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Legislation Containing Museum Funding Advances in Congress; Join the Fieldwide Sign On Letter

Category: Advocacy Alert
Photo of the U.S. Capitol building DC, Photo by E.Neely

President Trump’s proposal to eliminate key federal agencies that support museums faced its first major test in Congress this week. In a step forward for museum funding, key subcommittees of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed their annual funding legislation. Many programs that impact museums would be subjected to small reductions, which pale in comparison to some of the deep cuts and eliminations proposed by the President.

While more details about these proposals are still forthcoming, here is what we know so far:

Agency/Program FY 2017 Current  Funding FY 2018 President’s Request FY 2018 House Draft
 Institute of Museum and Library Services  $231 million  $23 million*  $231 million
 National Endowment for the Humanities  $149.8 million  $42.3 million*  $145 million
 National Endowment for the Arts  $149.8 million  $28.9 million*  $145 million
 Smithsonian Institution  $863 million  $947 million  $885 million
 State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices  $58.4 million  $51.1 million  $56.4 million
 Civil Rights Movement sites  $13 million  $0  $10.5 million
 Save America’s Treasures  $5 million  $0  $4 million
 National Park Service Operations  $2.425 billion  $2.225 billion  $2.410 billion
 National Science Foundation – Education and Human Resources  $880 million  $760.5 million  $880 million
 NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training  $7.5 million  $0  $3.7 million

*To begin closing the agency. No new grants would be awarded.

This is still a very early step in the annual federal appropriations process, with the House Appropriations Committee, the full U.S. House, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the full U.S. Senate yet to take action. A lot could change, so it is vital that legislators continue to hear from the museums they represent in the weeks ahead.

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Is Your Museum Organization Signed On to the Fieldwide Letter to Congress Yet?

Over 525 museums and museum organizations have already joined the fieldwide letter to Congress in support of federal programs that help museums serve their communities. The letter—led by the Alliance and eight other national museum organizations—notes in part that, “the tremendous economic and educational contributions of museums make them eminently worthy of federal funding.” Will your legislators hear this message?

The deadline to join this letter is Friday, July 21.

This letter is for museums and related organizations only. We continue to encourage individuals to advocate for museums using AAM’s tools and templates, and to support the cause of museums with a tax-deductible donation that will directly support our continued advocacy work.

P.S. Thank you to all of the advocates who share these important messages on social media! Please continue to use these hashtags: #museumsadvocacy #SpeakUpforMuseums #SaveIMLS #SavetheNEA #SavetheNEH

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