House Proposes NEA Funding Reduction

July 11, 2017
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel

This afternoon, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee released its draft budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for fiscal year 2018. In its bill, the committee proposes funding the agency at $145 million, a reduction of $5 million from the agency’s current funding level. While this level is not ideal (NASAA and other arts organizations were seeking an increase to $155 million), it is significant that the committee did not endorse the President’s request for elimination of the agency or propose a substantial cut in funding.

With the draft of the bill released, the committee plans to hold a hearing tomorrow, July 12, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, to mark up the legislation. It is at that time that the committee may consider an amendment to adjust the NEA’s funding level.

If you are represented by a member of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I urge you to contact their office and make the following points:

  • Thank the committee for rejecting the President’s proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Urge the member to support (at least) the NEA’s current funding level of $150 million. (Acknowledge the arts community’s $155 million request if you think the member would be willing to entertain an increase in this political environment.)
  • Urge that the committee continue to support the federal-state partnership that allocates 40% of all NEA grant funds directly to state and regional arts organizations.
  • Try to contextualize the proposed cut to the NEA by highlighting some of the recent projects and events you’ve undertaken at your state arts agency.

NASAA appreciates your willingness to contact members of Congress during this important time. We will continue to keep you updated as events unfold.

Below is the list of members of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee:

Ken Calvert, California, Chairman
Mike Simpson, Idaho
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
David Joyce, Ohio
Chris Stewart, Utah, Vice Chair
Mark Amodei, Nevada
Evan Jenkins, West Virginia

Betty McCollum, Minnesota, Ranking Member
Chellie Pingree, Maine
Derek Kilmer, Washington
Marcy Kaptur, Ohio