House Subcommittee Approves $8 Million Cut to NEA

Arts Action Alert - Take Action Now!
July 9, 2014

Dear Arts Advocate:

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and other cultural institutions like the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution. Thanks to your advocacy, the budget situation has improved from last year; however, the subcommittee has proposed another funding cut to the NEA-a decrease of $8 million from the current funding level.

At today’s markup, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) objected to the cuts and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) expressed her disappointment and cited the positive impact the creative economy has had in Maine.

Please take two minutes to write a customizable message to your member of Congress asking for their support to fund the NEA at $155 million.

Summary of today’s House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee action:

Key Federally Funded
Arts Program
FY 2014 Enacted
(in millions)
FY 2015 House
Subcommittee Bill
(in millions)
National Endowment for the Arts $146 $138
National Endowment for the Humanities $146 $138
Smithsonian Institution $805 $813.4
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum $52.4 $52.4
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $34.4 $32.8
National Gallery of Art $133 $137

Last year, the subcommittee was under severe fiscal pressure with the sequester, and proposed disproportionate and devastating cuts to the NEA of nearly 50 percent! Following a federal government shutdown, the NEA was funded through a Omnibus spending bill at $146 million-the same amount as the previous year.

This year, the House and Senate instead reached agreement on total federal spending in advance, easing some of their work. As a result, appropriators have been trying to move funding bills forward, and it appears that severe cuts are not on the table so far. Yet the 5 percent funding cut from current levels by the subcommittee today is terribly concerning as it would set back NEA funding to pre-2008 levels.

This subcommittee action is the latest step in the legislative process as the budget work continues this summer into potential final negotiations between the House and Senate. We hope, with your help, to continue to let members of Congress know how important support of the arts is to our future. From strengthening American communities to helping foster a diverse, innovative, productive, and motivated 21st century workforce, the arts impact our economy and social fabric. Please take two minutes to ask your member of Congress to support funding for the NEA at $155 million.

Thank you for keeping your representatives knowledgeable about what the arts mean to you. Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, you canplay your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today-it’s free and easy to join.

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