June 21, 2005—The House of Representatives has restored funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in its budget bill—with $5.5 million for competitive grants and $2 million for program administration! The House Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation, HUD, and the Judiciary (T-THUD) approved that addition on June 21. This is a very positive result—and the organizations and individuals who raised their voices to request restoration of funding can be very pleased.
But there's more to be done—now in the Senate—to preserve this funding or to raise it to the $8 million in grants and $2 million in administration that the archives, records management, history, and research community has identified as the essential level of funding.
To ensure that this funding survives through the next stages of the budget process, the following steps must be taken:
Send letters to your senators. If your senator is on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation, HUD, and the Judiciary, ask him or her to propose that the funding recommended by the House be increased to $8 million for competitive grants and $2 million for staff and administration in the National Archives budget. (For a list of committee and subcommittee members, see http://www.savearchives.org/.
If your senator is not on the Appropriations Committee or the Senate T-THUD Subcommittee, ask him or her to contact Senator Kit Bond, chair of the T-THUD Subcommittee (if your senator is a Republican), or Senator Patty Murray, ranking member of the T-THUD Subcommittee (if your senator is a Democrat), with a request that the funding recommended by the House be increased to $8 million for competitive grants and $2 million for staff and administration in the National Archives budget.
Make a visit to the home offices of your senators or representative. Or, if you or your constituents are going to be in Washington, DC, plan to visit your members' DC offices. If you can't talk with the senator or representative, talk to his or her staff members—and specifically the staff member who handles appropriations issues. Again, urge them to contact their colleagues on both the Senate and House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittees on Treasury, Transportation, HUD and the Judiciary to voice their support for the restoration of funding for NHPRC.
Where to go for more information and to keep current on this issue:
These sites contain:
As always, our success this year will depend on the level of coordination, involvement, and commitment of those archivists, historians, documentary editors, and others who care about NHPRC. Please forward this update to others who may be interested or able to help. There is strength in numbers!
Questions? Suggestions? Contact:
Members of the Joint Task Force on Advocacy:
House Subcommittee Restores NHPRC Funding; Next Step Is Senate! (June 15, 2005)
Update on Efforts to Save NHPRC Funding for FY06 (May 2005)
Update on Efforts to Save NHPRC Funding for FY06 (April 2005)
Providing Public Testimony on NHPRC (April 2005)
NHPRC Budget Zeroed Out for FY2006! (February 22, 2005)
NARA Press Release (February 7, 2005)