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July 14, 2003

ACTION ITEM: Email Congress to Vote FOR the Arts Caucus Amendment

In an effort to continue advancing the legislative agenda that we established back in March for Arts Advocacy Day 2003, we have an opportunity to urge House members to pass a bipartisan floor amendment that will be offered by the Congressional Arts Caucus next week. We want to encourage you and your grassroots members to send an email by July 16th directly to Congress or through Americans for the Arts' advocacy website, where we have an easy pre-written letter that can be customized and delivered in seconds.

BACKGROUND

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to begin floor debate on either July 16th or 17th on the FY 2004 Interior Appropriations bill, which includes funding for the NEA and NEH. The amendment will be similar to the amendment passed last year by a vote of 234-192. While the details of this amendment are not yet finalized, it is likely to call for an increase of $10 million for the NEA and $5 million for the NEH.

The FY 2004 Interior Appropriations bill was marked up and reported out of committee on June 25th with an allocation of $117.5 million for the NEA, which represents a nominal $1 million increase for only administrative overhead (no new grants) over the current year's funding level of $115.7 million. The Committee allocated $137 million for the NEH, which represents a $10.1 million increase over the current year's funding level of $124.9 million, but falls considerably short of the President's request of $152 million. The increase is designated to be used for the NEH's new "We the People" initiative.

ACTION

We encourage you to visit Americans for the Arts' CAPWIZ advocacy website below to send an e-mail to your Member of Congress urging them to support the Congressional Arts Caucus amendment!

To send an e-mail to your Representative, please follow these EASY steps:

  1. Log onto: http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/alert/?alertid=2800981
  2. Enter your ZIP Code in the box to access your Member of Congress
  3. Customize the message if you want with the various listed talking points or your own text
  4. Fill in the personal contact information (this is important to prove you're a constituent!)
  5. Click the SEND MESSAGE button!

Please forward this message to all your fellow arts advocates in the field to encourage them to e-mail their Representatives to support this amendment as well!

Nina Ozlu
Vice President, Public & Private Sector Affairs
Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Avenue, NW
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
202.371.2830 phone
202.371.0424 fax
nozlu@artsusa.org
www.AmericansForTheArts.org


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