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Mr. HOYER. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. LEWIS. Certainly I would be happy to yield.

Mr. HOYER. He understates the case. He and I had this conversation. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Fazio were working together for some years on this committee, and in my opinion, they are the two individuals most responsible for much of the progress that has been made with respect to the legislative arm of government and with respect to maintaining the integrity of our systems here on Capitol Hill. So Mr. Lewis very substantially understates his role. He was a major contributor.

Mr. LEWIS. I thank my colleague very much for that. I must say, reminiscing a bit about those some-dozen years, it was during that time that we completed the Madison building and went about that magnificent restoration of the Jefferson building, watching for 15 years during the time I was here, the west side of the Capitol held up by those 20 by 20 ugly poles, the west front was finally completed after no small amount of controversy. I am reminded of that as Ed Pastor is talking about the problems of timing and agreement relative to the Visitors' Center. We had more than one goaround on the west front, some of which weren't nearly as successful as let's say the Jefferson was. But in the meantime, the work that you are about is really very, very important to all of us who love and use, and want the public to enjoy this magnificent setting. A former librarian-architect, excuse me, said to this committee while I served on it, this will not be a permanent addition. And I am speaking of a garbage collection bin built on the side of the Cannon Building, and that was well over a decade ago. It is well on its way to permanence. And I would really like to have an answer as to whether that is going to be a permanent restoration of the Cannon Building? And if it is going to be permanent, I would like to know whether or not the identical building on the Senate side is going to have a similar addition to it.

Mr. HANTMAN. Perhaps two.

Mr. LEWIS. Having said that, I welcome you here and appreciate very much the work that you are about and will follow on with questions about the Visitors' Center.

Mr. HANTMAN. Thank you, sir.




Fiscal Year 2001 Appropriation Request

U.S. House of Representatives

Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations

Opening Statement

Mr. Chairman: As we step into a new millennium, we also celebrate 200 years of

Congressional occupancy of our Capitol, this magnificent structure that is the physical representation of democracy not only for our nation, but for the world. There have been many changes inside these walls over those two centuries, but it is undoubtedly true that at no time in history has the office of the Architect of the Capitol experienced more fundamental change, or had so many essential projects to accomplish, than in the brief time since I have been privileged to be Architect of the Capitol.

I am pleased to appear before this Subcommittee to propose the Fiscal Year 2001 budget for the Architect of the Capitol. I look forward to working with you as we continue, together, to build the social and physical infrastructure that will better serve and support the United States Congress as it meets the constant and changing needs of the American people and nation this coming year and far into the future.

I am often asked how I like the position of Architect of the Capitol. And I usually respond: It is a magnificent challenge. It is magnificent because of the unique structures and grounds and environment I work with here. It is magnificent because of the opportunity to

Magnificent, yet, it is equally challenging. It is a challenge to move forward on many fronts, to simultaneously protect the past, support Congress in the present, and plan and build for its future. It is a challenge to work in an atmosphere that must be, at the same time, open and accessible yet safe and secure; where offices never fully empty and efforts never cease; and where the work of the AOC must minimize inconvenience while creating the structure to augment the essential tasks of Congress.

We often refer to our complex here as the Capitol Campus. But it is actually a community. And it is a city that in some respects is emerging from a time capsule.

Our city of more than two dozen buildings, more than 270 acres, more than two centuries of rich experience - and 30,000 current inhabitants

developed in its own special manner.

Until provisions of the Congressional Accountability Act went into effect only three years ago, we in AOC were not affected by provisions such as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. We had our own structures. We had our own

ways. Now we are attempting to make a giant stride, more than six decades long, into the 21"


Our challenge is to meet today's needs - without destroying yesterday's heritage for those who will occupy this special place in the future.

While there is clearly much work left to be done, we have made significant progress and

are proud of what has been accomplished so far in rebuilding the foundation of this agency.

Because of the great scope of work we face, and the challenges we must successfully meet with a reduced workforce, it is necessary for us to specifically focus our efforts this year in four areas that are essential to our ongoing core mission of supporting and serving the Congress.

These areas are:

Creating an even safer physical environment for Members, staff and visitors in line with the requirements of the Congressional Accountability Act;

Improving the delivery of customer services;

Enhancing the preservation, utility and security of our buildings, with the Capitol
Visitor Center being a notable illustration;

Continuing to build a stronger, better trained staff – which is the very foundation necessary to address the first three priorities.

As I have testified in the past, the level of employees in this agency has decreased from 2,407 in Fiscal Year 1993 to a current ceiling level of 2,012-a 16 percent decrease in staffing. Current actual employment is lower because we are in the process of backfilling re-engineered positions as a result of the first phase of our recent buyout, which is detailed in Appendix C of this testimony. At the same time, our workload has increased due to the need for physical improvements to modernize and enhance safety in these aging structures. It is important to recognize that we have reached the saturation point where the amount of work to be done in several areas has taxed our staff capacities to the fullest extent. We are therefore requesting funding for critical staffing needs for life safety, service delivery, and project support, as well as for the tools needed by our staff to do our jobs more effectively.

Because of the necessity of moving forward in these critical areas, with their attendant

fiscal implications, I am delaying the request for appropriations to initiate the next phase of the

Capitol Dome Renovation Project until next year in order to focus resources on these essential


Work on the Dome can be delayed in the short run because we are finishing our firstphase emergency examination of the structure, and happily have found that the basic structure is fundamentally sound. The next stage of repairing and restoring the cast iron skin and interior Rotunda finishes of the Dome is clearly important and needs to be addressed in the short term, but in our judgment there are higher priorities on which to focus finite resources this year.

Life Safety

In this context, planning for and implementation of life safety programs throughout the campus remains my number one priority and this priority has been supported by Congress through the Congressional Accountability Act. Implementing such a program across the campus and bringing the Capitol and our other structures into conformance with the most modern codes and practices is a process that is complicated by virtual full-time occupancy and the extremely limited “turn around” space for the “musical chairs” sequencing inherent in the renovation process. We need to work out appropriate methods with the committees of jurisdiction to accelerate this process. Appendix A discusses many of our initiatives in this area, and projects and planning. Substantial appropriations will continue to be required to accomplish this work in

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