Update, September 26, 2019: Earlier today, the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed its FY 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies spending bill, which included a $2 million increase for the NEH over FY 2019. Also included in the bill were increases for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund.
The Senate has been moving through the appropriations process at a far slower pace than the House. While the House passed 10 of its 12 appropriations bills before the August recess, the Senate has just begun releasing and considering bills over the past week. It is only in the past two days that we have begun to see the funding bills that include appropriations for humanities programs.
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.
Earlier this week, the House passed a funding bill that included a $12.5 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which would bring its budget to $167.5 million! If enacted, this would mark a very significant increase after four years of $2 and $3 million increases.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released its proposed FY 2020 funding bill earlier today. The bill includes $167.5 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities which, if enacted, would be a $12.5 million increase. After four years of incremental increases for the NEH, this substantial increase reflects the robust support we have built on the Hill. The bill also includes $14 million for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which, if enacted, would be a $2 million increase.
Last week, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations Subcommittee approved a funding bill for FY 2020.
Update, April 17, 2019: As of Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 3 pm the Senate NEH Dear Colleague Letter was finalized and included a record number of signers at 44.
Earlier this month, nearly 200 humanities advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. to make the case for federally-funded humanities programs on Capitol Hill.
Update March 25, 2019: As of Monday, March 25 at 10 am, there are 151 signers on the NEH Dear Colleague Letter. That's 22 up from Friday morning, thank you for all of your advocacy! We are just 16 signers away from surpassing last year's total of 166 signers. Check the list to see if your Member has signed on. If they haven't, there is still time for them to do so.
Last Monday, the Trump administration released the broad outlines of its FY 2020 budget request. Today, the administration released more detailed budget documents.
Earlier this afternoon, President Trump signed the omnibus funding bill that finalized FY19 funding for a range of humanities programs. Under the bill, the NEH will receive a $2 million increase on FY18, marking the fourth consecutive increase for the agency. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission will receive level funding of $6 million, as it had in both House and Senate bills. The Historic Preservation Fund at the National Park Service will see a robust jump (from $96.9 million to $102.6 million), largely due to the inclusion of funding for Save America’s Treasures grants to preserve “nationally significant sites, structures, and artifacts.”