House Narrowly Passes Amendment to Cut NEA Funding - (February 18, 2011)

Washington, D.C. - Your continued advocacy is needed in support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The House FY11 spending bill already included a $22.5 million cut to NEA funding; yesterday the House approved an amendment taking a second bite out of the NEA's budget for a total decrease of $43.1 million, which represents more than a 25% cut from current funding.
 * The amendment, offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), to decrease NEA funding by $20.6 million, was approved by a vote of 217-209.
 * Two amendments, filed by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) to completely eliminate NEA funding, were not ultimately offered on the House floor.

EVERY VOTE COUNTS: If just five members of Congress had voted differently, yesterday's amendment would have been defeated. The FY11 bill will soon move on to the Senate for consideration. Here are two things you can do to to help:

1. Check our House Voting Record to see how your Member of Congress voted, and send a follow-up message to your Representative. It is important that your elected officials know you have paid attention to their vote, and we will need everyone's support when the House soon takes up FY12 spending decisions.

2. Contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to restore NEA and Arts in Education funding. The FY11 funding bill will be taken up shortly after the Senate returns from the President's Day recess. We are calling on the Senate to restore funding to the NEA and reinstate Arts in Education funding at the U.S. Department of Education. The League will keep you posted on upcoming Senate action, but please start your advocacy now.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED ADVOCACY: Orchestras and their supporters sent more than 1,200 messages to the U.S. House of Representatives in support of arts funding, joining with countless fellow arts advocates across the country to describe how the arts strengthen the economy and improve civic life. Two amendments to eliminate the NEA were dropped altogether. Thank you for taking time to connect with your Representative and keep up the momentum as the U.S. Senate acts next!

Please direct any related questions to Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Najean Lee, Government Affairs & Education Advocacy Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The League is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America