June 13, 2000
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today or tomorrow on proposed amendments to the Interior Appropriations bill, including amendments to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Office of Museum Services.
Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA) will offer two amendments using offset appropriations from other Interior Appropriation provisions to do the following:
Increase both NEA and NEH appropriations to $125 million each; OR, failing this,
Increase NEA appropriations to $115 million, up from its current $98 million, bringing it to parity with the NEH’s current level of funding.
In the event that either of these amendments fail, members of the Congressional Arts Caucus will offer a third amendment that would increase funding for the NEA by $10 million, for the NEH by $5 million and the OMS by $2 million.
Attempts will be made to reduce funding for the NEA. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) will probably offer his annual amendment to cut NEA funding, which arts advocates have been successful in defeating.
As the Senate and the President are supportive of increases in arts funding, and attempts at increases were narrowly defeated in the final hours of last year’s conference committee meetings, the chances for an increase in funding for the arts this year are stronger than in the past eight years. Additionally, because Congress is hoping to adjourn early this session to get started on reelection efforts, members may be more willing to compromise.
ACTION: Join fellow Arts Advocates by contacting your U.S. Representative and sending a message of support to increase funding for the NEA. Most of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation is supportive of the NEA, so a message of thanks would be appropriate.
Please contact MCA at (612) 338-2970 if you need legislative contact information or have further questions!