House & Senate Disagree on Smithsonian Funding Priorities

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 $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.

However, the House did provide a $17.5 million increase for Smithsonian facilities.

The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved its version of the bill (S. 1696) on June 21. The bill provides $696 million for the Smithsonian (S. Rept. 110-91). The Committee provided a $35 million increase for the Salaries and Expenses budget line ($571 million) and a $26 million increase for facilities ($125 million).