House Passes FY 20 Funding Bills That Include Increases for History-Related Programs

The House of Representatives has nearly finished passing FY 20 appropriations bills that reject the president’s budget request across-the-board. The House has passed ten of the twelve FY 20 appropriations bills. As a result we have the final House numbers for all agencies and programs that affect history, archives, humanities and education.

Obviously this is only the first step in a very long convoluted process. To date the Senate Appropriations Committee has not considered a single funding bill. And as we have seen during the Trump presidency, the entire appropriations process can be derailed at the last minute with fights over a border wall, disaster funding or some other perceived presidential priority.

A detailed chart showing the House numbers in comparison to the Trump request and FY 19 funding levels can be accessed by clicking this link.

Here are the highlights from the FY 20 House appropriations bills:

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will receive $354.7 million for operating expenses, a reduction of $18.3 million from the $373 million the agency received in FY 19. Of this amount, $4.1 million is provided for implementation of the Civil Rights Cold Case Record Collections Act of 2018. It also includes $22 million for the repair and alteration of Archives II in College Park to expedite digitization of NARA’s existing holdings. NARA IS THE ONLY HISTORY-RELATED AGENCY OR PROGRAM THAT SUSTAINED A CUT FROM FY 19 FUNDING. 
  • The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) is funded at $7 million, up from $ 6 million in FY 19.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would receive $167.5 million, $12.5 million above the fiscal year 2019 level of $155 million.
  • The K-12 history and civics programs at the Department of Education were level funded at $4.8 million. The Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics received $1.8 million and the American History and Civics grants program received $3 million.
  • The Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education programs saw their first significant increases in almost a decade. In total they received a $17.1 million increase up to $89.1 million. Domestic programs would increase by $15.2 million up to $80.4 million and Fulbright-Hays would increase to $8.7 million up from $7 million.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) received a $25 million funding boost up to $267 million.  Museum programs would receive an $8 million increase up to $42.7 million.
  • The National Park Services’ Historic Preservation Fund will receive $121.6 million this fiscal year, a $19 million increase over FY19. The National Recreation and Preservation Fund would see its budget increase by $9.3 million up to a level of $73.5 million
  • The Smithsonian Institution was funded at $1.071 billion, a $27 million increase.
  • The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars received $14 million, $2 million more than last year.
  • Library of Congress: The only bill that has not been considered on the floor is the Legislative Branch appropriations bill which is being held up by a controversy involving congressional pay raises. The Library received a $24 million increase up to $720 million in the bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee.