NEH FY ’09 Omnibus Funding

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will receive nearly a $10 million increase under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105), enacted into law this week. The total budget for the NEH would grow to $155 million from the current $144.7 million.

FY09 NEH Funding by Program (omnibus vs. FY08 enacted)
In Millions (Numbers courtesy of the National Humanities Alliance)

  • $35.0 – Federal/State partnership (+3.3)
  • $16.0 – Preservation and access (-2.4)
  • $14.5 – Public programs (+1.8)
  • $14.5 – Research programs (+1.5)
  • $14.5 – Education programs (+1.9)
  • $0.4 – Program development (+0.04)
  • $15.8 – We The People Initiative grants (+0.8)
  • $4.0 – Digital Humanities Initiatives (+2.0)
  • $5.0 – Treasury funds (+0.05)
  • $9.3 – Challenge grants (-0.03)

$129.0 – Subtotal, Program Funds (+9.0)

$26.0 – Administration (+1.3)

$155.0 – Total, Humanities (+10.3)

Funding for two programs cut in President Bush’s FY09 budget request are partially restored in the Omnibus bill:

Preservation – the Omnibus restores $2.1 million of the $4.5 million cut from preservation funds in the FY09 request. The total level for Preservation & Access is still down by about $2.4 million from the FY08 level. The House-passed version of the FY09 spending bill (not enacted) would have cut nearly $8 million from the Preservation & Access division.

Challenge Grants – the Omnibus restores all but $31,000 of the $2.25 million cut from challenge grants in the FY09 request.

The NEH Research, Education and Public Programs Divisions each receive an appropriation of $14.5 million in the Omnibus, an increase ranging from $1.5 to $1.9 million per division. These divisions received level funding in the Bush budget request for FY09.

The NEH “We the People” program, an initiative to foster understanding of American history and culture, receives an increase of $800,000 in the Omnibus, which is about $4.2 million below what the Bush administration had requested for FY09. The NEH Office of Digital Humanities receives an increase of $2.0 million in the Omnibus above both the FY08 level and the FY09 budget request (approximately double).

The NEH Federal/State Partnership, the division that administers operating grants to state humanities councils, receives a $3.3 million increase in the Omnibus over the FY08 level and the FY09 budget request.