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UPDATE: House of Representatives Defeats Proposed Cuts to NEH & NEA

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

Advocacy Alert – July 19, 2018

UPDATE: House of Representatives Defeats Proposed Cuts to NEH & NEA

Congratulations museum advocates! Thanks to your calls and emails this week, the Grothman amendment to cut NEH and NEA funding was soundly rejected on the House floor yesterday afternoon by a vote of 297 to 114! This represents a big victory for our ongoing efforts over the years to build strong bipartisan support for the federal cultural agencies.

“We applaud the leadership of House Interior Appropriations Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) who spoke out in support of the NEH and NEA during floor debate on the amendment,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott, “and we encourage museum advocates to thank their Representative who voted against this amendment.”

  • Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA): “I  certainly  urge  Members  to  support  the innovative  work  the NEA  and  the  NEH  are  providing  our  men  and  women  in  uniform,  our veterans,  and  families.”
  • Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME): “The  NEA  and  the  NEH  have  strong,  bipartisan  support  on  this committee,  and  I  had  really  hoped  the  days  of  attacking  these agencies  were  behind  us. Maybe  they  seem  like  a  good  political target  for  those  who  don’t  understand  the  ways  the  arts  and humanities  affect  our  daily  lives,  but  the  economic  benefits  are undeniable  for  big  cities,  small  towns,  and  everywhere  in  between.”
  • Congressional Arts Caucus and Humanities Caucus co-Chair Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “I am the Republican chair of both the Arts  Caucus  and  the  Humanities Caucus  in  this  House,  and  these  programs  do  wonderful  work throughout  the  entire  Nation,  in  every  hamlet  in  America  and,  of course,  supporting  our  veterans.”

You can see the final roll call vote and use our online directory to find your legislators. Please take a moment to thank your Representative if they voted to support the NEH and NEA and voted “no” on the Grothman Amendment.

The full Interior Appropriations bill passed the House earlier today. The full Senate is expected to consider its version of the bill next week. While both versions currently contain $155 million in Fiscal Year FY 2019 funding for each agency–as the Alliance advocated for earlier this year in House and Senate testimony–which would be a $2 million increase for both compared with FY 2018, other differences will need to be reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee prior to final passage.

***July 17, 2018 Advocacy Alert***


The U.S. House of Representatives today will begin consideration of spending measures on the House floor, including the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill, which contains funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). During debate on the bill, Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) is expected to offer an amendment to cut $23,250,000 from each agency. Currently, the bill contains $155 million in Fiscal Year FY 2019 funding for each agency which would be a $2 million increase for both compared with FY 2018.

We need immediate help from museum advocates to prevent approval of this harmful proposed amendment.

ACTION NEEDED: Please call your Representative now and urge them to oppose the Grothman amendment!

MESSAGE: Please oppose the Grothman amendment (#39) to the Interior appropriations bill that would cut funds from the NEH and NEA.

Talking Points for Your Phone Call or Voicemail:

  • I urge you to oppose the Grothman amendment and support annual funding of at least $155 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the Interior appropriation bill. These programs are critical to museums’ ability to serve their communities as economic and educational assets.
  • NEH supports museums as institutions of learning and exploration, and as keepers of our cultural, historical, and scientific heritages. These programs teach essential skills–such as creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication–that are increasingly being sought by employers. NEH also funds humanities councils in every state and U.S. territory, which sponsor family literacy programs, speakers’ bureaus, cultural heritage tourism, exhibitions, and live performances.
  • The nonprofit arts industry produces $166 billion annually in economic activity, supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and generates $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments. In partnership with the NEA, state arts agencies annually award more than 20,000 grants to organizations, schools, and artists in more than 4,400 communities across the United States. On average, each dollar awarded by the NEA leverages at least nine dollars from other state, local, and private sources. Private support cannot match the leveraging role of government cultural funding.
  • Again I urge you to vote “no” on the Grothman amendment and support funding of at least $155 million each for NEA and NEH in order to bolster museums’ vital work in our community.

If you would like to send a letter to your Representative supporting the NEH and NEA in addition to your call please feel free to use our template.

Thank you for your advocacy for museums!

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