UPDATE—Take Action: New House Money Bill Would Cut $22 Million From NEA

February 14, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 04:11

UPDATE—Take Action: New House Money Bill Would Cut $22 Million From NEA

Following a revolt last week within the Republican caucus, with a majority of its members refusing to support the plan developed by the House Appropriations Committee to cut some $41 billion in spending for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, committee chair Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) went back to the drawing board and produced a bill reaching the $100 billion in cuts demanded by the budget hawks, with a reduction in funds to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from the current level of $167.5 million to $145 million, taking the budget level for the arts agency almost back to its funding in 2008. A similar cut was proposed for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The bill is meant to carry government spending through the remainder of FY2011. Federal agencies are operating now under a funding resolution set to expire on March 4.

The new continuing resolution for FY2011 is expected to reach the House floor later this week. NASAA continues to expect that when the measure reaches the House floor, amendments will be offered to cut deeper into arts funding and possibly to eliminate the NEA funding entirely.

Please continue to take action as we urged you to do last week. Contact your representatives in the House today and tomorrow. Urge them to vote against any amendments proposed on the 2011 continuing resolution that make further cuts to funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Ask them to speak on the House floor in support of the NEA budget, and offer to provide them with talking points about the value of the federal funding to the arts in your state.

You may contact your senators and representatives by e-mail at http://www3.capwiz.com/mygov/dbq/officials/, or through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. These are the key points to make in your communications with your legislators:

  • 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.

These NASAA resources can help you make the case:
Taking Charge of Change
Why Should Government Support the Arts?