• How to Stop the Cuts

    by Sara Matthiesen

    Historians and other faculty who want to protect their disciplines and their colleagues from budget cuts need to develop maps of power and how it operates in a university.

  • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Restores Sequester Cuts to NHPRC for FY 14

    The Senate Financial Services & General Government Subcommittee today passed a FY 14 funding bill that provides $5 million for the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC). NCH had asked for level funding of $4.75 million. However the subcommittee went beyond that amount for FY 14 and restored the $250,000 cut under the sequester in FY 13.The full Appropriations Committee is expected to adopt this funding level when it marks up the bill on July 25.Last week, the House Appropriations Committee rejected zeroing out the NHPRC and adopted an amendment that restored $3 million for FY 14.Thank you to everyone who sent alerts or called their Senators! It obviously made a huge difference!

  • Status Report on FY 14 Budgets for Federal History, Archival & Education Programs

    The National Coalition for History (NCH) has created a chart showing the status of all major federal agency programs affecting history, archives and education. Click here to access the chart. FY 14 Budget summary 7-25-13 While the chart itself does not provide the status at the House and Senate Appropriations Committee or Subcommittee level, that information is provided below. The chart will be updated as the bills are considered.The Financial Service & General Government (FS&GG) appropriations bill covers the National Archives and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.House bill (HR 2786) has cleared the House Appropriations Committee and is awaiting floor action.Senate bill (number not assigned) has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is awaiting floor action.The Labor, HHS and Education appropriations bill covers Title VI-A&B (domestic) and Fulbright-Hays (international) programs under the International Education & Foreign Language Studies (IEFLS) program at the Department of Education. It also has jurisdiction over the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

  • House Passes K-12 Education Reauthorization Bill

    The House today passed an Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill (aka, No Child Left Behind). H.R. 5 eliminates 70 existing federal education programs including the Teaching American History (TAH) grants program at the Education Department.Even though Congress has not funded TAH since FY 2011, the House’s action revokes authorization for the program. The Senate version does not include such a provision.H.R. 5 passed the House by a vote of 221-207, with 12 Republicans joining all 195 Democrats in opposing the bill. The Obama administration has already stated it would veto the bill and it has no chance of passing the Senate.The Senate version of the ESEA bill is not expected to come to the floor until some time this fall. It would create a competitive “well-rounded education” grant fund aimed at low-income districts. S. 1094 would provide funding for history arts, music, civics, economics, health and physical education, foreign languages and other subjects. However, there would be no guaranteed funding stream and history would be competing with the other subjects for money.

  • House Appropriations Panel Provides Only $3 Million for NHPRC in FY ’14

    On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee cleared a Financial Services and General Government (FS&GG) fiscal year (FY) 2014 spending bill that provides only $3 million for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This represents a $1.75 million cut from the current year’s funding level of $4.75 million.The House FS&GG subcommittee’s bill had provided zero funding for the NHPRC. However, thanks to the efforts of Representative David Price (D-NC), the full Committee adopted his amendment to provide $3 million for the NHPRC and prevent elimination of the Commission.The amendment was approved by voice vote. The bill itself passed by a party-line vote of 27-21.While $3 million is the same amount requested by the Obama administration it will not support the ongoing programs and mission of the Commission at even a minimal level.On July 23, the Senate Appropriations’ FS&GG Subcommittee will mark up its version of the FY ’14 spending bill. The draft bill has not yet been released so there is no indication as to what, if any, funding the NHPRC will receive.

  • Tough Times to Be Lobbying for History on Capitol Hill

    by David Austin Walsh

    Image via Shutterstock.Lee White, executive director of the National Coalition for History, was unequivocal in his presentation Saturday at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting in San Francisco: history is in trouble on Capitol Hill.White has been the head of the NCH, the face of history in Washington, D.C. officialdom as the only dedicated advocacy for history and historical research, since 2007. With a law degree from the Catholic University of America, a master’s in history from George Mason University, and over twenty years of experience as a lobbyist, he’s no stranger to the machinations of Washington politics.

  • Congress Needs to Lead on the Budget, Not the President

    by Raymond Smock

    Speaker John Boehner in front of the U.S. Capitol in late January. Credit: Flickr/SpeakerBoehner.In the political posturing and finger-pointing taking place regarding the “sequester,” the first victim is the United States Constitution. Congress has ignored its responsibility as a co-equal branch of the government. It is the House and Senate that have the power of the purse, not the president. It is the job of Congress to pass appropriations bills, which the president can either sign or veto. The president does not have the power to pick and choose those budget items he likes or dislikes. The money has to be spent, by law, the way Congress says it should be spent.