Significant Increases for the Humanities in House Labor-H Bill

Last week, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations Subcommittee approved a funding bill for FY 2020.

The bill includes increased funding for the Department of Education’s international education programs: Title VI would receive $80.4 million, which represents a $15.297 million increase, and Fulbright-Hays would receive $8.73 million, which represents a $1.669 million increase. If passed, this would be the first significant increase in funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays since the programs suffered major cuts in FY 2011. The bill also included $257 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which would be a robust increase of $15 million. The full Appropriations Committee will be considering the bill today.

The release of the bill reflects the decision of the House Appropriations Committee to begin drafting and marking up bills even though the House and Senate are still working to renegotiate FY 2020 spending caps. Without renegotiated caps, FY 2020’s spending limit would be significantly less than FY 2019, which would necessitate cuts to both defense and nondefense spending. The House Labor-H bill reflects the increased caps that are currently in the House’s budget bill, but the amounts will need to be adjusted downward if the House and Senate settle on a lower overall spending limit. The Senate Appropriations Committee has said that it will not begin releasing draft bills until a final agreement on spending caps is reached.

We will continue to keep you updated as appropriations bills are released and notify you when your action is needed.

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