ACE President Molly Corbett Broad and the leaders of 22 other higher education groups sent a letter Sept. 20 to the House to express concern over the drastic funding cuts proposed for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
NEH funding is included in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies spending bill, which the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees spending by those agencies marked up July 23. The bill includes $75 million for NEH, which is a reduction of $71 million (49 percent) compared to the FY 2013 enacted level.
“Despite a relatively small funding level, the NEH is a key component in enhancing our economic competitiveness and in advancing our national security interests,” the higher education leaders wrote in their letter. “The thousands of grants and other programs supported by the NEH are critical to these endeavors. We strongly urge you to support the level of funding for the NEH proposed in the President’s budget request, and reject efforts to slash funding and damage our economy, security and cultural standing. “
On July 31, the full House Appropriations Committee debated the bill. During the markup, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment that would fund NEH (and the National Endowment for the Arts) at the administration’s requested level of $154.4 million.
While the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, with all Democrats on the panel voting in favor and all Republicans voting against, the committee adjourned for the August recess without taking action on the overall bill.