On June 28, 2007, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 240-179, approved the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill (H.R. 2829) . The bill includes $315 million ($2.1 million above the President’s request, and $35.7 million above fiscal year 2007) for operating expenses of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The bill includes $10 million for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), for grants to states, local governments, universities, local historical societies, and others to help preserve and archive materials of historic significance. The Administration had sought to eliminate the NHPRC. The Committee Report (H. Rept. 110-207) accompanying the bill directs that the $10 million will be split $8 million for grants, with $2 million allocated for administrative costs.
On June 27, 2007, the National Park Service (NPS) announced the award of 19 grants totaling $492,184 to assist in the preservation and protection of America’s significant battlefield lands. The grants provide funding for projects at endangered Colonial-Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefields. The battlefields are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Vermont.
The bill includes $652 million in funding for the Smithsonian Institution. This amount represents a $26 million decrease from the President’s FY ’08 budget proposal ($678 million). The House froze the Salaries and Expenses budget at $536 million in an expression of congressional concern over the recent scandals at the Smithsonian. The Committee Report accompanying the bill (H. Rept. 110-187) sharply criticized the management of the Smithsonian.
The bill (H.R. 110-187) provides significant funding increases for history-related programs at the National Park Service (NPS). The Historic Preservation Fund at NPS would receive $81.5 million, a $16 million increase over FY 2007 funding levels.
On June 27, 2007, by a vote of 272-155, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2008 Interior and Related Agencies spending bill (HR 2643).
The bill includes $160 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. This amount represents a $19 million increase over the President’s budget proposal and the FY 2007 enacted level, as specified in the Committee Report (HR 110-187) accompanying the bill.
On June 26, 2007 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released two sets of previously classified historical documents detailing some of the most infamous activities by the agency involving overseas assassination plots, kidnapping, and domestic spying. The material is being released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request originally filed by the National Security Archive in 1992.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is now accepting nominations for the 2007 National Humanities Medals. These annual awards recognize individuals or groups who have enhanced Americans’ understanding of the humanities.
To nominate an individual or organization, please follow the directions on the NEH Web site. This page also provides information about the awards, including eligibility requirements, the selection process, and a list of past honorees. The deadline for receipt of nominations is July 2, 2007.
On June 21, the Senate Appropriations’ Committee approved the Labor, Health & Human Services and Education Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 appropriations bill. The Committee provided $120 million for the Teaching American History Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. This is $210,000 more than last year’s budget and $70 million more than the President’s request.
The House Labor, HHS & Education Appropriations Subcommittee also provided $120 million for Teaching American History Grants when it adopted its version of the FY ’08 appropriations bill on June 7. The House Appropriations Committee has yet to schedule its markup.