Victory in the Congress
Fri, 14 Jul 1995 09:57:25 -0400
To: ACRA & the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Community
From: Loretta Neumann, CEHP Incorporated
We did it! We won! I'm not a person who fakes enthusiasm, but it's hard not
to be excited about the fact that last night the United State House of
Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve the funding for the Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation and to defeat an attempt to cut the funding
for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The votes were:
267 yeas - 130 nays, approved the amendment by Rep. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vermont) to restore funding for the Advisory Council on Historic
129 yeas - 281 nays, defeated the amendment by Rep. Tim Hutchinson
(R-Arkansas) to delete funding for the National Trust for Historic
Seldom do we have wins this big. Seldom, these days, does ANYONE have wins
this big. If you did anything to help--not just now, but any time over the
past few months when we started this campaign--pat yourself on the back. No
one wins in the Congress this big without a tremendous amount of help from
all over the country, and that's what did it.
But we're not finished with our work.
First, it is extremely important for people to thank the Representatives who
voted for these amendments and to express disappointment to those who didn't.
We won't be able to get the actual list of how the representatives voted
until the Congressional Record comes out later today. The Congressional
Record is the official, daily report of the proceedings of the U.S.
Congress. We'll post the votes as soon as we get them. (If you have access
to World Wide Web, you can get them on Thomas, the Congressional WWW server,
which now has the Congressional Record on-line; sometimes it takes longer to
get it that way, however, than get up a paper copy. )
Better yet, you can call your Representative's office and ask how she or he
voted, then follow up with a letter thanking them, if appropriate, or
expressing disappointment if otherwise. Phone number for all Members of
Congress: (202) 224-3121. Write to the Representative at the House of
Representatives, Washington DC 20515.
There were several heroes in all this. On the Advisory Council amendment,
Rep. Sanders, of course, deserves our thanks a thousand times over. If you
are from Vermont or have friends or relative there, write and thank him for
his leadership. He did a wonderful job. Also thank Rep. David Skaggs
(D-Colorado), who tried so valiantly to get the funding in the Appropriations
Committee. Although he lost there, his efforts stimulated all the grass roots
support which ultimately led to our victory on the Floor. And Rep. Phil
English (R-Pennsylvania) and Rep. Kingston (R-Georgia) who spoke up on the
floor in support of the Sanders' amendment. I do feel strongly that their
support was extremely important in getting other Republicans to vote for it.
And thanks to Rep. Bruce Vento (D-Minnesota) for speaking up on Democratic
side. As the former chairman of the subcommittee that has the authorizing
responsibilities for hisotric preservation, he understands and cares about
these programs and he spoke vigorously in support of the Advisory Council.
Even Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), chairman of the Interior Appropriations
Subcommittee, spoke in opposition to the amendment, but he did not launch a
big protest and took the vote with good grace.
The debate on the National Trust amendment by Rep. Hutchison was vicious and
acrimonious. I cannot begin to list all the people to thank or criticize.
Suffice that it was painful to watch. When we send out the list of how
members voted, I'll cull some of the quotables from the Congressional Record
to go with it.
I think we also need to thank people who helped in this effort. I
personally thank ACRA (especially Chuck Niquette, Tom Wheaton and Mike Polk),
who put an enormous amount of its limited resources to this effort, and
stayed with it for weeks and weeks, when others were giving up hope. And my
staff at CEHP, especially Kathleen Schamel, our senior vice president, and
Stephanie Haller, Paul Hallam and Rob Wetstone. Similarly, I thank Nellie
Longsworth of Preservation Action and her staff, and Eric Hertfelder and
Nancy Miller of NCSHPO. Plus many others--Donna Seifert of the Society for
Historical Archaeology and Donald Craib of the Society for American
But we can't rest on our laurels. We now must turn to the Senate, to assure
that the work we have done gets carried on. Our initial contacts there have
been very encouraging. But, as with the House, we need your help as
constituents--people from the Senators' home states--to express your views.
We don't need a panic attack on the Senate, since it is unlikely they will
undue what the House did, given the huge margins on the votes. Nevertheless,
we need to show our support for ALL of the provisions in the bill that
support archaeology and historic preservation programs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will be acting very soon, and we need to
tell them of our support. ACRA and the other national groups in Washington
will be doing that. But we need the backup of people from all over the
country to contact your own senators. Following are the items, among others,
that we support. (Note we haven't had success in restoring funding for the
Forest Service and BLM, both of which took big cuts in their cultural
resources funding--$4 million from the Forest Service and over $1 million
from BLM. We'll be lobbying to restore all or some of these funds too.)
Interior Appropriations, Selected Items Relating to Archaeology & Historic
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation -$3.06 million
National Park Service
***National Recreation and Preservation, Cultural Resources - $18.5
million (same as President's budget request)
***Historic Preservation Fund - $37.9 million (down $3.5 million from
Note: The funds for grants to the states and tribes is at the same level as
last year ($34.4 million). The funds for the National Trust for Historic
Preservation are cut in half (from $7 million to $3.5)
***International Affairs - $338,000 (same as President's)
Note: This should mean that the $90,000 earmarked for the US/ICOMOS
(International Council on Monuments and Sites) will remain the same.
Bureau of Land Management
***Cultural Resources - $11 million (down $1.62 million from President's
Note: This is a cut of over $1 million from last year's enacted amount.
The increase in the President's budget was for increased public
enhanced Native American coordination, improved artifact and collections
management (including NAGPRA).
***Heritage Resources - $14 million (down $4.5 million from the President's
Note: This cut could greatly affect the Forest Service's training programs
and Section 110 compliance, public interpretation and volunteer programs,
Windows on the Past, etc.