June 4, 2014
Call to Action: NEA Chair Vote
After several months with little progress, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee met in May and approved the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to lead the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). During the confirmation process, it was important to NASAA that the principle of 40% of NEA grant funding being mandated for state arts agencies be affirmed both in questions posed to the nominee and in responses by the nominee. I am pleased to relay to you that this was indeed the case. Dr. Chu expressed her support for the continued 40% allocation of NEA funds to state arts agencies and acknowledged the work they are doing out in the field at the local level. She further recognized the important role state arts agencies play in advancing the arts in the United States.
With Dr. Chu’s selection approved by the committee, her name now goes before the full Senate for a vote. A date for this vote has not been established, however, and there remains a significant backlog of appointments awaiting a confirmation vote in the Senate. Therefore, I encourage you to send a note to your senators to urge their support for Dr. Chu’s nomination. In your letter, consider encouraging the senator to whom you are writing to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring Dr. Chu’s nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. The agency’s last chair, Rocco Landesman, stepped down on December 26, 2012. The current fiscal constraints facing Congress as it sets a budget for fiscal year 2015 make it all too important that the NEA have a leader as soon as possible.
While Congress continues to work on passing a budget for FY2015, the Interior Appropriations bill, which includes the NEA’s budget, has not yet been released. Because 2014 is an election year, senior congressional staffers say that the House and Senate would need to make significant progress over the next months in order to pass a budget before the current fiscal year expires on September 30. Should Congress be unable to pass a formal budget, there is every expectation that Democrats and Republicans will agree on a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government operating through the election.
NASAA will continue to monitor the Senate’s consideration of Dr. Chu closely and will make you aware of any developments. In the meantime, if you have questions related to the nomination or any other federal policy issue, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at 202-540-9162 or by e-mail at email@example.com
In this Issue
State to State
- Oregon: Visual Arts Ecology Project
- Alaska: New Pathways | Alaska
- Arkansas: Living Treasure Films Series
More Notes from NASAA
Executive Director's Column
Research on DemandSubscribe
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