Yesterday evening, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released a draft bill that includes $155 million in funding for both the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY 2019. This represents not only another rejection of the administration’s efforts to defund the agencies but also a $2 million increase for each agency above FY 2018 funding levels. This proposed boost comes on the heels of increases in each of the past three years.
The arts and humanities communities—including the National Humanities Alliance, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and Americans for the Arts—have been pushing for at least $155 million in funding since the agency’s budgets were cut in 2010. This is the first time since then that the House subcommittee has met that request. We were heartened to see the enthusiasm for this funding level build in March when a record number of representatives (166 total) signed onto the Dear Colleague Letter requesting $155 million for the NEH.
Thank you, once again who visited, wrote, or called your Members of Congress!
This evening, the subcommittee will hold a markup to amend sections of the draft bill before passing it and sending it to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration. Given the high level of support for the NEH and NEA in the subcommittee, we do not anticipate that the funding levels for NEH and NEA will change during the subcommittee markup. The full Appropriations Committee will then have an opportunity to amend the bill before sending it to the full House for consideration. We will keep you apprised as the bill progresses and notify you when your voices have the potential to influence the legislative process.