October 1, 2016
Congress Delays Hard Choices
With the end of the fiscal year approaching and no agreement in sight, members of Congress and President Obama agreed last week on a short-term spending bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that will keep the government open until December 9. A CR extends an agency’s current funding level for the duration of the legislation, which means that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will continue to operate with a budget of $148 million.
In agreeing to the bill, Congress delayed final resolution on a number of controversial measures that had prevented agreement on a formal appropriations bill. Those measures included provisions (known as policy riders) inserted by Republicans in Congress that would have prevented the Obama administration from implementing some of its most important priorities, including regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and funding for Planned Parenthood clinics. Debate surrounding those riders is expected to resume when Congress returns to Washington after the November election.
Passage of the CR, while significant because it prevents the government from shutting down, is the nonetheless disappointing to the arts advocacy community. Approval of a full appropriations bill almost certainly would have included an increase in funding for the NEA, as earlier this year, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approved increases in funding for the agency, at $2 million and $500,000, respectively. Although elections for president and control of the House and Senate are more than a month away and it is difficult if not impossible to predict the result, members of Congress from both parties are optimistic that when they return later this year, they will be able to reach an agreement on a budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2017.
While Congress is now out of session, conversations at the staff level continue. NASAA will keep you up to speed as developments unfold.
In this Issue
State to State
- Kentucky: Artists Become Farmers Market Vendors
- DC: 202Creates Festival
- Colorado: Collaborative Grant Making in Support of Social Practice Projects
More Notes from NASAA
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