On May 4, Congress approved a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2017. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. Across the board, history, archival and education programs—including the NEH, NEA, IMLS, and Smithsonian—were either level funded or received small increases. This should be considered a victory given the current budget climate.
The National Coalition for History, of which AASLH is an active member, has put together some charts on exact funding changes for programs of interest to the history field. You can see them—along with highlights from the bill—on the NCH website.
“It’s clear that history organizations have cultivated some strong allies on Capitol Hill,” said AASLH President & CEO John Dichtl, “but there will be much more for all of us to do in the months ahead. Federal support of historical work, sites, institutions, and practitioners is absolutely crucial.”
The 2017 Fiscal Year ends in September, which means funding levels for FY 2018 are already in discussion. Once again, AASLH urges you to contact your legislators in support of the humanities.
Here are some ways to make a difference:
- Use AAM’s website to ask your senators to sign on to the Office of Museum Services appropriations letter being circulated by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The deadline for senators to sign on the letter is May 17: http://www.congressweb.com/aam/54
- Use this website to identify your legislators and ask them to support history, the humanities, and museums: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
- Use the National Humanities Alliance website to ask your legislators to support the NEH: http://www.nhalliance.org/take_action