May 10, 2005—The House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and Independent Agencies (T-THUD) held a hearing on NARA on April 26. Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein was the sole person scheduled to give testimony. The hearing went well from the perspective of those concerned about NHPRC. The issue of NHPRC funding was raised by members in attendance, although Dr. Weinstein was not in a position, as an appointee of the administration, to be permitted to surface it at length in his own remarks.
The questions and comments from the members of Congress show they are hearing from their constituents and appear to be supportive of restoration of funding. In particular, Congressman Ralph Regula of Ohio very forthrightly asked about funding issues. Congressman Regula is the Vice-Chair of the full House Appropriations Committee, and as such is an ex-officio member of the T-THUD subcommittee. That he attended, and that he spoke in favor of NHPRC, is a very positive thing. Other members, including Chairman Knollenberg either made helpful statements or asked "friendly" questions.
The subcommittee held several hearings that day, and public testimony was invited for all of those hearings. As of Tuesday morning before the hearing, 94 pieces of public testimony had been submitted, 91 of which were on the topic of NHPRC. That was seen by the subcommittee and its staffers as a very clear indication of the importance of this issue to their constituents. Thanks to all who helped with this!
The transcript of Weinstein's testimony before T-THUD is available on the National Archives Web site here.
To read the question-and-answer session that followed the testimony, see the PDF that follows.
If you are a constituent of any of the members who attended, a brief letter faxed to them thanking them for their attendance and interest in NHPRC would be both helpful and a good reminder that the issue is still important.
We need to continue to keep this issue before the House, so if you or your constituents have not yet written a letter, this is a good time to encourage them to do so. We will be in touch again shortly on launching the campaign in the Senate. Details on contacting Congress regarding this issue can be found at any of the following sites:
Thanks for your help! The results are heartening, but we do need to stay the course through the Spring and possibly the Summer. We'll continue to keep you informed.
Members of the NHPRC Joint Advocacy Task Force
Society of American Archivists:
Peter Gottlieb, Rand Jimerson, Joan Krizack, Richard Pearce-Moses, Nancy Beaumont
Council of State Historical Records Coordinators:
David Carmicheal, Sandra Clark, Kathleen Roe
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators:
NARA Press Release (February 7, 2005)