Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY 21 Funding Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee has released all twelve of its draft FY 21 appropriations bills. In general, the Senate levels are close to, or slightly less than, the House. We have prepared a chart detailing the Senate numbers compared to the House and president’s budget request. Here are the highlights. We will be providing funding and advocacy updates as the process moves forward.

The current continuing resolution (CR), that is temporarily keeping the federal government open, expires on December 11. The Senate does not intend to take these bills up individually. However, the funding levels set a marker for the Senate to begin negotiating with the House on a final FY 21 budget. The possibility exists that the process may break down and the House and Senate will pass a year-long FY 21 CR that would fund the federal government at FY 20 levels.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—NARA would be level funded at $359 million versus the $361.4 million provided by the House. Unfortunately, the Senate zeroed out funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The House provided the NHPRC a $500,000 increase, up to a level of $7 million. In recent years it has not been unusual for the Senate to zero out the NHPRC and adopt the House number and we are optimistic that will be the case again this year.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—The Senate would level fund the NEH at $162.5 million while the House provides $170 million.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—Both the Senate and the House would boost IMLS funding by $5 million, up to $257 million.

American History and Civics Academies and Grants (US DOEd)—The Senate level funds these small grant programs at $4.8 million, while the House would increase funding to $5.8 million.

International Education and Foreign Language Studies (US DOEd)—The Senate would level fund the Title VI/Fulbright-Hays programs at $76 million with $68 million (domestic) and $8 million (overseas) respectively. The House would provide $80.3 million split $70.8 million (domestic) and $9.5 million (overseas).

Historic Preservation Fund (National Park Service)—The HPF would receive a $20 million increase over the FY 20, up to $138 million. The House level is $136.4 million. The Senate zeroed out the American Battlefield Protection Program.

  • Semiquincentennial Preservation Grants—In preparation for the nation’s Semiquincentennial in 2026, the Senate would create a new, $10,000,000 competitive grant program within the Historic Preservation Fund to support restoration of State-owned historic sites and structures that honor and interpret the country’s founding, including Revolutionary War battle and commemorative monuments. A site must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places to be eligible to compete for funding.

Library of Congress—The Senate would provide $742.5 million which is approximately $10 million less than the House. The Library’s current budget is $719.3 million.