Legislative News - 2017
Read the latest arts news
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has released their bill to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The bill proposes level-funding ($150 million) for both the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The latest congressional plan for advancing tax reform continues calls for preserving the charitable tax deduction, a key provision and an important inclusion. The framework, however, also proposes to double the standard deduction, which would have the impact of moving taxpayers away from itemizing their deductions (like charitable giving). Americans for the Arts has joined a large and diverse coalition of non-profits in support of a universal charitable tax deduction that could be made available to all taxpayers.
For the first time in recent years, a report from the U.S. House Budget Committee accompanying a budget resolution no longer includes language supporting the termination of our nation’s cultural agencies. This action comes after 35 Tennessee organizations sent a letter in May to the new Chairman of the House Budget Committee, urging removal of this harmful language for fiscal year 2018.
With Congress now turning to work on the next fiscal year’s budget (FY2018), Lynch provided testimony in support of $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This funding amount is the position taken by the 88 national partners of Arts Advocacy Day and reflected in the numerous advocacy efforts being pursued currently by Americans for the Arts and dozens of other arts organizations.
Today, Congress gave themselves another week to make FY2017 federal funding decisions, by passing another "continuing resolution" to keep the lights on. During the coming week, final negotiations are anticipated on this work, which was due to be completed last Fall when the fiscal year first began. For the current fiscal year, the Trump Administration would like Congress to immediately cut $15 million from the NEA and NEH apiece. For next year, FY2018, the Administration would like to fully terminate the two cultural agencies.
As the Trump administration and Congress begin to work on tax reform, Americans for the Arts releases a statement about the importance of preserving tax deduction incentives for charitable giving to all nonprofit charities in the United States.
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, led a one-hour Special Order debate on the U.S. House floor for members of Congress to share their stories of support for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
Established in 2005, the Caucus’ aim was and continues to be “to bring focus to the arts and humanities and the positive impact they have on our daily lives.”
Since 1954, charities that are organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, as Americans for the Arts is, are prohibited from getting involved in political campaigns. However, recent activity in Congress and from the Administration is attempting to remove this prohibition.
To kick off National Arts Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 21, Americans for the Arts sent a message in three frequently read newspapers to legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill about the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts.