July 17, 2006
Immediate Help Needed—Urge Senate Appropriations Subcommittee to Fully Fund NARA's FY 2007 Appropriations
NARA's proposed budget for FY 2007, included in the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5576), cleared the House of Representatives on June 6th. There is good news and bad news to report.
The good news is that the House Appropriations Committee granted the President's budget request for NARA and, in a positive move, added $7.5 million for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), for which the President had sought zero funding. AALL has always supported the NHPRC so we were very pleased with this additional level of funding.
The bad news, however, is that during the June 14th floor debate, the full House overwhelmingly approved an amendment that cut $8 million from NARA's operating expenses—the funds that are used for the day to day operations of the agency. The $8 million cut was made to fund a drug interdiction program unrelated to NARA.
Overall, the House approved $347.6 million for NARA, which includes $45.5 million for the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), $13 million for repairs and renovations at NARA-owned facilities, $7.5 million for the NHPRC, and $281.6 million for operating expenses.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
On our return to the Washington Office today from a very successful annual conference in St. Louis, we learned that the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies will mark-up H.R. 5576 at 4 p.m. tomorrow, July 18th. The full committee mark-up will be on Thursday afternoon.
We urgently need calls to members of the subcommittee to urge them to fully fund NARA in the amount of $355.6 million for FY 2007. If your Senator is listed below as a member of this subcommittee, please contact their office by phone immediately to urge support for the full FY 2007 funding for NARA during tomorrow's mark-up session. You can reach your Senator through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121. Using the talking points that follow, please be sure to identify yourself as a member of AALL or one of our chapters.
- Urge your Senator to restore the $8 million in operating expenses cut by the House and fully fund NARA at $355.6 million for FY 2007. Full funding of NARA's day to day operating budget is crucial if the agency is to be able to fulfill its important mission to "ensure continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government" in FY 2007.
- Stress the importance of maintaining the full amounts designated by the House for the Electronic Records Archive ($45.5 million) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission ($7.5 million). The ERA is a comprehensive means for preserving virtually every kind of electronic record created by the government, and making them permanently available to the public. The NHPRC has been an essential leader in preserving our nation's history and making it more accessible to the American public through its grants program.
We apologize for the short notice and thank you in advance for your help in this very important matter. Your calls will make a difference!
Mary Alice Baish
AALL Associate Washington Affairs Representative
AALL Advocacy/Communications Assistant
SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, THE JUDICIARY, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES
Senator Christopher Bond (Chairman) (MO)
Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Senator Mike DeWine (OH)
Senator Sam Brownback (KS)
Senator Ted Stevens (AK)
Senator Pete Domenici (NM)
Senator Conrad Burns (MT)
Senator Patty Murray (Ranking Member) (WA)
Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator Harry Reid (NV)
Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
Senator Byron Dorgan (ND)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Tom Harkin (IA)