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No Cuts to Arts in Federal Omnibus Bill [UPDATED]

Posted on: Dec 12, 2014

With only two hours to spare before the federal government was scheduled to shutdown at midnight last night, the House of Representatives was able to narrowly pass the so-called “Cromnibus” (a hybrid Continuing Resolution and Omnibus bill) by a vote of 219-206. Now in the Senate’s hands, the enormous $1.1 trillion catch-all bill funds the federal government through the balance of the fiscal year to September 30, 2015, with the exception of Homeland Security which is funded only through February of next year due to political gamesmanship on immigration issues. [UPDATE: IN AN UNUSUAL SATURDAY NIGHT SESSION, THE SENATE PASSED CROMNIBUS BY A 56-40 VOTE. PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW ON DECEMBER 16.]

Thanks to effective advocacy efforts, arts funding will be kept level and stable. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will each receive $146 million. The Office of Museum Services will remain at $30 million and the Arts in Education program within the U.S. Department of Education will also stay at $25 million, despite threats of being zeroed-out.  Similarly, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS, NPR) will be level-funded at $445 million.

Additionally, the House of Representatives was unable to pass a permanent extension of three charitable giving provisions, including the IRA roll-over to charities. However, the House had previously passed a short term patch of these same provisions, providing donor incentives for the remainder of December only, and that version will now likely be considered in the Senate this weekend. [UPDATE: ON DECEMBER 16, THE SENATE PASSED THE HOUSE BILL THAT RETROACTIVELY EXTENDS CHAIRTABLE TAX BREAKS FOR ALL OF 2014. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS EXPECTED TO SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW]

You can check back to the Arts Action Fund blog www.ArtsActionFund.org for further legislative updates in the coming days.

As a reminder, please consider giving to the Arts Action Fund Year-End Campaign if you haven't done so yet.