As part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill released Wednesday, the $5.9 billion fiscal 2022 Legislative Branch funding portion would substantially boost the office budgets of House members to pay staff more and seeks to enable the Capitol Police department to hire more officers.
The bill marks a $625 million, or 11.8 percent, increase over the fiscal 2021 funding level. Low pay and high turnover have plagued workers on Capitol Hill for years, a shared sentiment that has led to a growing movement by some staffers to unionize.
This legislation would provide $774.4 million for the Members Representational Allowance, known as the MRA, which funds the House office budgets for lawmakers, including staffer salaries. This $134.4 million, or 21 percent, boost over the previous fiscal year marks the largest increase in the MRA appropriation since it was authorized in 1996, according to a bill summary by the House Appropriations Committee. For paid interns in member and leadership offices, the House would get $18.2 million.
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