House Approves Major NEA Increase (6/28/07)
House Approves Major NEA Increase
A major restoration of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding moved one step closer to enactment yesterday as the House approved a $35 million increase—the largest single increase in NEA history. Thank you for letting Congress know the value of NEA support for orchestras and the communities they serve. Advocacy efforts by orchestras and the broader arts community contributed to this major advancement in NEA funding, and further advocacy will be crucial as the NEA's bill undergoes final consideration by the full Senate and key congressional leaders.
Damaging Amendments Defeated
The House solidly defeated three amendments that would have reduced or eliminated NEA funding. Bipartisan leadership by Congressional Arts Caucus co-chairs Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Chris Shays (R-CT) rallied House colleagues in support of the NEA, and Interior Appropriations Committee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) consistently defended the NEA against attacks from Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), and Doug Lamborn (R-CO), as each Representative offered an amendment to decrease arts funding. All three amendments against NEA funding failed. The vote taken on the Brown-Waite amendment, which failed 137 to 285, provides a particularly clear indication of Congressional support for the NEA, as the amendment would have decreased NEA funding without shifting the funds to other Interior programs. We have compiled a complete voting record on each amendment to help you determine how your member of Congress voted.
See How Your Representative Voted 130.83 Kb
Your Continued Advocacy Needed!
Big challenges are still ahead. The President has vowed to veto the entire Interior appropriations bill that contains NEA funding, as overall spending in the bill exceeds his requested amount. In a broad message to Congress earlier this week, the President specifically called on Congress to approve no more than the $4 million increase in NEA funding that was included in his original budget request. The Interior bill will next be taken up by the full Senate—which has so far requested a $9 million NEA increase, after which House and Senate negotiators will work out the final funding amount. Please take advantage of the Fourth of July recess to contact your Senators and Representative while they are in their home states and urge their support for a substantial increase in NEA funding.
Act Now—Advocacy Tips and Background
The League is a member of the American 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.