Action Alert: Urge Congress to Fund NHPRC at $10 Million for FY 2012

June 7, 2011--Despite a very challenging fiscal environment in Washington, D.C., the SAA Council committed in late May to advocating for $10 million in FY 2012 federal funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.  You can help in this effort by contacting a member of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government if s/he represents the district in which you live or work.

The Subcommittee will consider NHPRC funding on Thursday, June 16. Please contact your Representative by Wednesday, June 15!

The Issue:

The President's proposed budget for FY 2012 recommends funding of just $5 million for NHPRC. This is a 35% reduction from the FY 2011 funding level of $7 million and a 50% reduction from the agency's previously authorized level of $10 million. NHPRC makes substantial contributions with very limited funding. A reduction of this magnitude will cripple this important program. 

Action Needed:

If your Representative serves on the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government:  Via phone, email, or fax, urge him/her to support funding for NHPRC at the authorized level of $10 million. Use the Background/Talking Points below, but be specific about the benefits of NHPRC to your organization and its constituents (who also are the Representative's constituents!).  Be direct.

If your Representative is not on the Subcommittee:  Via phone, email, or fax, contact the Subcommittee chair and ranking member and urge them to support funding for NHPRC at the authorized level of $10 million.  Be direct.  And be specific about the benefits of NHPRC to your organization and its constituents.

See below for the names and phone numbers of Subcommittee members and staff.  For a directory of all Members of Congress, including phone and fax numbers and email addresses, click here

Background / Talking Points:

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission--the grant-making arm of the National Archives and Records Administration--was established by Congress in 1934, along with NARA, to promote the preservation and use of the American documentary record. NHPRC grants support a wide range of activities to preserve and increase access to historical records and to publish, in print and/or electronically, the papers of significant figures and themes relating to the history of the United States.

When Congress created NHPRC it recognized that the history of the United States is made not only in federal offices in Washington, D.C.  Significant evidence of national issues exists in the regions, states, and individual lives of Americans.  [Give example(s) of how NHPRC grants have ensured that the historical evidence of your region/state has been made accessible and why it is critical to the national story.] For example, an NHPRC grant that funded preservation and digitization of records related to construction of the Erie Canal provided essential evidence of both the beginning of the westward migration and the first major public works project in the U.S.

Federal funding is provided to the states to support the infrastructure in transportation, telecommunications, law enforcement, education, health care, banking, and other critical areas.  NHPRC funds support the historical and cultural infrastructure of this country by ensuring that the essential evidence of our history and people is captured throughout the states and regions.

NHPRC grants provide the Archivist of the United States with his primary tool for providing national leadership and promoting national and regional cooperation among the state archivists to address such common issues as electronic records and disaster preparedness and recovery.

NHPRC's authorization has been at $10 million since 1964; the 2011 equivalent would be $70 million. The agency already is operating under serious fiscal constraints. Further cuts would be devastating to program outcomes.

Historical records projects are "jobs heavy." On average 75% of funds for such projects are used to create jobs and pay staff.

NHPRC grants leverage state, local, institutional, foundation, and other private funding by requiring 50% cost sharing.  For every federal dollar invested, another dollar is spent. NHPRC funding is the linchpin of most records projects' funding structures.

Contact Information:

Via phone, email, or fax, urge your Representative on the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to support funding for NHPRC at the previously authorized level of $10 million.

For a directory of all Members of Congress, including phone and fax numbers and email addresses, click here

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

Chair:  Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Majority Staff:  Kelly Shea, 202-225-7245 (P) / 202-226-6692 (F)

Ranking Member:  Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Minority Staff:  Laura Hogshead, 202-225-3481 (P) / 202-225-6001 (F)

Subcommittee Members:

Rodney Alexander (R-LA), 202-225-8490 (P) / 202-225-5639 (F)

Jo Bonner (R-AL), 202-225-4931 (P) / 251-460-4161 (F)

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), 202-225-4211 (P) / 202-225-8576 (F)

Tom Graves (R-GA), 202-225-5211 (P) / 202-225-8272 (F)

Kevin Yoder (R-KS), 202-225-2865 (P) / 202-225-2807 (F)

Steve Womak (R-AR), 202-225-4301 (P) / 202-225-5713 (F)

Barbara Lee (D-CA), 202-225-2661 (P) / 202-225-9817 (F)

Peter Visclosky (D-IN), 202-225-2461 (P) / 202-225-2493 (F)

Ed Pastor (D-AZ), 202-225-4065 (P) / 602-257-9103 (F)

Thank you for taking time from your busy day to help make a difference for the archives profession!

NHPRC Funding_Emerson_061311.pdf162.29 KB
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