The American Historical Association Steps Up on Behalf of the National Endowment of Humanities


Read about it in this letter from the AHA to Rick Shenkman, founder and editor of the History News NetworkHistory News Network.

Here is a taste:

Presidential Budget Request Released

This morning the Trump Administration released its Presidential Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2018. This document expands on a budget blueprint released by the Administration in March that called for the elimination of funding for most items imperative to the work of historians and our colleagues in other humanities disciplines. As anticipated, this detailed request reiterates the earlier calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum & Library Services, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the area studies programs known as Title VI and Fulbright Hays.

The Administration requests a small amount of funding for the NEH and IMLS for FY 2018—$42 million for NEH and $23 for IMLS. For NEH, this represents merely the salaries and expenses required to shut down the agency and the amount required to honor pre-existing grant commitments. For IMLS, the money is designated for an “orderly close out.”

The request also calls for the Woodrow Wilson Center to transition to exclusively private funding and requests $7.5 million in FY 2018 to facilitate that transition.

For the other funding priorities, the budget requests no appropriation for FY 2018.

A complete funding chart compiled by the National Humanities Alliance is here.

Next Steps in the Budget and Appropriations Process

Now that the Administration has issued its formal request, Congress will set an overall level of discretionary spending through a Congressiona22c73-neh2blogol Budget Resolution. The Appropriations Committee will then assign spending levels to its 12 subcommittees, and the subcommittees will draft individual bills. This work will probably extend through the summer.

The Administration’s budget request is only advisory. Congress will ultimately make decisions about funding. In recent years, the NEH has received strong bipartisan and bicameral support from the appropriations committees, including the increased funding for FY 2017 announced just three weeks ago. While the overall fiscal constraints that the subcommittees will face are still unclear and the budget is likely to be tighter than last year, this bipartisan support remains encouraging.

Read the rest here.