Allowances and Expenses". As I indicated when we first started our testimony on “Allowances and Expenses”, even though all these categories, other than Clerk Hire, are one allowance, we feel the dollar amount of this category warrants separate accountability by cost centers. I hope this detail is helpful in your budget analysis and that you will find the monthly summaries by type of expenses equally helpful in your personal Congressional Office budget.
MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE RENT Mr. BENJAMIN. Bob?
Mr. MICHEL. On the District Office Representatives' accounts, do we have any maximum per square foot allowances there?
Mr. LAWLER. By square foot? Mr. MICHEL. In the District Office rent that Members pay, is there any maximum ceiling on cost per square foot?
Mr. LAWLER. There isn't a maximum ceiling on the dollar amount you could pay per square foot but there is a maximum ceiling on the dollar amount of the money you have available. That is, if you were to rent space for $14 a square foot but your allowance only had computed in $10 a square foot, you would be taking money that could have been used for some other purpose.
Mr. MICHEL. And the rule still applies that if there is an office or space available in a Federal building, the Member is obliged to have his District Office in that Federal building space before you approve any outside space?
Mr. LAWLER. No, sir; there is no specific regulation that requires that now. The allowance that you would use could be expended for any official purpose and it could include the renting of private space, a mobile home or Federal space.
We might emphasize at this point that payments are made to GSA for the space that you rent. Under the old program, as you remember, the Federal space would have been available in a sense free of charge. But at this point now you are accountable financially for any Federal space that you would lease.
It may be interesting for the committee to note proportionately in fiscal year 1978 the House expended approximately $4 million for Federal space and approximately $2.5 million for private space. Mr. MICHEL. I think that is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
HISTORY OF ALLOWANCES
Mr. CONTE. I want to compliment you on your graph on page 39.
office Equipment, purchase
80.000 80.000 100.000 100.000 100.000 125.000
5.200 161 5.200 3,2005 ,200
auto 1 auto lu + 1 auto . I aute l autol auto-
Typewrit- ywrit4,260 61 6,200 4,200 117,800 18/ 9.000 12/ 9,000 .00 $ 9.000 9,000 12 round 12 round 5/18 round /10 round $7 18 round y/18 rovad 37 trips/year trips/ trips trips/year trips/year trips/year times $4 times 66 time rate is rate or $750 year of yest w $1125 or $1125 of $125 ot rate pet rate per lup $750 $1125 luap sub lup sa lump su ile from aile from DC to the D.C to the
DC to the D.
C o che farthest peat farthest i 2 round 2 ron round 3 round round round
for that farthest in Ms Diatriet to L Diet
District is istrict
Lease and Mainteance Transportation for Members
Transportation for Staff
Not to exceed $2400 for not more than 2 eft lil offices
Umused Clerk Nire fund (up to $12,000/year) may be transferred to computer Services
Effective August 1, 1977
allowances into one "Membersofficial Expenses Allowance with the exception of the Clerk wire and Equipment purchase.
SUPPLIES, MATERIALS, ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AND FEDERAL TORT
CLAIMS Mr. BENJAMIN. Any other questions? Mr. HENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, if it's all right with you I am going to ask the Deputy Clerk, who works with that all of the time, to continue the statement. Would that be all right? Mr. BENJAMIN. That would be all right. Mr. HENSHAW. Do you want to go ahead with that?
I have one question: I am a veteran, a member of the Federal Civil Service Retirement plan for Members. If I should, when I retire, add my three and one-half years credit of military service to the Civil Service Retirement Fund, do you all pay that or where does that get picked up?
Mr. LAWLER. The Sergeant at Arms administers the retirement program for the Members. We have all of the rest of the employees but, as I understand it, your military service would be included in the computation with your civilian government service work. The percentages that will be used in determining your annuity applying to your various years of military and civilian service I believe are higher for Members of Congress than they may have been in other Federal positions.
Mr. MICHEL. But I was wondering specifically on the contribution to the retirement fund for that amount of military service credited to your total period of time, and we never paid it when we were in the service, but you get credit for it and it has to come from someplace.
Mr. COLLEY. You received credit for it and the Civil Service Commission, when they start paying your retirement, will in effect lump that in with your House service without deposit.
The House has paid a matching contribution for every year you have been here.
Mr. BENJAMIN. In other words, the taxpayer is paying for that? Mr. HENSHAW. Yes, but I just suggest you see Bill Johnson downstairs in the Sergeant at Arms Office, and he can outline it for you.
Mr. MICHEL. I wondered if there was a contingency fund or whatever, an allocation.
Mr. COLLEY. We have an allocation for House employees to pay the government contributions. Mr. MICHEL. But not for Members?
Mr. COLLEY. It's budgeted in the Sergeant at Arms request for Members, since he makes your salary payments.
Mr. MICHEL. I see. Mr. BENJAMIN. Would you proceed with the Supplies and Materials.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION Mr. COLLEY. For Supplies, Materials, Administrative Costs and Federal Tort Claims, $3,483,600. This item covers a variety of pur
chases for the House other than the supplies and materials utilized by the Property Supply and Repair Service.
In addition to supplies and materials, all administrative costs relative to the operation of support offices for telephone, stationery, postage and lease, purchase and repair of equipment are included in this estimate.
This year we are including $310,179 for reimbursement to the Department of Labor for employee' compensation claims. Also included are funds for the U.S. Code Annotated and the U.S. Code Service for Members; film and related materials for the Office of Finance used in processing House security identification cards; newspaper subscriptions; stationery supplies for House Leadership and Standing Committees and several other items not specifically covered elsewhere in this appropriation bill.
ANALYSIS OF INCREASE Mr. BENJAMIN. If I understand, this account is going up from $2,578,511 to a request for $3,483,600. Why the sizable increase in this account?
Mr. COLLEY. I think the basic increase is probably not attributable to two or three things, but to several things. My recollection is that the billing we receive from the Department of Labor, for example, for employees' compensations claims is up. I am sure stationery is up.
One of the largest items appears to be the administrative costs for telephone services to the various House offices. Mr. BENJAMIN. How much is that up?
Mr. COLLEY. I do not have an exact figure but it is noted here. We can put it in the record.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Get the calculation showing how you broke down the 1979 estimate and the 1980 estimate to show the sizable difference.
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