In the May 13, 2005 daily edition of this newsletter, I republished a notice from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) that warned that the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2006 would provide zero funding for the Commission. In effect, the President proposed to kill the Commission. You can read that article here.
Luckily, this week the full House approved a restoration of funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. However, there are several steps yet to be taken. The following update comes from Kathleen D. Roe, President, Council of State Historical Records Coordinators:
National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at the National Archives
The House Appropriations Committee recommended, and this week the full House approved, a restoration of funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The funding recommendation made is for a total of $7.5 million ($5.5 million dollars in competitive grant funds and $2 million for program administration). While this is not the full sum we advocated for, we are very pleased that a reasonable restoration has been approved by the House. In particular, we are incredibly pleased to see the coalescing of archivists, genealogists, and historians that came together to make this happen. More than 10,000 individuals signed an electronic petition, and more than 1000 letters were sent to individual members of Congress. That is a remarkable effort that was widely commented on by Congressional staff.
The next step, which is coming soon, is to convince the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and HUD and then the Senate Appropriations Committee to also mark-up the budget bill with a restoration of funding for NHPRC. They act on this July 12 (T-THUD) and July 14 (the full Appropriations Committee). We need people to contact their senators and urge the restoration of the full $8 million for grants and $2 million for program administration. In particular, faxed letters from their constituents to the committee chairs and ranking members are helpful (names listed below). For those from other states, the senators should be encouraged to support funding restoration and to contact the committee chairs/ranking members. Those individuals are:
Senate T-THUD Committee:
Chair, Christopher Bond, Missouri (R)
Ranking Member: Patty Murray, Washington (D)
Senate Appropriations Committee:
Chair: Thad Cochran, Mississippi (R)
Ranking Member: Robert Byrd, West Virginia (D).
Full committee membership and addresses, along with more detailed information can be found at: www.savearchives.org.
For more information, please contact:
Kathleen D. Roe
President, Council of State Historical Records Coordinators