This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives began debating the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 2584). In last week’s action alert, I mentioned that amendments could be offered on the floor that would further reduce funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities beyond the $135 million in FY 2012 funding approved by the Appropriations Committee (a $19.7 million, or 13% cut from the current year).
Just hours ago, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) offered an amendment to reduce funding in the Interior bill by $3 billion in various accounts, including $1.9 billion in EPA spending, as well as complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts (among other programs). The Huelskamp amendment failed by voice vote, but a recorded vote was requested, and is expected to take place tonight.
Even if the current measure fails, additional amendments to weaken funding for NEH may be offered during this week’s floor consideration of the FY12 Interior bill. If you have not already done so, please email your Representative and ask him/her to:
- Oppose any amendments to eliminate or further cut NEH funding in the FY12 Interior bill (H.R. 2584)
- Speak on the floor in support of the humanities and the benefits that NEH provides your community
If you would prefer to call the office directly, you can do so through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Earlier today, the Congressional Humanities Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Tom Petri (R-WI), issued a Dear Colleague letter urging Members to oppose the Huelskamp amendment. Reps. Price and Petri are still planning to lead a bipartisan “strike the last word” effort to protect NEH and provide Members an opportunity to join their colleagues on the House floor to speak in support of the humanities. The timing of this effort is likely to coincide with the reading of the bill portion that references NEH funding (expected within the next 1-2 days).
Thank you for taking action. We will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.
Jessica Jones Irons
National Humanities Alliance