House Moves to Wrap up 2011 Funding Bill, Action Moves to Senate

February 18, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 08:11

House Moves to Wrap up 2011 Funding Bill, Action Moves to Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives is working to finish with amendments and a final vote on H.R. 1, the continuing resolution for funding the 2011 fiscal year. Both the House and Senate plan to leave by the weekend for a week’s recess. When they return on February 28, the Senate will begin its consideration of the 2011 funding measure.

With attention now shifting to the Senate, it is essential that advocates contact their senators to ensure that funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is not reduced to the level passed by the House, which cut a total of $42 million from the arts endowment’s 2011 budget.

TAKE ACTION: Please take time over the coming week to contact your senators. Urge them to maintain the NEA’s FY2011 funding at the 2010 level of $167.5 million.

You may contact your senators by e-mail at, or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

These are the key points to make in your communications with your senators:

  • Public funding for the arts is a sound investment in states and communities facing tough economic conditions.
  • The arts generate jobs, tax revenues and consumer spending.
  • NEA funds to state arts agencies are even more critical when a depressed economy is straining state budgets.

Even though the Senate will start work on its bill by February 28, it remains uncertain whether the final continuing resolution will be completed by the March 4 deadline, when the current continuing resolution expires. With the two chambers certain to differ significantly on funding levels, the task of reconciling the two bills into one is a complex assignment. Already, Democrats in leadership positions in the House and the Senate have said that they would not stand in the way of a shutdown of the federal government if the funding debate has not been resolved by March 4.

These NASAA resources can help you make the case:

Roll Call Votes on the Walberg Amendment

Earlier this week, the House passed by a close vote (217-209) an amendment to reduce FY2011 funding for the NEA by an additional $20.5 million from the level of $145 million set in the bill from the Appropriations Committee. Twenty-two Republicans joined all but three of the Democrats in voting against the cuts proposed in the amendment authored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). Among Republicans who voted to hold back cuts on arts funding were many of those that NASAA had targeted for special attention. Also in the Republican column were eight members of the new freshman class of legislators and two sophomores in their second term for whom we had no previous voting record.

The complete state-by-state roll call has been tabulated by our colleagues at the League of American Orchestras. Here are the Republican representatives who voted against the Walberg amendment, and the Democrats who voted for it. Thanks to all of you for your committed advocacy with your legislators in the House of Representatives.

Republicans Voting against NEA Cuts
Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL)
Rep. Michael Simpson (ID)
Rep. Judy Biggert (IL)
Rep. Robert Dold (IL)
Rep. Aaron Schock (IL)
Rep. John Shimkus (IL)
Rep. Charles Bass (NH)
Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ)
Rep. Chris Gibson (NY)
Rep. Michael Grimm (NY)
Rep. Richard Hanna (NY)
Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH)
Rep. Steve Stivers (OH)
Rep. Patrick Tiberi (OH)
Rep. Michael Turner (OH)
Rep. Greg Walden (OR)
Rep. Charles Dent (PA)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA)
Rep. Todd Platts (PA)
Rep. David Reichert (WA)
Rep. David McKinley (WV)

Democrats Voting for NEA Cuts
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA)
Rep. Jim Costa (CA)
Rep. Dan Boren (OK)