February 24, 2011 – On Saturday, February 19, the House passed HR1, the FY 2011 continuing resolution, to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year. Under the bill, most spending is based on FY 2010 levels, less $61.5 billion in eliminations, reductions, and rescissions. The House-passed bill provides $99.6 billion less than President Obama’s FY 2011 budget proposal. The House and Senate are currently out of session. When they return, the Senate is expected to focus attention on FY 2011 appropriations as early as February 28. The House and Senate have until March 4, when the current continuing resolution (passed December 21) expires, to reach agreement on FY 2011 spending for the remaining months through September 30, or pass another temporary stopgap measure. If they cannot find a compromise by the March 4 deadline, the federal government will shut down.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this week that he would attempt to pass a 30-day CR at current levels when the Senate returns from the President’s Day break. House Republican leaders continue to state that any additional stopgap measures would need to contain spending cuts.
HR1 provided NEH with $145 million for FY 2011. If enacted, this would bring the agency’s funding back to its FY 2008 level and mark a deep $22 million, or 13%, cut over the FY 2010 enacted level. As previously reported, two amendments to cut and eliminate NEH funding were filed. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ-5) filed an amendment to completely eliminate FY 2011 funding for NEH. An amendment filed by Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-TX-23) aimed to reduce the agency’s FY 2011 funding by $12.5 million. Both of these amendments were withdrawn and not offered on the floor of the House. In response to possible cuts to the National Endowment for the Humanities, advocates sent more than 5,500 emails urging Members of Congress to support the NEH and oppose any amendments to further reduce funding to the agency.
FY 2011 funding for the NEH’s sister agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, was reduced to $124.5 million after by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI-7) offered an amendment to bring agency funding back to its FY 2007 level. The amendment passed 217-209.
Additional amendments were originally filed, but not offered, that would have cut or eliminated funding to the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) and the Institute of Museum & Library services. Amendments to eliminate the following cultural programs were successful: National Capital Arts & Cultural Affairs program, Presidio Trust, East-West Center, and U.S. Institute of Peace.
When HR1 was reported out of the appropriations committee on February 11, it eliminated funding for the Teaching American History grants and the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) within the Department of Education. In FY 2010, Teaching American History was funded at $119 million and FLAP was funded at $26.928 million.
For further information visit: http://www.nhalliance.org/