Details on House NEA Appropriations: How Did Your Congressman Vote?

June 20, 2000

As reported previously, the House voted last Thursday on amendments pertaining to the Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2001, including funding increases or decreases for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Office of Museum Services. Here is a breakdown of who voted in favor of which amendments related to cultural appropriations.

The first amendment, H.Amt. 815 to H.R. 4578, sponsored by Cliff Stearns (R-FL), was to “reduce funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by 2%” and divert the funds to the fire management account. Voting “aye” was Congressman Gil Gutknecht of the 1st district. Voting “no” were Congressmen Bill Luther, David Minge, Jim Oberstar, Collin Peterson, Jim Ramstad and Martin Sabo. Congressman Bruce Vento was not voting due to absence. The bill failed with a vote of 152-256.

The second amendment, H.Amt. 816 to H.R. 4578, was sponsored by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), which called to divert funds from Clean Coal Technology and was intended for use by cultural agencies appropriations. Voting “aye” were Congressmen Bill Luther, David Minge, Jim Oberstar, Jim Ramstad and Martin Sabo. Voting “no” were Congressmen Gil Gutknecht and Collin Peterson. Congressman Bruce Vento was again absent. The bill passed with a vote of 207-204.

As stated earlier, the diverted funds from H.Amt. 816 were supposed to have been the subject of a third amendment to be offered by Congresswomen Louise Slaughter and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) to increase appropriations for the NEA, NEH and OMS. Instead, an amendment which passed by voice vote offered by NEA opponents gave the funds to the Indian Health Services.

Say “thanks” to the reps who voted with us!

Senate Committee Action Imminent on Cultural Agencies Too

The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to consider their version of the Interior bill later today, with the full Senate Appropriations Committee expected to take up the bill on Thursday. With the defeat in the House, our best chance of passing an increase for the cultural endowments may be in the Senate. Call our Senators and ask them to support increases:

Sen. Paul Wellstone, 1-800-642-6041. Always supports the cultural endowments. Encourage him!

Sen. Rod Grams, 202-224-3244. Has a mixed record on the endowments. Urge him to support!