House Appropriations Bills Include Increases for the Humanities

The House appropriations subcommittees have been releasing their FY 2021 draft bills over the past week and several have now passed out of the full appropriations committee. We have been pleased to see proposed increases for all of our priorities in these bills. The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill included $170 million for the NEH, matching our request for a $7.75 million increase. The bill passed the full committee on a party-line vote of 30-19.

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-H) bill included an increase of $2.7 million for Title VI and $1.5 million for Fulbright-Hays. It also included an increase of $5 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The full committee is scheduled to vote on that bill today.

Finally, the Financial Services and General Government bill included a $2.5 million increase in operating expenses for the National Archives, though we are still awaiting additional information in the bill report which is expected later this week. While modest, we were pleased to see an increase in operating expenses after two years of cuts. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission received a $500,000 boost. This bill will be considered by the full committee on Wednesday. 

Please see our funding chart for the House numbers on all of our priorities. After the bills pass out of the appropriations committee, they will be considered on the House floor with the goal of passing all the bills before August recess. 

While the Senate is moving more slowly than the House on the FY 2021 appropriations process, it is reportedly considering a new relief package. Over the coming weeks, we will be working with advocates in key states to reach out to the Senators most likely to play a key role in developing that bill. We will be urging additional funding for the NEH to more fully support the humanities community through the pandemic.

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