February 17, 2011

One Amendment Passed:

This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives approved, by a close vote of 217-209, an amendment to cut an additional $20.5 million from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the FY 2011 appropriations package. The amendment offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) would reduce the NEA budget to $124.5 million, turning the clock back four years to its FY 2007 funding level. Considering the fact that the House Appropriations Committee had already cut the NEA’s budget by $22.5 million before it even got to the floor, this additional cut aggravates an already difficult situation. The NEA has not seen this kind of deep cut in 16 years.
Two Amendments Withdrawn:
The two amendments to zero-out funding to the National Endowment for the Arts by Reps. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Connie Mack (R-FL) were in effect withdrawn. The grassroots arts support rejecting these amendments was clearly effective. Advocates sent more than 62,000 messages to Congress within a three-week period.

Next Steps:
Congress will begin a 10-day recess on February 18.  When they return, the U.S. Senate will begin consideration of their own version of the FY 2011 funding legislation as early as February 28.  While members of Congress are back home in their districts, we encourage you to inform your local media about the devastating impact the House appropriations bill would have on the arts in your community.  Americans for the Arts has set up a Media Alert through our E-Advocacy Center to help you quickly and efficiently send your opinions to the local radio, TV, and newspaper stations in your area.  We’ve already matched up the media contacts for you based on your zip code.   You just need to customize the article’s talking points and hit send.

We need the Senate to reverse the potentially devastating effects that could be caused on the arts that the FY 2011 appropriations bill passed by the House today. Our customizable Media Alert is a fast and easy way to communicate your support for the NEA to local media outlets and help show your U.S. Senators why the NEA is an important grant-making agency in your state.

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