December 21, 2018
From: Kelly Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer
Congress and the White House have spent recent days trying to reach a budget agreement to avert a partial government shutdown. Those efforts, however, were unsuccessful, and the shutdown is expected to take effect at midnight tonight. The closure will affect the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as well as numerous other federal agencies.
Attempts to enact a continuing resolution extending the budget deadline stalled this afternoon, due to conflict between the Senate, House and President over a $5 billion line item that President Trump requested to support the construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Until an accord is reached, funding will lapse for agencies without approved fiscal year 2019 budgets, requiring those agencies to suspend normal operations.
Here’s how this situation affects state, jurisdictional and regional programs funded by the NEA: The NEA offices must comply with the closure, but work supported through previously awarded grants and cooperative agreements can continue. NEA Partnership Agreement dollars currently being used by most states and regions (and their subgrantees) originate from federal funds appropriated during earlier fiscal cycles, so related activities may proceed without interruption. For those of you who manage Partnership Agreement grants, this means that any funds associated with award numbers xxxxxxx-61-18, 17-6100-xxxx, 16-6100-xxx and earlier are not affected by this lapse in appropriations. However, NEA staff will be furloughed until the budget impasse is resolved. They will not be permitted to assist you via phone or e-mail, and awardees should not expect any new payments for the duration of the shutdown. For additional details, review the NEA’s Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations guidance.
NASAA will monitor budget negotiations closely and will notify you when a resolution is reached. In the meantime, if you have any questions about how this situation affects your state arts agency, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.