WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and U.S. Representatives Bryan Steil (R-WI) and Joe Morelle (D-NY), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration, the Senate and House committees with oversight over the Architect of the Capitol, introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Architect of the Capitol Appointment Act. This legislation would strengthen congressional oversight of the Architect of the Capitol by empowering a congressional commission to appoint and remove the Architect by a bipartisan, majority vote.

“From offering an incredible experience to millions of visitors to preserving this historic campus and making sure it’s a functional 21st century workplace, the Architect of the Capitol plays a vital role in the day to day operations of the Capitol Complex,” said Klobuchar. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will update the appointment process for the Architect and ensure they are accountable to Congress.”

“The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is directly responsible for the management of the Capitol Complex, yet Congress has lacked the tools to hold the position accountable and improve the agency’s processes. Our bipartisan legislation would reform the AOC, bringing much needed oversight that will boost transparency and improve service,” said Fischer.

“I’m focused on bringing greater accountability to the legislative branch entities. That’s why my committee’s first oversight hearing was with the Architect of the Capitol. That brought to light the importance of the position and the need to modernize the appointment process. This bill will give Congress sole responsibility in selecting new leadership and, when necessary, the authority to hold bad actors accountable,” said Steil. 

"In light of recent events it is clear the process for selecting an individual for such a critical position was in need of reform. That’s why I am proud to be a part of this legislation and work with my colleagues to strengthen Congressional oversight, and I look forward to our continued work ahead,” said Morelle.

The Architect of the Capitol Appointment Act:

  • Establishes a congressional commission for the appointment of the Architect made up of the Senate majority and minority leaders, Speaker of the House and minority leader, and the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Rules Committee, Committee on House Administration, Senate Appropriations Committee, and House Appropriations Committee.
  • Authorizes the commission, by majority vote, to appoint, re-appoint, or remove an Architect, rather than the President. 
  • Requires the Architect to appoint a Deputy Architect within 120 days of a vacancy in the position, and authorizes the commission to do so by majority vote if the Architect does not do so.
  • In the instance of an absence in both the Architect and Deputy Architect roles, authorizes the commission, by majority vote, to designate an Acting Architect.