ACTION ALERT EXTRA--Contact Your Representatives: Defeat Further Cuts to NEA Budget

July 25, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 23:11

Contact Your Representatives: Defeat Further Cuts to NEA Budget

This afternoon, the House of Representatives began debate on the fiscal year 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill with votes on amendments to the bill. Already, one amendment to cut funds for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has been introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) that would take $10 million from the NEA and apply the funds to a deficit reduction account. A similar amendment introduced by Walberg earlier this year passed the House by a close vote.

Votes on the Walberg amendment or any other proposals to reduce the NEA’s funding are not likely to come until tomorrow (July 26) at the earliest. It is essential that your representatives in the House hear from their constituents to oppose further reductions in arts funding.
Points to make:

  • In the 2011 appropriations, NEA funding was reduced by $12.5 million.
  • The bill on the House floor has proposed a further reduction of $20 million in support for the arts in 2012, a 13% reduction from the current funding level of $155 million.
  • The proposed cut in arts funding is nearly twice that of the overall spending cut for other federal programs in the bill.
  • Funding to the NEA already has suffered substantial reductions.
  • The cut proposed by the House is disproportionate to overall spending reductions.
  • Vote to protect the NEA from further unwarranted and punishing cuts in funding.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and floor manager for the bill, has pledged to oppose any amendments to cut NEA funds below the level in the bill. Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Todd Platts (R-PA), cochairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, and Jim Moran (D-VA), ranking minority member on the appropriations subcommittee, are also active in organizing opposition to further reductions in arts spending.

letter signed by NASAA and a broad range of other national cultural organizations in support of the National Endowment for the Arts has been sent to members of the House of Representatives to bolster support for preventing further cuts to the arts spending as the appropriations bill is debated on the floor. The letter was developed and organized by NASAA and our colleagues in the Cultural Advocacy Group.

We need to count on the votes of representatives who in the past have supported NEA funding and opposed cuts in arts appropriations. Please make an effort to contact your state’s Republican members of the House of Representatives who have been supportive in the past (and the three Democrats who voted in favor of the earlier Walberg amendment), listed below. We cannot succeed without their votes. Tell them to protect the NEA from further spending cuts and to vote no on any proposals to reduce spending below the $135 million proposed in the bill before the House.

You may reach your state’s representatives by e-mail at or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please circulate this alert to your advocacy networks. Many thanks for your help in this effort.

Rep. Robert Aderholt

Rep. Brian Bilbray
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D) – voted in favor of Walberg amendment earlier this year
Rep. Jim Costa (D) – voted in favor of Walberg amendment earlier this year
Rep. Mary Bono Mack

Rep. Vern Buchanan
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Rep. Mike Simpson

Rep. Judy Biggert
Rep. Robert Dold
Rep. Timothy Johnson
Rep. Aaron Schock
Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Ed Whitfield

Rep. Rodney Alexander

Rep. Thad McCotter
Rep. Mike Rogers
Rep. Fred Upton

Rep. Joanne Emerson

Rep. Dennis Rehberg

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

New Hampshire
Rep. Charles Bass

New Jersey
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
Rep. Leonard Lance
Rep. Frank LoBiondo
Rep. Christopher Smith

New York
Rep. Christopher Gibson
Rep. Mike Grimm
Rep. Richard Hanna

Rep. Steven LaTourette
Rep. Steve Stivers
Rep. Patrick Tiberi
Rep. Michael Turner

Rep. Frank Lucas
Rep. Dan Boren (D) – voted in favor of Walberg amendment earlier this year

Rep. Greg Walden

Rep. Charles Dent
Rep. Jim Gerlach
Rep. Patrick Meehan
Rep. Tim Murphy
Rep. Todd Platts

Rep. Frank Wolf

Rep. David Reichert

West Virginia
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Rep. David McKinley