House Amendment Could Cut NEA Funding

July 17, 2018
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 18:07

Later this week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider and vote on appropriations legislation funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for fiscal year 2019. That bill, which was unanimously approved by the House Appropriations Committee, would increase the NEA’s budget by $2 million to $155 million.

However, an NEA increase could be in jeopardy from a new amendment considered last night by the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee considered 178 amendments to the interior appropriations bill, 70 of which were passed in order. One of those, introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), would reduce the NEA’s budget by $23 million, or 15%. This amendment will be sent to the House floor for consideration within the next few days.

While there is no reason to think that the strong bipartisan support the NEA has achieved in Congress is waning, this is nonetheless a significant development that NASAA and other arts organizations are taking seriously. We strongly urge you to contact your representative to urge that they oppose Grothman amendment #169 and approve $155 million for the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Please use the following points:

  • The NEA funding bill approved unanimously by the Appropriations Committee would allow the agency to continue to support the arts across the country and build upon its innovative partnership with the Department of Defense to provide therapy to wounded veterans.
  • Forty percent of all grant funding given to the NEA is distributed to state arts agencies. This allocation encourages local decision making, leverages additional state investment and ensures that federal funds reach every congressional district in the country.
  • Highlight an exciting new program or event being supported by your state arts agency, and point out how funding from the NEA, through either the federal-state partnership or a direct grant, supported that initiative.

As events continue to unfold, we will keep you apprised of the latest developments. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.