House Subcommittee Proposes Cuts to NEA Funding

July 22, 2013
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 13:07

Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment (which has jurisdiction over the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts [NEA]) released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2014. While it was expected that the House would recommend a reduction in funding for the NEA, the proposed level, $75 million, is more substantial than anticipated: almost 50% lower than the NEA’s current level ($146 million). Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed a $154.5 million budget for the NEA in its FY2014 budget request to Congress. NASAA and our fellow advocates are asking Congress to fund the NEA at $155 million in 2014—the same level of appropriations initially proposed by the Senate for FY2013.

Reflecting the somewhat unusual budget process we have experienced this year, the Interior subcommittee is planning to meet tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider and approve the bill. Should the subcommittee do so, the full Appropriations Committee will meet in the coming weeks, and is expected to approve the subcommittee’s funding level.

There is no date yet set for when the bill might go to the House floor, and the chances of the House and Senate being able to agree on an overall budget for FY2014 before the current fiscal year expires look increasingly unlikely. Including this week, Congress is scheduled to be in session for a total of only four weeks before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Congress and President Obama may be forced to agree to another continuing resolution to keep the government operating.

While we think it is unlikely that the House’s proposal will gain traction in either the Senate or the White House, we nevertheless view this budget as a negative development and encourage our members who have relationships with members of the House Appropriations Committee to call those offices and express their opposition to the proposed budget for the NEA before the full committee meets to consider the bill. Emphasize the benefits of NEA funding to your state. Consult NASAA’s NEA Fact Sheet, which the NASAA research staff can customize for your state. Below is a list of members of the House Appropriations Committee:

Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
C.W. Bill Young, Florida
Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
Jack Kingston, Georgia
Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
Tom Latham, Iowa
Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
Kay Granger, Texas
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
John Abney Culberson, Texas
Ander Crenshaw, Florida
John R. Carter, Texas
Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
Ken Calvert, California
Jo Bonner, Alabama
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
Tom Graves, Georgia
Kevin Yoder, Kansas
Steve Womack, Arkansas
Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi
Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska
Tom Rooney, Florida
Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee
Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
David Joyce, Ohio
David Valadao, California
Andy Harris, Maryland

Nita M. Lowey, New York
Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
José E. Serrano, New York
Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
James P. Moran, Virginia
Ed Pastor, Arizona
David E. Price, North Carolina
Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
Sam Farr, California
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
Barbara Lee, California
Adam B. Schiff, California
Michael M. Honda, California
Betty McCollum, Minnesota
Tim Ryan, Ohio
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida
Henry Cuellar, Texas
Chellie Pingree, Maine
Mike Quigley, Illinois
Bill Owens, New York

Meanwhile, no date has been set for action in the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on a companion bill. No specifics regarding an NEA funding recommendation from the Senate are available, but NASAA certainly will advocate for a number closer to the president’s proposal. (Last year, the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed a funding level of $155 million.)

NASAA will keep you informed on the progress of NEA funding through the House and the Senate.