Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 10:34:49 -0400

From: Allan Metcalf AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: NEH funding update (another long one)

Here follows another thorough report from our associates at the National

Humanities Alliance in Washington. For our field, in the US, the NEH is of

high importance; but I don't like loading ADS-L mailboxes every week with

material that not everyone finds relevant.

So - I propose the following:

If you would like to continue getting all the NEH Washington news, send me a

message to that effect. I'll construct an NEH mailing list, and send future

news items just to those on that list. OK? - Allan Metcalf AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]


18 August 1995

TO: NHA Members and Friends

FR: John Hammer and Cuc Vu

RE: Washington News Memo - 1) Senate votes $110 million for NEH

2) Appropriations Conference next

3) Hutchison-Bennett Bill Calls for

Restructured Single Endowment

1) Senate votes parity for endowments at $110 million - On August

9, by voice vote, the Senate amended its Appropriation Committee

recommendation for the FY-96 Interior Appropriations bill by

increasing the arts endowment by $10.5 million and decreasing the

humanities endowment by $4.5 million, leaving both agencies at

$110 million (approximately 35% below the current year

appropriations). The Institute of Museum Services was left

unchanged at $21 million . The amendment was initiated by

Senators James Jeffords (R-VT) with cosponsorship by Senators

Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Dale Bumpers (D-AR), Christopher Dodd

(D-CT), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick

Leahy (D-VT), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Claiborne Pell (D-RI),

and Alan Simpson (R-WY). Importantly, the Senate bill does not

include language phasing out the endowments.

The outcome of lowering NEH's allocation to accommodate NEA, as

far as one can tell, was not anti-NEH but rather reflected the

great difficulty in finding offsets (i.e., other Interior budget

lines to raid). Senator Jeffords, who authored the amendment,

initially sought to bring both agencies to $115 million but could

not find offsets that would be acceptable to other members whose

votes he needed. Some Senate staffers suggest that a factor in

arriving at parity but at the lower number was the dismay of the

Subcommittee chair and floor manager, Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA),

who had only reluctantly agreed to bring the endowments in at the

$99.5 million figure voted by the House. Mr. Gorton said in the

subcommittee markup that he did not see NEH and NEA as having the

importance among federal cultural agencies as the Smithsonian,

National Gallery, and Holocaust Museum -- The latter agencies were

marked for very close to even funding, whereas the endowments were

marked for cuts in the 40% range. As part of the deal on the

amendment, Mr. Gorton pledged on the Senate floor to vigorously

uphold the budget levels contained in the amendment during the

conference with the House.

One troublesome aspect of the amendment passed by the Senate is

the inclusion of language restricting content of arts endowment

grants (but not NEH grants) brought forward by Senator Jesse Helms

(R-NC). The restrictive language, which is vintage Helms,

prohibits "support for projects to promote, disseminate, sponsor

or produce materials or performances" which a) "denigrate the

objects or beliefs of adherents of a particular religion"; and b)

"depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual or

excretory activities or organs." Senate staffers indicate that

Senator Jeffords and his co-sponsors accepted the language out of

concern that they lacked the votes to pass the amendment without

Helms. The effect of adding the Helms language on the votes of

conservatives was clear (i.e., there were no nays spoken). The

decision to pass the amendment on a voice vote rather than by roll

call is likely to simplify the work of conferees in September as

the Helms language will be easier to alter or set aside with no

record of how individual Senators voted.

While many believe the restrictive language eventually would be

found unconstitutional should it become law, a major concern is

that the issue will deflect conferees from resolving the far more

pressing issue of the House-passed provision that terminates the

NEA in two years and NEH in three. As noted above, the Senate

bill does not contain language phasing out the agencies (although

Senator John McCain [R-AZ] mentioned on the floor the night before

the endowments came under discussion, that he was going to propose

a provision that NEA could not use FY-96 funds without formal

reauthorization -- McCain however, did not offer the amendment

when the time came). Some have suggested that the Helms language

could be used as a bargaining chip in the effort to delete the

phasing out language.

2) Interior Appropriations Conference Likely in September - A

conference to iron out differences between the House and Senate

Interior appropriations bills will be held in September although

neither chamber has appointed conferees. Since conferences on

appropriations (and most other legislative areas) are composed of

the members of the relevant subcommittee plus full committee

leaders, the Interior conference is likely to have the following


HOUSE - The Key players: Ralph Regula (R-OH) subcommittee chair,

Bob Livingston (R-LA) committee chair and ex officio member of the

subcommittee, Sidney Yates (D-IL) ranking minority member of the

subcommittee, and David Obey (D-WI) ranking minority member of the

full committee and ex officio member of the subcommittee.

Senate - The Key players: Slade Gorton (R-WA) subcommittee chair,

Mark Hatfield (R-OR) committee chair who is also a member of the

subcommittee, Robert Byrd (D-WV) ranking minority member of both

the subcommittee and full committee.

Other members of the conference (in order of seniority on the

subcommittees) - House/MAJORITY: Joseph McDade (R-PA), Jim Kolbe

(R-AZ), Joe Skeen (R-NM), Barbara Vucanovich (R-NV), Charles

Taylor (R-NC), George Nethercutt (R-WA), Jim Bunn (R-OR) /MINORITY

Norm Dicks (D-WA), Tom Bevill (D-AL), David Skaggs (D-CO) -

Senate/MAJORITY: Ted Stevens (R-AK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Pete

Domenici (R-NM), Connie Mack (R-FL), Conrad Burns (R-MT), Robert

Bennett (R-UT), /MINORITY Ernest Hollings (D-SC), J. Bennett

Johnston (D-LA), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Dale Bumpers (D-AR),

Harry Reid (D-NV), and Patty Murray (D-WA). An address and

contact list of the probable House-Senate conferees is attached.

The agenda for conferences such as the FY-96 interior bills are

generally restricted to points of difference between the two

chambers' bills. The key conference issues affecting NEH will


o Appropriation levels for NEH and NEA -- Both received $99.5

million in the House and $110 million in the Senate. There is a

long tradition of simply splitting the difference but other

outcomes are very possible. (Since IMS is the same in both bills,

it will not be "conferenced" as we say in Washington.)

o "Authorization" - Both appropriations committee acted upon

committee-passed authorization bills that lacked the weight of a

full floor vote. In the case of the Senate (where there never was

much enthusiasm for the claim that funds cannot be appropriated

without formal authorization), the appropriation is nowhere near

the authorized funding levels of the Jeffords bill, which are $160

for NEH and $152 for NEA).

The House is more complicated since the authorizing committee bill

calls for the phasing out of both endowments in three years. In

the fight over the protective rule governing House debate (i.e.,

the rule that said agencies or programs could not be removed from

the budget simply because they were not authorized), NEA ended up

with a special provision requiring that the House must pass a

reauthorization bill before the arts agency can spend FY-96 funds.

This provision may well dominate the conference negotiations on

the cultural agencies; perhaps it will dominate the whole

conference. Mr. Regula must negotiate on the basis of

rather frenetic House debate in which the House conferees were

instructed to closely adhere to the provisions as passed by the

House. Some in the Senate delegation were quite annoyed at the

House presumption on what the Senate must accept.

o Content restrictions - Although the Helms language applies

only to NEA, it could prove to be a stumbling block to agreement

on the other cultural agency issues. Some hill staffers are

predicting that, unlike the recent past, the Helms language will

be set aside with little fanfare.

3) Hutchison-Bennett Bill Would Create a Single Endowment from

NEH, NEA, and IMS - Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and

Robert Bennett (R-UT) have proposed a National Endowment

Restructuring Act of 1995 (S. 1071) which would collapse the

National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the

Arts, and the Institute of Museum Services into a single agency

called the National Endowment for Arts, Humanities, and Museum

Services. Features proposed for the new entity that differ

markedly from the current legislation and/or the Jeffords bill (S.

856) that was approved by committee in June include:

o National grants would be restricted to "nationally

prominent groups, institutions, scholars to carry out nationally

significant projects and workshops in humanities, publications,

literacy, research a) providing fellowships, scholarships, and

stipends to carry out programs of national significance in

humanities; and b) producing significant publications in


o Support would go to "local groups of clearly recognized

value to support locally significant humanities projects

identified by [the national] council as being of state or

community importance."

o A director would be appointed by the President, with the

advice and consent of the Senate. Director makes final decisions

on awards with council advice but may not overrule a negative

council recommendation. (Note: Since 1990, this constraint has

been in affect for the NEA but not the NEH).

o Deputy directors for arts, humanities, and museum services

would direct processing of applications and presentation to the

council (i.e., unless the director comes from the humanities,

final decisions in humanities areas would rest with a director who

may have little or no experience with scholarship and other

humanities programming).

o Federal share requirements - In general, endowment share is

25%; for groups with annual budgets $3 million or more, the

federal share would be 16.67%; Director may increase the federal

share to 50% with the approval of the council.

o State grants - Although the legislation does not mention

this, a cover letter from Hutchison and Bennett call for sending

60% of the funds to the states. The legislation maintains a

framework for state councils but, curiously, only provides for

such agencies if they are components of state government. (State

arts councils are state agencies, while state humanities councils

are private 501(c)(3) organizations.)

o A National Council on Arts, Humanities, and Museum Services

would be composed of the director and 18 members appointed by the

President with advice and consent of the Senate. Six would be

nominated by the House, six nominated by the Senate, and six

nominated by the President. The qualifications to serve are

similar to present requirements.

o The annual authorized appropriation would be $370 million

for each of fiscal years 1996 through 2000.

Somewhat inconsistently with other provisions of the legislation,

the legislation would:

o Prohibit grants to individuals except to nationally

prominent scholars; and

o Prohibit subgrants (and seasonal support)

Comment: The Hutchison-Bennett bill was developed in good faith,

primarily by Senator Hutchison's staff, in order to provide an

alternative in the event that the Jeffords reauthorization bill

fails to win passage. The concept of a single unified endowment

with its support restricted to nationally, prominent groups with

more than half the funds going to the states is essentially

proposal advanced by Leonard Garment as a way out of the on-going

problems of the arts endowment. From a humanities point of view,

the entire proposal seems to have been developed with NEA and its

problems in mind. Consequently, in many areas (e.g., individual

fellowships, state humanities councils), the new arrangement would

be unresponsive to the needs in the humanities. On the other hand,

there would probably be unqualified support in the arts and

humanities community for grafting the authorized appropriation

level of $370 million for NEH, NEA, IMS onto the Jeffords





House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

___Majority Members_(9)___

Ralph Regula (OH-16), Chair 2309 RHOB 225-3876 Barbara Wainman


Joseph McDade (PA-10) 2107 RHOB 225-3731 Teresa Baker

Jim Kolbe (AZ-5) 205 CHOB 225-2542 Steve Bloch

Joe Skeen (NM-2) 2367 RHOB 225-2365 John Ryan

Barbara Vucanovich (NV-2) 2202 RHOB 225-6155 Mort Rolleston

Charles Taylor (NC-11) 231 CHOB 225-6401 Caroline Choi

George Nethercutt (WA-5) 1527 LHOB 225-2006 Amy Flachbart

Jim Bunn (OR-5) 1517 LHOB 225-5711 David Reinhardt

Bob Livingston (LA-1) 2406 RHOB 225-3015 Stan Skocki

ex officio

___Minority Members_(5)___

Sidney Yates (IL-9), RM 2109 RHOB 225-2111 Mary Bain

Jason Alderman

Norm Dicks (WA-6) 2467 RHOB 225-5916 Mike Bagley

Tom Bevill (AL-4) 2302 RHOB 225-4876 Olivia Barton

David Skaggs (CO-2) 1124 LHOB 225-2161 Brooke Anderson

David Obey (WI-7) 2462 RHOB 225-3365 Christina Hamilton

ex officio

Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

___Majority Members_(8)___

Slade Gorton (WA), Chair 730 HSOB 224-3441 Elaine Wells Harmer

Mark Hatfield (OR)* 711 HSOB 224-3753 Heather Sack

Ted Stevens (AK) 522 HSOB 224-3004 Jane Rosenquist

Thad Cochran (MS) 326 RSOB 224-5054 Greg McGinity

Pete Domenici (NM) 328 DSOB 224-6621 Brian Jones

Connie Mack (FL) 517 HSOB 224-5274 Jamie Brown

Conrad Burns (MT) 183 DSOB 224-2644 Patty Deutsche

Robert Bennett (UT) 427 DSOB 224-5444 Corine Larson

___Minority Members_(7)___

Robert Byrd (WV), RM* 311 HSOB 224-3954 Sue Masica

Ernest Hollings (SC) 125 RSOB 224-6121 Pinara Black

J. Bennett Johnston (LA) 136 HSOB 224-5824 Donna Denison

Patrick J. Leahy (VT) 433 RSOB 224-4242 Maggie Whitney

Dale Bumpers (AR) 229 DSOB 224-4843 Kira Finkler

Harry Reid (NV) 324 HSOB 224-3542 Sue Maybry

Patty Murray (WA) 111 RSOB 224-2621 Helen Howell

RHOB=Rayburn House Office Building

LHOB=Longworth House Office Building

CHOB=Cannon House Office Building

RSOB=Russell Senate Office Building

DSOB=Dirksen Senate Office Building

HSOB=Hart Senate Office Building

RM=Ranking Minority

All phone numbers are in the (202) area code

All House zip codes are 20515

All Senate zip codes are 20510

*Mr. Hatfield is the Chair and Mr. Byrd is the Ranking Minority of the full

Senate Appropriations Committee.


National Humanities Alliance

21 Dupont Circle, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 296-2994

Internet: nhainfo[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]