On Tuesday, the White House released its budget request for 2018. And as expected, it calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other vital cultural programs.
The administration is requesting $42 million for the NEH: an amount that represents the expenses required to shut down the agency and to honor preexisting grant commitments. For other organizations, the budget requests no money for 2018. For more details on the federal budget funding levels take a look at this piece from the New York Times.
What Happens Next?
Congress will set an overall level of discretionary spending through a congressional budget resolution. The appropriations committee will then assign spending levels to its twelve subcommittees, and the subcommittees will draft individual bills. This work will likely extend through the summer.
How You Can Help
Remember, the administration’s budget request is only advisory. Congress will make decisions about funding. In recent years the NEH has received strong bipartisan support from the appropriations committee. As members of Congress begin their work on the 2018 budget, they need to hear from you!
Please ask for continued, increased funding for NEH. The Federation of State Humanities Councils and the National Humanities Alliance are requesting $155 million for NEH, including $46 million for the state humanities councils.
Even if you’ve already signed a petition or sent an e-mail to your representative about earlier threats, use this form to e-mail or call your members of Congress. By clicking on the ‘Call your Legislators’ or Write your Legislators’ button, you will be directed to a form that offers key talking points about NEH funding and the impact of state councils across the country. Be sure to use specific examples of why humanities programs here in Rhode Island matter to you and how they have made an impact on your community.