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Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Includes Good News for Museums!

Category: Advocacy Alert
Photo of the U.S. Capitol building DC, Photo by E.Neely

Advocacy Alert: March 22, 2018

Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Includes Good News for Museums!

Last night, congressional negotiators unveiled the details of a Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus spending bill that will determine funding for federal agencies and programs throughout the federal government through September 30. Despite being targeted for elimination in the President’s budget proposal, a wide range of programs that help museums serve their communities are set to receive increases.


“Over the past year, museums have made their case to legislators with passion, purpose, and powerful new data,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott. “Congress is now poised not only to reject President Trump’s proposed eliminations, but to provide increased funding for many of these same vital agencies. Every museum advocate should be proud today.”While final timing for the legislation is still unclear, it was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier today and is expected to become law in the next few days.

Record Support in the House of Representatives for Museum Funding

How does a tiny program like the Office of Museum Services receive a nearly ten percent increase after being targeted for elimination? There is no single answer, but it certainly involves a broad base of committed supporters in Congress.

As the focus turns immediately to Fiscal Year 2019, museum advocates have once again risen to the challenge and built a strong foundation of support. Last week, a record 183 U.S. Representatives joined a letter calling for robust funding for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“Museum advocates have done it again, with a record number of Democrats and a record number of Republicans standing up for the Office of Museum Services,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott. “It is gratifying to see such a strong display of bipartisan support, and now is a great time to take a moment and thank your legislators who signed this letter.”

This success is possible in part due to an impressive showing at the 10th Annual Museums Advocacy Day, when 335 museum supporters made the case in 395 congressional offices spanning all 50 states. Advocates discussed museums’ educational and community value, and also presented groundbreaking new data about their economic impact and deep public support. Letters requesting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities also received record support in the House of Representatives this year. Thank you to all of the partner organizations and advocates who took action!

What You Can Do: Thank Legislators on Social Media

Legislators need to know that their actions are noticed and appreciated by the museums they represent. So here’s the best way to thank them:

  1. Use our Legislator Lookup page to find your Representative and their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  2. Check the list at the bottom of this alert to see if your Representative signed.
  3. Say “Thank You!” You can use our sample posts to get started. Be sure to use #museumsadvocacy. Also tag the Alliance (@AAMers) and your legislators in your posts and tweets.

Sample Social Media Posts: 

  • Facebook – Museums are essential! We join the American Alliance of Museums in thanking [Rep. _______________ ] for signing on to this year’s OMS letter and for your support of [your museum]. #museumsadvocacy
  • Facebook – [Your museum name] is essential in our community. We join the American Alliance of Museums in thanking [Rep. _______________ ] for signing this year’s OMS letter in support of funding for museums. #museumsadvocacy
  • Twitter – [Your museum] thanks [Rep. _______________ ] for signing on to this year’s OMS letter! Museums are essential. @AAMers #museumsadvocacy
  • Twitter – Thank you [Rep. _______________ ] for signing on to this year’s OMS letter and supporting [your museum name]! @AAMers #museumsadvocacy

Coming Soon: Senate Letter of Support

After a strong showing in the House of Representatives, this effort now moves to the United States Senate, where we expect a similar letter of support to begin circulating soon.

FY 2019 House Office of Museum Services Letter Signers*

All signers listed alphabetically by last name below. Letter leaders in bold.

Find your legislators

  • Alma S. Adams (D-NC)
  • Andy Barr (R-KY)
  • Karen Bass (D-CA)
  • Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
  • Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA)
  • Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA)
  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
  • Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)
  • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA)
  • Robert A. Brady (D-PA)
  • Anthony G. Brown (D-MD)
  • Julia Brownley (D-CA)
  • Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
  • G. K. Butterfield (D-NC)
  • Michael E. Capuano (D-MA)
  • Salud Carbajal (D-CA)
  • Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)
  • André Carson (D-IN)
  • Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Judy Chu (D-CA)
  • David N. Cicilline (D-RI)
  • Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)
  • Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)
  • Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO)
  • Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  • Steve Cohen (D-TN)
  • Chris Collins (R-NY)
  • Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
  • Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
  • J. Luis Correa (D-CA)
  • Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
  • Charlie Crist (D-FL)
  • Joe Crowley (D-NY)
  • Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
  • Susan A. Davis (D-CA)
  • Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  • Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR)
  • Diana DeGette (D-CO)
  • John K. Delaney (D-MD)
  • Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA)
  • Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
  • Ted Deutch (D-FL)
  • Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
  • Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
  • Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. (R-NY)
  • Mike Doyle (D-PA)
  • Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
  • Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA)
  • Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
  • Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT)
  • Dwight Evans (D-PA)
  • John J. Faso (R-NY)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Bill Foster (D-IL)
  • Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH)
  • Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
  • Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
  • John Garamendi (D-CA)
  • Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)
  • Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR)
  • Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Al Green (D-TX)
  • Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL)
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
  • Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)
  • Denny Heck (D-WA)
  • Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Jim Himes (D-CT)
  • Jared Huffman (D-CA)
  • Will Hurd (R-TX)
  • Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
  • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
  • Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
  • Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA)
  • John Katko (R-NY)
  • William R. Keating (D-MA)
  • Robin L. Kelly (D-IL)
  • Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA)
  • Ruben J. Kihuen (D-NV)
  • Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI)
  • Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL)
  • Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)
  • Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • James R. Langevin (D-RI)
  • John B. Larson (D-CT)
  • Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI)
  • Al Lawson (D-FL)
  • Barbara Lee (D-CA)
  • Sander M. Levin (D-MI)
  • John Lewis (D-GA)
  • Ted W. Lieu (D-CA)
  • Daniel W. Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
  • Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
  • Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
  • Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
  • Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)
  • Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)
  • Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • A. Donald McEachin (D-VA)
  • David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV)
  • James P. McGovern (D-MA)
  • Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
  • Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
  • Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
  • Gwen Moore (D-WI)
  • Seth Moulton (D-MA)
  • Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
  • Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
  • Richard M. Nolan (D-MN)
  • Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
  • Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)
  • Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
  • Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
  • Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
  • Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
  • Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)
  • Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
  • Scott H. Peters (D-CA)
  • Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
  • Stacey E. Plaskett (D-VI)
  • Jared Polis (D-CO)
  • Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
  • Dave Reichert (R-WA)
  • Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)
  • Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY)
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
  • Dennis A. Ross (R-FL)
  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
  • Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP)
  • Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA)
  • John Sarbanes (D-MD)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Adam B. Schiff (D-CA)
  • Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA)
  • David Scott (D-GA)
  • Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL)
  • Pete Sessions (R-TX)
  • Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
  • Albio Sires (D-NJ)
  • Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY)
  • Adam Smith (D-WA)
  • Darren Soto (D-FL)
  • Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY)
  • Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • Mark Takano (D-CA)
  • Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA)
  • Mike Thompson (D-CA)
  • Scott Tipton (R-CO)
  • Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Dave Trott (R-MI)
  • Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
  • Michael R. Turner (R-OH)
  • Marc Veasey (D-TX)
  • Filemon Vela (D-TX)
  • Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY)
  • Tim Walz (D-MN)
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
  • Peter Welch (D-VT)
  • Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL)
  • Joe Wilson (R-SC)
  • John Yarmuth (D-KY)
  • Ted S. Yoho, D.V.M (R-FL)
  • Don Young (R-AK)

*The Alliance is also aware that some legislators send their own letter in support of the Office of Museum Services, or include OMS on a letter listing their priorities. Those efforts are often due directly to advocate outreach to those offices. These individual letters also help our cause and are worthy of thanks on social media! These legislators include Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA).

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