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.”
As the partial government shutdown moves into its fourth week, the National Endowment for the Humanities remains closed. We have had a number of conversations with NEH grantees and applicants who are concerned about the status of the agency and upcoming deadlines. At this point, here is what we know:
As the possibility of a partial government shutdown looms, we want to shed some light on which humanities programs will be affected if the government cannot reach a funding agreement by midnight tonight. While FY19 funding for some agencies has already been passed by Congress and signed by the president, those agencies whose funding has not yet been finalized will be shut down, including the NEH and several other humanities programs.
Update August 29, 2018: Last Thursday the Senate passed a "minibus" appropriations bill that included level funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays. The full House will take action on a bill funding these programs after its August recess.
August 10, 2018: The appropriations process is much further along this August than it has been in years past. Last week the Senate joined the House in passing an Interior appropriations bill that included a $2 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which would bring its funding level to $155 million for FY 2019.
UPDATE, 7/18/18 4:30 pm: The Grothman amendment was voted down 297 to 112. Thank you for your advocacy!
UPDATE, 7/18/18 10 am: Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) offered his amendment on the House floor after 11 pm last night. Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Ken Calvert (R-CA), opposed the amendment and called for a voice vote. The amendment was voted down, but Rep. Grothman requested a recorded vote, which means that all members of the House will vote on his amendment later today. There is still time to contact your Member of Congress to let them you know oppose this amendment!
Yesterday, the Senate appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies joined its House counterpart in recommending a $2 million increase for the NEH, which would bring the Endowment’s funding to $155 million for FY 2019. As noted in our previous post, 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. The Senate bill, scheduled to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee tomorrow, brings us a step closer to meeting that goal.
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.
Late last night, Congress released a comprehensive spending bill that includes an increase of $3 million dollars for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the remainder of FY 2018!
This is a huge victory for humanities advocates!