From Arts Americans for the Arts
Congress has completed the final conference report for the FY 2006 Interior Appropriations bill, reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. We are pleased to report that funding increases for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are included in this bill. Prior to applying an across-the-board rescission of 0.476 percent to all programs within the Interior bill, both cultural agencies received increases of $5 million each for next year.
A comparison of federal funding between FY05 and FY06 follows:
National Endowment for the Arts
FY 2005: $121.26 million
FY 2006: $125.66 million = ($121.26 million + $5 million) x .476 percent rescission
Net Increase: $4.4 million
National Endowment for the Humanities
FY 2005: $138.05 million
FY 2006: $142.37 million = ($138.05 million + $5 million) x .476 percent rescission
Net Increase: $4.3 million
The conference report specifies that approximately $3 million of the NEA increase will restore funding to the popular Challenge America program, providing arts grants to under-served communities, which the President's budget had originally cut by $6.5 million. The remaining $2 million of the NEA increase will fund the new American Masterpieces program, which sponsors presentations of great American works across all art forms.
The House of Representatives passed the conference report this afternoon and Senate passage is expected by the end of the week. The President has indicated that he will sign the bill into law.
Given the current national budget deficit and the administration’s proposed overall flat funding for the NEA and NEH, we consider these increases a victory for the arts. It’s clear that the strong support of grassroots advocates like you can make a difference in Washington. Thank you for your continued efforts.
Congress will recess in August and will come back to an aggressive legislative schedule after Labor Day. Please keep checking back to the Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center for the latest on other congressional actions impacting the arts, including funding for arts education, museums and libraries, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.