Date: Wed, 28 Jun 1995 18:30:12 -0400

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

Subject: NEH congressional news

Keeping an eye on Congress with regard to money for the National Endowment

for the Humanities is John Hammer of the National Humanities Alliance. His

electronic report follows.

(Before presenting the report, I want to express my appreciation for the NEH

discussion, both calm and heated, on ADS-L. As humanists and taxpayers, as we

go about our business, ADS members in the U.S. can hardly avoid taking NEH

into account. Personally, I think it has made useful contributions to

Americans' self-understanding, e.g. DARE. But whatever you think, you deserve

to be informed about the significant funding decisions coming along.) - Allan



Wed, Jun 28, 1995 9:27 AM CDT

On the House Appropriations Committee markup for FY-96 appropriations for

NEH and the cancellation of the Senate Labor Committee markup.

A report from John Hammer and Cuc Vu at the National Humanities Alliance

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the Interior and

Related Agencies bill for FY-96 and sent it on toward the floor -- perhaps as

early as the week of July 10. In the 6/20/95 subcommittee markup, $50

million was moved from the Biological Survey to the NEH bringing the

humanities agency total to just short of $150 million. In a deal worked

out in advance of yesterday's full committee markup, the $50 million was

moved to Interior Department programs (mostly Bureau of Land Management) and

NEH dropped back to $99.5 million. The deal in exchange for the $50

million is a commitment by Ralph Regula, chair of the Interior

subcommittee, to seek a protective rule that would block removing money

for the endowment because they are not authorized when the bill reaches

the floor. If the Rules Committee agrees to the protective rule it will

be a substantial step forward in the campaign to retain the endowments.

The prospects of the Rules Committee acting favorably are fairly bright

because the committee will also be asked to protect the Bureau of Land

Management since it is also unauthorized.

During the 6/20 subcommittee markup, Jim Kolbe (R-AZ 5th) proposed that

80% of NEH's funds be shifted to the state humanities councils but

withdrew the amendment when advised that it would change the legislation

and was therefore beyond the scope of an appropriations bill. In the

full committee, a revised proposal from Mr. Kolbe to increase funds for

the states by $5 million was accepted. That means that the states will

be included at $23 million rather than $18 million when the bill goes to

the floor.

Comment - Last January, it looked as though the NEH campaign was going to

have to deal with an appropriations situation in the house in which the

endowments would be largely excluded from the process due to a lack of

legislative authorization. Against that background, the outcome is

good. (If we succeed in getting a significantly higher appropriation on

the Senate side we could escape with as little as 20/25% cut. The $50

million addition in the subcommittee had very little to do with NEH.

Rather it was the politics of the Endangered Species Act and the Interior

Department that drove the move -- While the $50 million would have been

nice, success on Rules Committee protection could be more valuable.

The move of $5 million to the states is also useful to the overall

effort since the $18 million level included in the subcommittee report

would be such a sharp cut as to cause some state councils to go out of


Finally, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee markup scheduled

for today was abruptly cancelled last night. As of this writing, we have

not learned why the cancellating occurred. Senate staffers agree that it

will be at least two weeks before the markup can be rescheduled. (We had

intended to report both House Appropriations and Senate authorization in

this memo.)