Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Senate kicked off action this week on bills funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) during its consideration of the annual Interior Appropriations bill in subcommittee today.

The Senate subcommittee approved a minor $500,000 increase to about $148.4 million for Fiscal Year 2017. Surprisingly, this proposed funding is lower than House subcommittee level of just shy of $150 million. During committee discussion, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) spoke positively about the slight increase, including the NEA’s Healing Arts Partnership work at Walter Reed, which has seen bipartisan and bicameral appropriator support.

Tomorrow, the House will consider their version in full committee where they will consider amendments to the bill. Finally, on Thursday, the Senate will pick their bill back up with consideration in their full committee, where amendments will also be offered.

This work in both the House and Senate this week will clear the bills for possible floor consideration and final votes later this year. However, log-jams are still anticipated ahead. Congress isn't in session as much this election year, which limits floor time. Ongoing policy disagreements and policy riders also continue to threaten to sink bills. Although final funding outcomes aren't anticipated until after the November elections, this week marks a very active week for NEA funding in Congress. A summary of the Senate proposal is available here. Take two minutes to connect with our grassroots campaign to share support for $155 million for the NEA in FY 2017!