Last Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee considered the funding bill put forward by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H). As noted in a previous post, this bill provided level funding for both IMLS (at $231 million) and the Department of Education’s Title VI international education programs (at $65 million), but eliminated the Fulbright-Hays program entirely.
In the days leading up to the full committee's consideration of the bill, the humanities community voiced its support for Fulbright-Hays and Title VI, sending over 10,000 letters to Congress.
During last Wednesday’s full committee proceedings, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding for Fulbright-Hays. Like all other amendments offered that day, this one was voted down. Nonetheless, we were pleased to see that Representative Cole (R-OK), chairman of the Labor-H subcommittee, took the opportunity to recognize the importance of Fulbright-Hays, noting that he was a Fulbright scholar. He also expressed his willingness to work with Representative Price to restore its funding as the budget process moves forward.
In the end, the full committee approved the bill—with level funding for IMLS and Title VI and zero funding for Fulbright-Hays—and voted to refer it out of committee. The next step for this bill will be the House floor, where we would hope to see an amendment restoring funding, though it remains unclear when it will reach the floor. We are still awaiting Senate numbers for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays, along with all of our other priorities. Given that we are still in the early stages of the appropriations process, your voice can still have an impact. Please take action to let your Members of Congress know that you support funding for both Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.