Before Congress adjourned for its August recess, both the House and Senate passed a budget deal that raises caps on discretionary spending for FY 2020 and FY 2021, paving the way for increased appropriations for humanities funding. The House has already passed ten of its twelve appropriations bills which included increased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Education’s international education programs, along with other humanities programs. Our funding chart tracks these proposed numbers.
When the House passed these bills, however, it assumed a cap on nondefense spending that was higher than the one ultimately agreed to in the budget deal. As a result, the House will now need to reduce its nondefense spending by $15 billion or 2.4 percent from the levels in its already passed bills.
The Senate has yet to pass any appropriations bills and is now on recess through Labor Day. Given that its bills will need to be marked up, passed, and reconciled with the House bills, it is increasingly unlikely that Congress will complete the appropriations process before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. If that is the case, we will likely see a continuing resolution to fund the government at FY 2019 levels until all of the FY 2020 appropriations bills can be passed.
Much still remains to be seen; however, we are optimistic that even after the reductions to the House numbers, our funding priorities will see substantial increases in the final FY 2020 bills. We will let you know when your advocacy is needed again.
Read more: policy updates