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U.S. Senate Subcommittee Draft Proposes Level NEA/NEH Funding

The U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has proposed level funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $155 million for Fiscal Year 2012. Americans for the Arts provided testimony to the subcommittee earlier this year calling for NEA funding at $167.5 million.

This draft appropriations bill is not expected to be considered by the subcommittee as time is running out for Congress to complete FY12 appropriations work. Currently the Senate is trying to pass a “minibus” funding bill which includes spending for a few departments (including transportation and commerce). If that effort is successful, then the Interior bill may be included in a second “minibus” effort. These efforts are designed to avoid an end-of-year showdown with a larger “omnibus” bill.

The appropriations status in the House remains unclear at this moment. An amendment to strike $10 million from the House Interior Subcommittee mark of $135 was defeated on the floor in late July, but that was the last vote on the uncompleted Interior bill. That measure remains in limbo until the House determines how they will move their own bills and reconcile them with the Senate versions.

No timeline has been established for this reconciliation process, though with the Continuing Resolution set to expire on November 18 the appropriations process should be moving forward soon.

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