After debate last night on the House Floor on FY11 NEA appropriations, two amendments that had been filed to zero the NEA were not actually offered for a vote. But, this morning, an amendment offered by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI-7) to cut the NEA by $20.6 million, in addition to the original appropriations committee cut of $22.5 million, passed. Therefore, it looks like the House Budget Bill includes a cut to the NEA of $43.1 million, which would be an FY11 appropriation of $124.4 million.
Thanks to the field for any contacts you made with your Members of Congress in the past few weeks regarding House funding for the NEA. The vote was very close – 217 to 209 – and our contacts with the House of Representatives are reflected in that close vote.
This is not the final word on FY11 appropriations! Your active participation can make a huge difference in the NEA’s funding level going forward. All of our hopes are now pinned on the Senate, and our focus will first turn to Senate Appropriators and then the entire Senate body. It will be critical for U.S. Senators to hear from their constituents about the value and importance of NEA funding. The Senate will craft its own spending bill and we hope that it will preserve NEA funding. In order for that to happen, there will have to be an outcry from the field calling for the Senate’s leadership in maintaining funding levels for our nation’s arts agency. Please be on the lookout for Action Alerts from the Performing Arts Alliance and check back here and on the TCG Advocacy News page for updates.