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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: May 2, 2017 The Humanities Action Lab Awarded $310,000 Grant by National Endowment for the Humanities
Rutgers Today

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced a $310,000 grant to the Humanities Action Lab (HAL), a coalition of 20 universities, including Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N), collaborating to produce student- and community-curated public projects on pressing social issues. 

The funds will support public dialogues and local exhibits around HAL’s current project, States of Incarceration:  A National Dialogue of Local Histories, a traveling exhibit, web platform, and curricula focusing on mass incarceration, in Newark, NJ and 19 other communities. Today, the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world and at any other moment in its history. As a result, a massive number and wide range of people are involved in its prison system: from incarcerated people and their families to residents of prison towns to corrections personnel to consumers of prison-made goods and services. 

Posted: May 2, 2017 NEA, NEH May Receive Reprieve for Now, But 2018 Still Uncertain
BURNAWAY, Voice of the South

In March, it became evident that President Trump’s call for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might not go his way when Republican lawmakers came out in support of the agencies, including Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and Representatives Mark Amodei and Leonard Lance, as well as former Arkansas Governor and 2016 Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee.

Posted: May 2, 2017 Congress’s Budget Deal Includes Increases (!) For NEA, NEH
Arts Journal

Mind you, they’re not big increases – $2 million (1.33%) each for the NEA and NEH, and flat funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But this is a change from the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate the agencies entirely. “Like many of Trump’s planned initiatives for his first 100 days in office, however, this plan did not pan out.”

Posted: May 2, 2017 Here are the education-related policies proposed by Trump administration in first 100 days
The Diamondback (UMD)

Shaliah George, a junior communication major, said she is worried the budget cut will lead to increased tuition.

"This could mean less students will have access to higher education," George said, adding that students from lower-income homes may feel less motivated to continue their education if college tuition becomes too expensive. "We'll be seeing a lot of trickle-down effects from that."

Posted: May 2, 2017 The bipartisan budget plan is a temporary victory for common sense
The Washington Post / 5/1

CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS have settled on a bipartisan spending plan to keep the government open for the next five months, and, to judge from the document, their priorities are not President Trump’s priorities.

To be sure, the $1.1 trillion measure includes $1.5 billion in new border-security money and exceeds previously enacted defense spending caps to the tune of $14.8 billion; Mr. Trump hailed both as victories for his agenda. But the president’s border wall gets not one dollar — indeed, Mr. Trump’s abandonment of a demand for funding was the concession that made this deal possible. Meanwhile, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Environmental Protection Agency, Pell Grants for college students and Community Development Block Grants were held essentially harmless, with respect to their fiscal 2016 spending levels. The National Institutes of Health gets a $2 billion increase. All were targeted for big cuts in Mr. Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget plan.

These results are a tribute to the Democrats’ skillful leveraging of their power, even as a minority in both houses; to the Republicans’ pragmatic fear of a politically costly partial government shutdown — and to the stubborn persistence of good old-fashioned political horse-trading, even under this supposedly disruptive president.

Posted: May 2, 2017 Udall On Interior And Environment Funding In Bipartisan Budget Agreement
Los Alamos Daily Post

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, released the following statement on the finalized bipartisan budget agreement to fund the government through September. 

“This bill is a strong, bipartisan agreement, and I thank lawmakers and staff on both sides of the aisle for their hard work to achieve a workable compromise. The deal funds key priorities for New Mexico and the nation, while preventing some of the president's disastrous budget cuts from becoming law.

“I am pleased that this bill increases funding for the Department of the Interior to conserve and maintain our treasured public lands and uphold our trust and treaty obligations to Indian Tribes. And, after the president called for devastating cuts to the EPA, I am glad that this agreement shields the agency from ongoing attempts to undermine our ability to protect clean air and water and public health. I am particularly proud to have fought to include $407 million for emergency firefighting needs. This will give the Forest Service the necessary funds to fight increasingly severe wildfires — which continue to threaten New Mexico and the Southwest — without having to raid important forest health and watershed protection funds needed to prevent the next catastrophic fire.

“The omnibus agreement ensures that the EPA will have the resources needed to effectively implement my landmark chemical safety reform law, which was enacted last year. As the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, I strongly support this bill’s investment in programs and services that benefit Native Americans. The bill includes new funding for the Indian Health Service's efforts to treat substance abuse through detoxification centers, it will help make infrastructure improvements in Indian schools and hospitals, and it increases funding for initiatives to bolster Native arts.

“With the president proposing the complete elimination of the national endowments for the arts and the humanities, I am particularly proud to have worked to secure an overall increase in funding for both the NEA and the NEH. This bill’s strong investment in the arts and humanities will help fuel these engines of job creation in New Mexico and across the country. 

Posted: May 2, 2017 Anger and Fear, Then and Now
Inside Higher Ed

Martha C. Nussbaum started the 2017 Jefferson Lecture Monday night reviewing the transformations of Athenian democracy and justice -- and the limits placed on vengeance -- that are portrayed in Aeschylus’ Oresteia.

"Like modern democracies, the ancient Greek democracy had an anger problem," Nussbaum said, according to an advance copy of her remarks. "Read the historians, and you will see some things that are not remote: individuals litigating obsessively against people they blame for having wronged them; groups blaming other groups for their lack of power; citizens blaming prominent politicians and other elites for selling out the dearest values of the democracy; other groups blaming foreign visitors, or even women, for their own political and personal woes."

The National Endowment for the Humanities selects someone each year to give the Jefferson Lecture, and being selected is considered the top honor from the U.S. government in the humanities. Nussbaum -- Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago -- was selected for the honor just prior to the inauguration of President Trump. And while her remarks didn't include his name or mention fake news or certain political movements, the themes she raises reflected issues much discussed in the context of his election, and the growth of populist movements fueled by anger in other countries as well.

Posted: May 1, 2017 Omnibus Bill: More Money for NIH, NEA, NEH; Public Broadcasting Not Defunded

In newly drafted, bipartisan legislation intended to fund the rest of Fiscal 2017, those programs are not cut at all; in fact, some of those agencies will get even more money, as follows:

National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities (NEA/NEH): The bill includes $150 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $150 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities -- $2 million above the fiscal year 2016 level.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said there’s a lot for conservatives to dislike in the omnibus spending bill. “I don’t think I’ll be voting for it. I think there’ll be a lot of conservatives who have problems with the legislation,” he said.

Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told CNN on Monday, “it’s just fact” that government shutdowns are “always caused by Republicans,” and that explains why Democrats got so much of what they wanted in the Fiscal Year 2017 omnibus spending bill.

Posted: May 1, 2017 Congress Reaches Spending Deal; 'Skinny Budget' Goes Out the Window

Take Big Bird off the altar; they're not going to sacrifice him after all. (*) Congress has reached a deal to keep the government funded til September and, as usual, the GOP's talk about defunding public radio and TV has turned out to be an empty threat. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting isn't being zeroed out. In fact, the bill will fund it at the same level as last year.

The National Endowment for the Arts? It'll get more this year than last. The National Endowment for the Humanities? Same. The Environmental Protection Agency is getting less money, but not the 31 percent cut proposed in the administration's so-called "skinny budget"; instead it's losing just 1 percent. And no, Planned Parenthood isn't getting defunded.

I highlighted those five items not because they're big parts of the budget—only the EPA really spends that much—but because they're the sorts of red-meat issues that get Republicans and Democrats worked up. If they're basically unchanged, you can be sure that there won't be major reductions in the areas where there's a lot of bipartisan agreement. Sure enough, there will be more money for medical research, for national parks, for NASA, for the DEA, for Homeland Security, and—of course—for the Pentagon. The military won't be getting the $54 billion hike that Trump proposed, but the $25 billion boost that it's getting instead isn't so shabby.

Posted: May 1, 2017 U.S. Spending Deal Jettisons Trump Goals as Conservatives Howl
The Bloomberg /Quint

Congressional leaders released a bipartisan deal on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that largely tracks Democratic priorities and rejects most of President Donald Trump’s wish list, drawing fire from Republicans’ conservative wing.

The compromise measure, announced early Monday morning, would keep the government open through the end of September. Under House procedures, a vote could be held as early as Wednesday.  

"I don’t think I’ll be voting for it," House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan of Ohio said on CNN. "I think there will be a lot of conservatives who have problems with the legislation." Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina accused moderate Republicans of failing to "stand firm" against Democratic priorities.

Although Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, congressional Democrats had leverage in the talks. Republicans have had to rely on Democratic votes to pass large spending bills in recent years because of opposition by GOP fiscal conservatives in the House and a 60-vote threshold in the Senate.

GOP leaders eager to focus on health-care and tax overhauls bowed to Democratic demands to eliminate hundreds of policy restrictions aimed at curbing regulations, leaving the Trump administration with few victories.