Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 20:48:46 -0400
From: Allan Metcalf AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: NEH again - call for action
Once again, from the National Humanities alliance; FYI - Allan Metcalf
Fri, Jun 30, 1995 11:22 AM CDT
TO: NHA Members
FR: John Hammer & Cuc Vu
RE: Request for Action on the Campaign to Retain NEH
ACTION REQUESTED - Congress's Independence Day break (June 30 through July
9) comes as the pace of Congressional action on appropriations and
authorizations for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its
sister agencies the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Institute
of Museum Services (IMS) has quickened. Although there may be promising
movement on reauthorization of the endowments, appropriations in both
houses is the priority for NHA at this juncture. During July, we need to
focus on appropriations in the House and the Senate.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - The Appropriations Committee is
recommending $99.5 million for NEH (a 42% cut), $99.5 million for NEA (a
39% cut), and $21 million for IMS (a 25% cut). These are not great numbers
but do represent an enormous improvement over the 100% cuts favored by the
GOP leaders. While increases in these sums would be highly desirable,
there is virtually unanimous agreement among our friends inside and outside
Congress that an amendment to increase these budgets would be assured of
defeat on the House floor and, more importantly, such a defeat would be
damaging to our cause in a conference and to our prospects for House
support in a post conference vote. While amendments to increase are
discouraged and unlikely, there almost certainly will be amendments offered
to either cut more deeply or simply cut off funding for the endowments.
Therefore we urge that the following message be delivered BY CONSTITUENTS
to the members of the House:
Please support the Appropriations Committee's recommendations for FY-96
budgets for NEH, NEA, and IMS. Please stand firm against amendments that
would further lower the funding recommended for these agencies.
SENATE - Now that the House Appropriations Committee has sent a
FY-96 Interior Appropriations bill forward toward the floor, the Senate
counterpart is beginning to prepare for action. Challenges for NEH
supporters include: The subcommittee chair, Slade Gorton (R-WA), has not
warmed up to the endowments, and the Budget Committee recommendations are
for continuation of the endowments but with only 50% funding. While the
appropriators are not obliged to follow the Budget Committee, the
recommendation is influential. Because the House funding level will be at
42% below present funding (or worse), it is especially important that the
Senate come forward with appropriation levels as close as possible to the
present budget levels ($177 million for NEH, $176.4 million for NEA, and
$28.7 million for IMS). Therefore, we are asking that constituents of all
Senators (except, of course, Senator Gorton) convey the following message:
Please urge Senator Gorton to include the endowments in the FY-96 Interior
Appropriations at a level as close to current funding as possible. (Note:
It is important to indicate that you recognize that Congress is involved in
an historic review of federal programs and that the endowments must take
their cuts along with the other federal program, but not
For those who care to do so, in communicating with Senators and their
staff, it would also be useful to mention that although the committee has
not completed its work, reports of the Jeffords bill indicate that it is a
very positive approach to reauthorizing the endowments.
Other information and caveats -
o During the July 4th break, many members are back in their states
or districts. Whether or not the legislators are available, contacts with
the home offices can be very effective.
NHA can provide telephone numbers and addresses upon request.
o Be restrained in using FAX machines -- Many legislators are
touchy about receiving lobbying messages by FAX because they complain that
the machines become clogged and these messages prevent needed information
from getting through. At NHA, we often telephone to make sure information
by FAX would be welcome.
o Do use the telephone, personal visits, and increasingly Internet.
Not all congressional offices have e-mail but the number is rapidly
o Please send NHA copies of letters sent on NEH issues. Also please
send us copies of responses received from legislators as they are often
useful in determining whether a legislator is moveable on an issue.
o Regarding the arts endowment and IMS -- The NHA board has
established a policy that the alliance actively seeks to retain NEH, NEA,
and IMS as viable national resources. NHA has very profitably collaborated
with arts organizations and supporters of other cultural agencies over the
years. NHA members and their individual members are encouraged to call for
support of all three but the board recognizes that some members may prefer
to focus exclusively on the NEH.
National Humanities Alliance
21 Dupont Circle, N.W. Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20036
Internet: cuc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cni.org