Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 15:41:01 -0400 From: Allan Metcalf Subject: NEH budget vote In the United States, the National Endowment for the Humanities has significantly funded research in our field. The American Dialect Society belongs to the National Humanities Alliance, a small Washington agency that cultivates appreciation among members of Congress for the benefits of NEH. NHA now notifies us that a vote on NEH appropriations is imminent, and recommends that we get in touch immediately with certain members of the House of Representatives. What you do is up to you, but FYI, I repeat the NHA message below. - Allan Metcalf ************************************ NHA Washington Update, June 21, 1995 by John Hammer and Cuc Vu, National Humanities Alliance House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Passes Bunn Amendment to Increase NEH FY96 Budget by Almost $50 million The News On June 20 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies marked up their FY96 appropriations bill. Chairman Ralph Regula (R-OH 16th) recommended funding NEH and NEA at $99.7 million. This represents a 43% cut for NEH from the current FY95 level of $177 million and a 39% cut for NEH. However, the subcommittee passed an amendment by freshman Congressman Jim Bunn (R-OR 5th) to transfer $50 million from the Life Sciences Research Service in the Department of Interior to the NEH. With the transfer, the figure for NEH for FY96 will be close to $150 million. Only four members--Regula, George Nethercutt (R-WA 5th), Bob Livingston (R-LA 1st), and David Skaggs (D-CO 1st)--opposed the Bunn amendment. Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ 5th) introduced an amendment that would have shifted 80% of NEH funds to the states. Kolbe presented his amendment as consistent with H.R. 1557, a reauthorization bill introduced by William Goodling (R-PA 19th) and passed in May by the House Economic and Educational Opportunities Committee, which calls for a four-year phase out of NEH and an 80% state set-aside. In a point of order, Norman Dicks (D-WA 6th) urged the subcommittee not to act on Kolbe's amendment on the grounds that it was an attempt to legislate policy and thus was an inappropriate issue to put before the subcommittee. The subcommittee agreed, and Kolbe withdrew his amendment. Kolbe said he will try to rework his amendment for the full Appropriations Committee markup on Thursday morning, June 22. NHA Position NHA supports the current funding level of $28 million for the state programs. An 80% transfer of the proposed $150 million, would devastate national educational, research, and public programs. Request for Action NHA urges its members and friends to contact the chairs and ranking members of the Appropriations Committee and Interior Subcommittee. The message to convey is: We very much appreciate the $150 million markup for funding the National Endowment for the Humanities. However, we oppose any effort that would give more to the states than they now receive. At this point, phone calls to staffers are better than faxes. By whichever mode of communication you wish to use, please make sure you make contact by the close of business on Wednesday, June 21. Ralph Regula, Chairman of Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Tel (202) 225-3876 FAX (202) 225-3059 Staffer: Barbara Wainman Sidney Yates, Ranking Minority of Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Tel (202) 225-2111 FAX (202) 225-3493 Staffer: Mary Bain/Jason Alderman Bob Livingston, Chairman of Appropriations Committee Tel (202) 225-0739 FAX (202) 225-3015 Staffer: Stan Skocki (sounds like "skokey") David Obey Tel (202) 225-3365 FAX (202) 225-9476 Staffer: Christina Hamilton Additional NHA strongly encourages constituents of Jim Bunn (OR-5th), Barbara Vucanovich (NV-2nd), Joseph Skeen (NM-2nd), Jim Kolbe (AZ-5th), Joseph McDade (PA-10th), Charles Taylor (NC-11th), Sidney Yates (IL-9th), Norman Dicks (WA-6th), Tom Bevill (AL-4th) and David Obey (WI-7) to thank these legislators for their support of the NEH. Constituents of Jim Kolbe should also urge him not to offer his amendment to transfer 80% of NEH funds to the states. This is an intense time for the NEH and things are moving fast on Capitol Hill, so please stay tuned! 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]