August 1, 2013
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Legislation Cutting Funding for NEA Stalls
With Congress scheduled to adjourn for the remainder of the summer tomorrow, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives announced today that it was delaying plans to hold a vote on the fiscal year 2014 Interior Appropriations bill because it did not have enough support to pass the measure. As a result, when it returns in mid-September, Congress will have only two working weeks to pass a budget before the fiscal year expires on September 30.
As we reported earlier this month, the FY2014 Interior Appropriations bill called for a 49% reduction in funding for the NEA, for a total funding level of $75 million. Responding to concerns from arts advocates from across the country, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, offered an amendment restoring funding for the NEA to its current level ($146 million). That amendment was ultimately defeated on a party-line vote of 19-27.
With so little time remaining before current funding ends, it is looking more likely that Congress and President Obama will have to negotiate another short-term continuing resolution to keep the government operating beyond September 30. NASAA will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you apprised of any developments. My Legislative Update column in the August issue of NASAA Notes will contain further information about the decision to delay a vote on this bill.