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.

Cuc Vu

National Humanities Alliance

21 Dupont Circle, N.W. Suite 800

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 296-4994

Internet: cuc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]