March 16, 2017

Proposed Cuts to Humanities Funding

On Thursday, March 16, President Trump released a budget blueprint that calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Education’s International Education Programs, the Institute for Museums and Library Services, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
This blueprint is only a bare-bones budget summary for “major” federal agencies. As a result, smaller agencies that are of interest to NCPH members such as the National Archives (which includes the National Historical Publications and Records Commission), Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, etc. are not included.

As a member of both the National Coalition for History (NCH) and the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), NCPH will be paying close attention to the information both groups release as they work through the details of this blueprint and the appropriations process to come. The Trump Administration’s blueprint is fundamentally advisory – it is important to remember that Congress ultimately controls appropriations. In the last several years, there has been strong, bipartisan support on the Appropriations committee for the NEH, but we will need to stand ready to advocate on behalf of the humanities throughout the appropriations process in both houses of Congress.

Lee White, Executive Director of the National Coalition for History says, “You can expect that NCH will be issuing a number of legislative alerts in the coming months as the FY 18 budget moves through the appropriations process. Over the years we have built strong relationships in Congress that we can draw upon, including the History Caucus in the House. The National Humanities Alliance held its annual Humanities Advocacy Day earlier this week with a record 250+ attendees. Early reports are that there remains strong support on the Hill for our programs. So our work has just begun.”

For further information from the National Coalition for History about this budget blueprint, visit and for information from the National Humanities Alliance, visit