March 24, 2015
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
The U.S. House of Representatives will soon begin formulating budgets for fiscal year 2016 for all federal agencies. To set the stage for consideration of arts funding levels, members of the Congressional Arts Caucus recently circulated a “dear colleague” letter urging an increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The letter urges the committee with jurisdiction over the NEA budget—the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies—to appropriate up to $154.466 million for the NEA in FY2016. The authors note the impact of the arts as a generator of jobs, tourism revenues and export sales. They also applaud the NEA’s efforts to integrate the arts into military and veterans’ health care programs and note the important role that state arts agencies play in regranting federal funds and leveraging additional local and state investment.
A bipartisan effort, the letter was signed by 134 representatives. This letter is not a bill—the subcommittee has yet to recommend its funding amount for the NEA. However, this communication is an important example of how lawmakers from both sides of the aisle recognize the NEA as playing a valued role in federal domestic policy.
If your member of Congress was among the signers, please be sure to thank your representative for his or her support.