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Legislation & Public Policy Issues in Preservation     


Legislation & Public Policy Issues in Preservation
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House Cuts $61 Billion from FY'11 Discretionary Spending But Key Preservation Law and Funding Survive
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy, budget, House of Representatives, historic preservation, cultural resource, public policy
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy

The House passed its version of a year-ending continuing resolution (HR 1) for FY’11 with $61 billion in spending cuts after considering 500+ amendments last week.  Key amendments important to preservation that were defeated on the House floor included one that denied funding for carrying out the Antiquities Act, which is the law used by the President to designate national monuments.  Another potentially damaging amendment reducing $240 million from the National Park Service's (NPS) Construction and Land Acquisition account – which funds maintenance of historic sites in the parks -- failed on a point of order.  

While the House focused on a year-end CR, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced the Senate is seeking a one-month extension for FY’11 spending in the temporary CR that expires March 4th in order to reconcile differences with a two-week, House version that would include $4 billion in cuts already approved last week in HR 1.  The one-month Senate CR would be at FY’10 spending levels, but the House is insisting that at least some of its already-passed budget cuts be included in the bill.   A predicted government shutdown is looking more likely as both sides remain far apart and negotiations were halted altogether on Wednesday. A prolonged government shutdown may ultimately lead to extending the CR at FY’10 levels ($79.5 million for the Historic Preservation Fund) for remainder of the fiscal year, which would be a major victory for preservation funding.  However, a grand compromise on discretionary spending, tax reform and entitlements programs is being formulated by a bi-partisan group of six senators known as the "Gang of Six."  If a broad agreement is reached with the House on this compromise Senate proposal, it could completely alter the funding landscape for preservation funding for FY'11 and beyond. 

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy, budget, House of Representatives, historic preservation, cultural resource, public policy

Posted: February 25, 2011
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