Senate Appropriations Committee Clears FY 20 Funding Bills–Congress Delays Final FY 20 Budget Until November

On September 26, the Senate cleared a stopgap funding measure delaying the deadline for action on the fiscal year 2020 budget until November 21, right before the congressional Thanksgiving recess. The continuing resolution (HR 4378), which has already passed the House, will extend current funding levels and avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins October 1.

The House has passed all twelve of its regular appropriations bills. However, Senate action lagged behind until the last two weeks when the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a flurry of FY 20 funding bills prior to leaving for a two-week congressional recess. The bills still need to be considered and passed by the full Senate or rolled into a larger House-Senate bill conference report.

Comparing the Senate Appropriations Committee FY 20 bills with those passed by the House shows a mixed bag with regard to funding for federal history and archival agencies and programs that affect our interests. In general, the Senate numbers are lower than the House. To see a chart comparing the House and Senate FY 20 numbers and those from FY 19 and the president’s FY 20 budget request click here.

A summary is provided below. It is important to stress that these numbers may not reflect what emerges at the end of the budget process whenever that may be. In addition, the final outcome of all this may be the House and Senate deciding to pass a full-year CR that simply maintains FY 19 funding levels.

The administration had proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and other programs. While they survived, unfortunately the Senate Appropriations Committee chose to eliminate funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). By comparison, the House increased the NHPRC’s budget by $1 million up to $7 million. While the Senate’s action is unfortunate, the NHPRC has overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House. NCH, working with other humanities organizations, will be sending out a legislative alert at the appropriate time to urge the Senate to restore funding for FY 20.

Here are the highlights:

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Summary (Operating Expenses-OE)

  • FY 19: $373 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $345.6 million
  • House FY 20: $354.7 million
  • Senate FY 20: $363 million

NARA received $363 million for operating expenses (OE) from the Senate versus $354.7 million from the House. The FY 19 OE budget is $373 million. Both the House and Senate FY 20 bills include $22 million for the repair and alteration of the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland to enhance the Federal Government’s ability to electronically preserve, manage, and store Government records. The project is needed to implement NARA’s recently announced directive that all Federal agencies must transfer permanent records to NARA in electronic formats after December 31, 2022.

The House FY 20 bill includes $4.1 million to implement the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018. The Senate only provides $1 million for the initiative.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)

Summary

  • FY 19: $6 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $0
  • House FY 20: $7 million
  • Senate FY 20: $0

As noted above, the Senate bill provides no funding for the NHPRC, while the House provides $7 million. FY 19 funding is $6 million.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) 

Summary

  • FY 19: $155 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $37.8 for transition to elimination
  • House FY 20: $167.5 million
  • Senate FY 20: $157 million

The NEH received $157 million in the Senate bill, $2 million above the fiscal year 2019 level. The House bill provides a $12.5 million increase up to a level of $167.5 million. The Trump administration had sought to eliminate both the NEH and National Endowment for the Arts in its FY20 request to Congress.

K-12 History and Civics Programs at the US Department of Education 

Summary

  • FY 19: $4.8 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $0
  • House FY 20: $4.8million
  • Senate FY 20: $4.8 million

The programs were level funded by both the House and Senate despite President Trump’s threat to eliminate them. The Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics received $1.8 million. The American History and Civics grants program received $3 million. Total funding for both is $4.8 million.

Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education Programs

Summary

  • FY 19: $72.1 million ($65.1 million Title VI; $7 million Fulbright-Hays)
  • Trump FY 20 request: $0
  • House FY 20: $89.1 million ($80.4 million Title VI; $8.7 million Fulbright-Hays)
  • Senate FY 20: $72.1 million ($65.1 million Title VI; $7 million Fulbright-Hays)

Both programs were level funded by the Senate at $65.1 million and $7 million respectively for a total of $72.1 million. The House would provide $89.1 million ($80.4 million for Title VI and $8.7 million for Fulbright-Hays)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Summary

  • FY 19: $242 million (189.2 Library Programs and $34.7 for Museum Programs)
  • Trump FY 20 request: $23 million for transition to elimination
  • House FY 20: $267 million (206.2 Library Programs and $42.7 for Museum Programs)
  • Senate FY 20: $244 million (190.2 Library Programs and $35.7 for Museum Programs)

The Senate provided a $2 million increase up to $242 million.  By comparison, the House boosts spending at the IMLS by $25 million. This is another agency the president had targeted for elimination.

National Park Service  

Historic Preservation Fund

  • FY 19: $102.6 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $32.6 million
  • House FY 20: $121.6 million
  • Senate FY 20: $113.1 million

The Historic Preservation Fund provides a large percentage of the National Park Service’s history-related funding. The Senate would increase funding from $102.6 million to $113.1 million. The House provides $121.6 million.

National Recreation and Preservation

  • FY 19: $64.1 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $32.3 million
  • House FY 20: $73.5 million
  • Senate FY 20: $68 million

Heritage Partnership Program

  • FY 19: $20.3 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $0
  • House FY 20: $21.9 million
  • Senate FY 20: $21.9 million

Save America’s Treasures Program

  • FY 19: $13 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $0
  • House FY 20: $16 million
  • Senate FY 20: $14 million

American Battlefield Protection Program

  • FY 19: $10 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $5 million
  • House FY 20: $15 million
  • Senate FY 20: $10 million

Library of Congress 

Summary

  • FY 19: $696.1 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $747 million
  • House FY 20: $720.1 million
  • Senate FY 20: $735.8 million

The Senate was more generous to the Library of Congress than the House. The Senate bill increases the library’s funding by nearly $40 million up to $735.8 million. The House provides a $24 million in additional funds up to $720.1 million.

Smithsonian Institution

Summary

  • FY 19: $1.043.4 million ($740 million for Salaries & Expenses; $303.5 million for Facilities Capital)
  • Trump FY 20 request: $978 million ($759 million for Salaries & Expenses; $219 million for Facilities Capital)
  • House FY 20: $1071.3 million ($852.3 million for Salaries & Expenses; $219 million for Facilities Capital)
  • Senate FY 20: $1047.7 million ($751.2 million for Salaries & Expenses; $296.5 million for Facilities Capital)

The Senate basically level funded the Smithsonian at $1.047 billion, providing a small $4 million increase. The House would increase the Smithsonian’s FY 20 budget to $1071.3 billion.

US Semiquincentennial Commission

In July 2016, Congress passed legislation (Public Law 114-196) establishing the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission to begin planning for the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026. While the Commission has begun its work, Congress has provided minimal funding for the effort. The Senate would provide the commission with $3.3 million. However, the House only provides $500,000.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Summary

  • FY 19: $12 million
  • Trump FY 20 request: $8.1million
  • House FY 20: $14 million
  • Senate FY 20: $14 million