49% Cut to NEH Budget Still on the Table: Contact Your Representatives

We know that the AHA and our counterparts in other disciplines might seem like the proverbial “boy who cried wolf” in our frequent pleas to stave off cuts to humanities funding. The problem is that many members of Congress do seem to relish the idea of taking every opportunity possible to gut the already marginal budgets of federal agencies that provide resources to teaching, research, and public programming in the humanities. So we ask once again that you contact your representatives in both the House and the Senate.

Yes, budgets are tight everywhere, so even the very tiny sums involved here can evoke some concern about deficits and fiscal responsibility. Moreover, we are indeed asking the taxpayers to fund “what we do” — but “we” include many librarians, community college teachers, and others who provide skilled services to the public, often for little pay. The AHA firmly believes that what we and our colleagues in other humanities disciplines do is important to civic culture, global economic competitiveness, national security, and perhaps even individual “pursuit of happiness” for millions of Americans. Our members will variously agree or disagree with the invocation of any of these four imperatives. But we are confident that each of them will resonate among a substantial proportion of historians and others who consider an understanding of the past to be interesting, important, and perhaps even imperative. We are among those who subscribe to “imperative.” We hope you are as well.

—Kenneth Pomeranz, President and Jim Grossman, Executive Director

Speak Up Now! 49% cut to NEH stalled in the House

Yesterday, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered a 49 percent ($71 million) cut to the National Endowment for the Humanities. We must act now to make our voices heard and prevent these devastating cuts from being enacted. Please send messages to your elected officials today by clicking this link.

If you sent a message last week, please send this new message to both your Senators and Representatives. Click here to learn about six steps that you can take to oppose these cuts and preserve the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Please share this message with your friends.

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  1. Professor Mark D. Bowles

    My Congressman’s response to me on NEH cuts. Note that he considers a “huge cut in the efforts to support education in general” to be what he calls “unfortunate.” I would call it a significant failure of a civilization.

    Dear Dr. Bowles:

    Thank you for contacting me concerning funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). As a new Member of Congress, I am excited to have the opportunity to represent you and the 14th Congressional District. I am grateful for the chance to shape America’s future and your input is essential.

    Regarding support for the humanities, as you may be aware, the current draft of the Fiscal Year 2014 Interior and Environment bill contains provisions that slash overall spending by 19% across the board. In particular, this bill allocates 75 million dollars for the NEH. While this represents a huge cut in the efforts to support education in general, the current need for fiscal restraint has led to many unfortunate cuts. I am excited to consider and explore new avenues of continuing the support to the humanities which helps the U.S. remain competitive in our global economy.

    Again, I’d like to thank you for helping me understand the wants and needs of the people I represent. Please be sure to call or write should you have any further questions or concerns about your federal government.

    David P. Joyce
    Member of Congress