Advocacy Alert: July 31

Congress Wraps Up Work, Heads Home; IMLS Director Nomination Set to Advance

As August approaches, members of Congress are headed home. The House of Representatives has adjourned for five weeks, and the Senate is not far behind. Congress will certainly have its hands full when it returns; deadlines are approaching on issues including highways, children’s welfare, expired tax breaks and funding for federal agencies.

While a deal on federal spending remains elusive, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees completed work on all 12 of their annual bills—the first time this has been accomplished in six years. Considering the very tight funding constraints within which these bills were written, several accounts important to museums fared quite well:
 
  Current Funding House Proposed Senate Proposed
 IMLS Office of Museum Services $30.1 $30.9 $30.3
 National Endowment for the Humanities    $146 $146 $146
 National Endowment for the Arts $146 $146 $146
 NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning   $55 $65 $60
 Historic Preservation Fund $56.4 $60.9 $61.4
(Funding Totals in Millions) 

Make Sure Museum Priorities Are Heard; Invite Your Legislators to Visit

“There’s no more powerful way to make an impression or build a relationship with legislators and staff than by inviting them to come see all you have to offer first-hand,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura L. Lott. “I hope every museum will use our tools to participate in the fourth annual ‘Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum’ Week.’ We can’t wait to hear about your visits!”
 
Renton History Museum (Washington) is already preparing for Congressman Adam Smith’s visit and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (Maryland) will be hosting several legislators and staff in early August. Over 100 legislators have been invited to participate. Have you sent your invitations?
 
Don’t forget to use #InviteCongress to share photos and updates on Facebook and Twitter and see photos from last year’s visits. Questions? Let us know.
 
Visit www.aam-us.org/advocacy to learn more about the Alliance’s advocacy for museums.

P.S. Breaking News: Kit Matthew’s nomination as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services is scheduled to be considered by the Senate HELP Committee on Thursday, August 6. Ask your Senators to approve her nomination.