Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Begins To Take Shape

As Congress heads toward its 4th of July recess, action on fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget bills has quickened. A number of bills of interest to the historical and archival communities have been passed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in the past two weeks.

As in past years, it is highly unlikely that Congress will pass a FY 2013 budget by the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The outcome of the presidential and congressional elections will likely determine the timing of consideration of a FY 13 budget, especially if there is a change of administrations and/or party control in the House or Senate.

Also looming over the FY 13 budget process is the “sequester” mechanism that was put in place by the budget deal last year. If Congress has not agreed on a budget by January 2, 2013, it will trigger $109 billion in across-the-board spending cuts. While the details of how the sequester would be implemented have yet to be determined, estimates are that it would result in cuts of up to 10 percent in federal agency budgets.

However, despite these caveats, these preliminary numbers often reflect the final outcome for smaller programs such as the ones that affect our interests.

1. Fiscal Year 2013 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations (S. 3301) (S. Rept. 112-177) (No House Bill # or Committee Report # available)

The Financial Service and General Government (FS&GG) Appropriations bill includes funding for the National Archives (NARA) and National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Agency total:
• FY ’13 Administration request–$386.6 million
• House Appropriations–$385.6 million
• Senate Appropriations–$388.6 million
• FY ’12–$392 million

Operating Expenses
• FY ’13 Administration request–$371.6 million
• House Appropriations–$371 million
• Senate Appropriations–$371.6 million
• FY ’12–$373.3 million

Both the House and Senate provided $4.1 million for NARA’s Inspector General’s office and $8 million for repairs and restoration at NARA facilities.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
• FY ’13 Administration request–$3 million
• House Appropriations–$2.5 million
• Senate Appropriations–$5 million
• FY ’12–$5 million

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) would receive $5 million under the Senate version of the FY 13 FS&GG appropriations bill, $2 million more than the Administration’s request. The House Appropriations Committee proposes cutting NHPRC funding to $2.5 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. In negotiations over the NHPRC budget last year, the House receded and agreed to the Senate’s higher level and NCH will be working to ensure that is the case again this year.

2. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies FY 2013 Appropriations

The Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill includes funding for the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution. On June 20, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the FY 2013 Interior spending bill. In the Senate, the Interior funding bill has not yet been introduced.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Under the House version of the bill, the NEH budget would be cut by $14 million (or 9.6%) from the current year’s level and $22 million from the Administration’s budget request.

• FY ’13 Administration request–$154.3 M (includes $3 million set-aside for NEH relocation)
• House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee–$132 million
• Senate Appropriations—no bill
• FY ’12–$146 million

The National Humanities Alliance is asking people to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to support the Administration’s proposed funding level of $154.3 million for NEH. (See related story)

Smithsonian Institution
• FY ’13 Administration request–$856.8 million
• House Appropriations–$789.1million
• Senate Appropriations—no bill
• FY ’12–$810.2 million

Under the House bill, the Smithsonian Institution would receive $789.1 million. That is a $21.1 million cut from FY 12 and $67.7 million less than the President’s request for FY 13. The Facilities Capital budget line includes $50 million for the on-going construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015.

National Park Service (Historic Preservation Programs)
• FY ’13 Administration request–$56 million
• House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee–$49.5 million
• Senate Appropriations—no bill
• FY ’12–$56 million

3. Senate Labor, HHS and Education FY 2011 Appropriations (S. 3295, S. Rept. 112-176) (No House draft bill)

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
• FY ’13 Administration request–$231.9 million
• House Appropriations—no bill
• Senate Appropriations–$231.9 million
• FY ’12 final: $231.9 million

Programs funded under the Museum Service Act would receive $29.4 million, the same as this year. Programs funded under the Library Services Technology Act would receive $184.7million, the same as this year.

International and Foreign Language Programs (IEFLS–HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays)

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 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.

The Senate Appropriations Committee increased funding for these programs by $1.7 million over FY 12 with the directive that the additional funds be used to support new awards in the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language programs.

IEFLS Total:
• FY ’13–Administration proposed –$75.7 million
• House Appropriations—no bill
• Senate Appropriations–$75.7 million
• FY 12–$74 million

• FY ’13: Administration proposed–$7.45 million
• House Appropriations—no bill
• Senate Appropriations–$7.45 million
• FY ’12: $7.45 million

Higher Education Act, Title VI-A&B (Domestic Programs)
• FY ’13: Administration proposed–$68.27 million
• House Appropriations—no bill
• Senate Appropriations–$68.27 million
• FY ’12: $66.5 million