ACTION ALERT UPDATE--House Defeats Amendment to Eliminate NEA Funds; Continue to Ask Your Representatives on Wednesday to Vote to Defeat Further Cuts to NEA Budget

House Defeats Amendment to Eliminate NEA Funds
Continue to Ask Your Representatives on Wednesday to Vote to Defeat Further Cuts to NEA Budget

July 26, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 24:11

Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives defeated by a vote of 126-284 an amendment from the floor to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and several other agencies. All Democrats and 105 Republicans—including all on the targeted list sent in yesterday’s NASAA Action Alert Extra—voted against the amendment. The amendment was offered by freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a former member of the Kansas state senate and a member of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress.

Thanks to all for your good work. We are still awaiting a vote on an amendment introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to take $10 million from the $135 million in the bill for the NEA and apply the funds to a deficit reduction account. That vote is expected to come tomorrow. Please continue to circulate our advocacy alert to your networks. We will need the votes again tomorrow (Wednesday), and they will be more difficult to gather around the vote to cut rather than eliminate.

It is essential that your representatives in the House continue to 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.
  • Vote no on any proposals to reduce spending below the $135 million proposed in the bill before the House.
  • Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, will oppose any amendment to cut NEA funds below the level in the bill.

As with the vote taken last night to eliminate NEA funding, we need the votes of representatives who in the past have supported NEA funding and opposed cuts in arts appropriations. Here again is the list of 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). All of the Republicans (and two of the Democrats) listed here voted yesterday to oppose the elimination of NEA funding. This was a great victory. We need their votes a second time!

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