The House and Senate have completed action omnibus spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2012. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. The legislation would fund the federal government until September 30, 2012. Of major interest to the historical community, the Teaching American History Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education has been terminated, while the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) was saved from virtual elimination.
The $915 billion spending bill (H.R.2055, H. Rept. 112-331) encompasses nine of the twelve annual appropriations bills. Three other FY 12 appropriations bills have already been enacted.
The omnibus spending bill and conference report embodies the funding compromises that were worked out between House and Senate appropriators over the past few weeks. The House has passed the bill and Senate is expected to approve the omnibus spending bill shortly. So these can be considered the final FY 12 funding numbers, pending passage of the bill by Congress and President Obama’s signature.
Below is a summary of the bill and conference report. The FY 11 funding level and the President’s FY 12 budget request are provided for comparison.
U.S. Department of Education
Teaching American History Grants
The Senate has agreed with the House to eliminate funding for the Teaching American Grants program.
Earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Fiscal Year Labor, HHS and Education 2012 funding bill that included $46 million for the Teaching American History (TAH) grants program, the same level as last year. However a House Appropriations Committee version of the bill eliminated funding for TAH.
In May, the House Education and Workforce Committee passed H.R. 1891, the “Setting New Priorities in Education Act, which would eliminate 43 programs at the Department of Education including Teaching American History (TAH) grants.
The National Coalition for History and our constituent organization engaged in a major advocacy campaign urging House and Senate appropriators to adopt the Senate level of $46 million for Teaching American History Grants in FY 12.
Teaching American History Grants:
• FY 12 Omnibus: $0
• FY 11: $46 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $0; History education funding would have been consolidated into a “Well Rounded” Education fund that does not yet exist in law.
Title VI–Fulbright Hays Programs
The U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies (IEFLS) programs, including HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs, form the vital infrastructure of the federal government’s investment in the international service pipeline.
The Fulbright-Hays programs are of particular importance to historians because of the resources they provide for research and education relating to foreign languages and cultures.
• FY 12 Omnibus: $7.465 million
• FY 11: $7.465 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $15.5 million
Title VI-C, Institute for International Public Policy:
• FY 12 Omnibus: $0
• FY 11: $1.5 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $1.9 million
Higher Education Act, Title VI-A&B (Domestic Programs)
• FY 12 Omnibus: $66.7 million
• FY 11: $66.7 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $108.3 million
• FY 12 Omnibus: $74.1 million
• FY 11: $75.7 million
• President’s FY 12 request: $125.8 million
National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC)
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) would receive $5 million under the omnibus appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee had proposed cutting funding for the NHPRC to $1 million. The National Coalition for History, the Association for Documentary Editing, the Society for American Archivists, and Council of State Archivists lobbied hard for the adoption of the $5 million figure. So despite the $2 million cut from FY 11, this can be considered a victory.
• FY 12 Omnibus: $5 million
• FY 11: $7 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $5 million
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
The National Archives would see its overall funding cut from $416.8 million to $376.5 million, or a reduction of $40.3 million.
Reflected in that cut is the elimination of $71.8 million in dedicated FY 11 funding for the Electronic Records Archive project. The ERA is no longer considered a research and development project since it became operational earlier this year. That eliminated the need for separate funding. ERA’s operation and maintenance costs are now included as a part of NARA’s base funding level. NARA’s Operating Expenses budget shows a $34.2 million increase.
NARA Operating Expenses
• FY 12 Omnibus: $ 373.3 million
• FY 11: $339 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $403.7 million
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The National Endowment for the Humanities would receive $146.3 million in FY ’12 under the omnibus appropriations bill. This is an $8.7 million cut from FY 11, but is the same amount requested by the President for FY 12. Programmatic level details are provided below.
National Endowment for the Humanities:
• FY 12 Omnibus: $146.3 million
• FY 11: $155 million
• President’s FY 12 Budget Request: $146.3 million
FY 12 Omnibus–NEH Funding by Program FY 12 vs. FY 11 enacted (in parentheses)
$3.5 million – Bridging Cultures ($1.5 million)
$40.5 million – Federal/State partnership (42.4 million)
$15.2 million – Preservation and access ($16.5 million)
$13.4 million – Public programs ($15 million)
$14.5 million – Research programs ($16.2 Million)
$13.2 million – Education programs ($13.7 million)
$500,000 – Program development ($500,000)
$3 million – We The People Initiative grants ($3.3 million)
$4.1 million – Digital Humanities Initiatives ($4 million)
$108 million – Subtotal Grants Funds——($113.1 million)
$2.3 million – Treasury funds ($4.8 million)
$8.3 million – Challenge grants ($9.4 million)
$10.6 million – Subtotal Matching Grants—-($14.2 million)
$27.5 million – Administration ($27.2 million)
$146.2 million – NEH TOTAL ($154.6 million)
Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services would see its budget cut $5 million in FY 12 under the omnibus bill, down to a level of $232.3 million.
• FY ’12 Omnibus: $232.3 million
• FY 11: $237.3 million
• President’s FY 12 request $242.6 million
• FY 12 Omnibus: $184.8
• FY 11: $189 million
• President’s FY 12 request: $193.2 million
• FY 12 Omnibus: $30.9 million
• FY 11: $30.1 million
• President’s FY 12 request: $32.3 million
National Park Service (Historic Preservation Programs)
• FY ’12 Omnibus: $56 million
• FY 11: $54.3 million
• President FY 12: request $61 million
State historic preservation offices would receive $47 million, up from $46.7 million in FY 11 and tribal grants would increase from $7.9 million to $9 million.
The Heritage Partnership Programs would receive level funding of $17.4 million
• FY ’12 Omnibus: $811.5million; includes $75 million for construction of the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
• FY 11: $759 million
• President FY 12 request $861.5 million