On June 12, the House Oversight and Reform Committee marked up HR 2978, the “National Historical Publications and Records Commission Reauthorization Act.” The bill would reauthorize the NHPRC at a level of $15 million from fiscal year 2020 to 2025. This is a major accomplishment since NCH has been working for ten years to get the NHPRC reauthorized. Click here to see NCH’s letter in support of the NHPRC.
The vote was 21-14. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), an original cosponsor, was the only Republican who supported the bill. The bill also provides a designated seat for the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) on the NHPRC. CoSA is a member of NCH.
From 1991 thru 2009, Congress authorized the NHPRC at $10 million. Although the NHPRC’s authorization lapsed in 2009, Congress has continued to fund the program albeit at a modest level. Accounting for inflation alone, $10 million in 1991 is equivalent to $18.7 million today. So $15 million is a modest increase when one factors that into the requested authorization level.
During the markup Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) objected to the level of the increase. He suggested since the NHPRC has been funded at $6 million the past few years that the authorization level should be $7 million. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) noted the reason the NHPRC funding has been so small is precisely because it does not have an authorization.