The House of Representatives has passed ten of the twelve FY 21 appropriations bills and rejected the president’s proposed budget cuts across-the-board. As a result, we have the final House numbers for most 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. In addition, with the November election looming, it is likely Congress will pass a series of continuing resolutions (CRs) that temporarily fund the federal government after the start of fiscal year 2021 on October 1. It is expected Congress will likely pass a CR that expires after the election.
Here are the highlights from the FY 21 House appropriations bills:
- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will receive $361.4 million for operating expenses, a small increase of $2.4 million from the $359 million the agency received in FY 20. $2 million is provided for implementation of the Civil Rights Cold Case Record Collections Act of 2018.
- The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) is funded at $7 million, up from $ 6.5 million in FY 20.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would receive $170 million, $7.5 million above the FY 20 level of $162.5 million.
- The K-12 history and civics programs at the Department of Education received a $1 million increase up to a level of $5.8 million. The Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics received $2.3 million and the American History and Civics grants program received $3.5 million.
- The Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education programs received a $4.3 million increase up to $80.3 million. Domestic programs would increase by $2.8 million up to $70.8 million and Fulbright-Hays would increase by $1.5 million up to $9.5 million.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) received a $5 million funding boost up to $257 million. Museum programs would receive a $3 million increase up to $41.4 million.
- The National Park Services’ Historic Preservation Fund will receive $136.4 million in the coming fiscal year, a $17.8 million increase over FY20. The National Recreation and Preservation Fund would see its budget increase by $3.2 million up to a level of $74.3 million.
- The Smithsonian Institution was funded at $1.060 billion, a $12.7 million increase.
- The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars would receive $14.8 million, $800,000 more than last year.
- Library of Congress: The Legislative Branch appropriations bill (HR 7611) has yet to be considered on the House floor. Under the bill cleared by the House Appropriations Committee, the Library of Congress would receive $752.7 million in FY 21, $33.4 million more than this year.