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National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States and provides critical support for research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The organization funds projects across a range of disciplines, including political science, through a diverse array of opportunities. Grantees include universities, colleges, research institutes, libraries, archives, and museums, as well as individual scholars.

Current Funding Status

On November 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft FY18 funding bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies. The legislation proposes $149 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, equal to FY17 enacted levels. 

The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation (H.R. 3354) on July 18 that provides $145 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The appropriation is approximately $5 million below the FY17 funding level, but rejects the administration’s request to begin the process of shutting down the agency. H.R. 3354 became the vehicle for the House's omnibus spending package, which was approved by the House on September 14, 2017. 

The FY18 presidential budget request includes severe cuts to programs that support political science research and education. The White House “proposes to begin shutting down the National Endowment for the Humanities” in 2018, and includes a 72 percent cut from FY17 funding levels in anticipation of the closing. According to a statement on the NEH website, “As NEH awaits Congressional action on the President’s proposed budget, the agency is continuing normal operations and will be making the next round of FY 2017 awards following the meeting of the National Council in July.” The National Humanities Alliance created an action center to oppose the elimination of the NEH. 

On May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the omnibus appropriations package for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. The National Endowment for the Humanities received a small increase of nearly $2 million, to bring the total budget to approximately $150 million.

APSA Action

APSA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA). Each year, APSA participates in NHA's Advocacy Day, which brings scholars to Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of political science research and express support for strong funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NHA created a Take Action page for the public to easily express support for the humanities to Congress and the media. 

NEH Appropriations Committees
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American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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