Historians call on congress to save NARA's funding





If you are a historian, archivist, genealogical researcher, or other user of a National Archives and Records Administration facility, you need to act. And you need to act today or next week at the latest!

PLEASE CONTACT BOTH YOUR U.S. SENATORS and ask them to add $22 million to NARA's budget over the House recommendation -- this figure includes $2 million needed to repair the Main Archives building that just this week suffered flood damage; funds to make up the $12 million shortfall reflected in the President's proposed budget; and funds to restore an additional $8 million cut recently agreed to by the House of Representatives.

WE MUST SEE TO IT THAT THIS MONEY IS REFLECTED IN THE SENATE VERSION OF THE
NARA FY-2007 BUDGET PROPOSAL. THAT BUDGET PROPOSAL IS CURRENTLY BEING
CRAFTED BY THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SO NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

THE COMMITTEE WILL BE MAKING ITS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FY 2007 NARA BUDGET NO LATER THAN 18 JULY, AND UNLESS YOU CALL YOUR SENATORS, THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES FACES POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING REDUCTIONS IN SERVICES THAT WILL SERIOUSLY IMPAIR YOUR USE OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.

PLEASE – CALL THE CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD (202) 224-3121 TODAY – ASK TO TALK TO YOUR SENATORS. IT WON’T TAKE MORE THAN A COUPLE OF MINUTES.

TELL YOUR SENATORS THAT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES BUDGET NEEDS AN ADDITIONAL
$22 MILLION. URGE THEM TO TALK TO THEIR COLLEAGUES Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Patty Murray
(D-WA) as more than any other members of the Senate, they hold NARA’s future in their collective hands!

URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT A BUDGET FIGURE OF $369.5 MILLION FOR NARA – AN INCREASE OF $22 MILLION OVER THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE’S PROPOSAL.

BACKGROUND
In last week's NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE we reported on the dire predicament confronting the National Archives budget in FY 2007. We reported that there is an operational shortfall of $12 million in the President's proposed budget. On top of that, in a surprise move that took place on the floor of the House of Representatives recently, an ADDITIONAL $8 million was cut from the NARA budget to help pay for a drug interdiction initiative. In spite of the best efforts of Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI), the Chair of the Transportation/Treasury Appropriation Subcommittee that oversees NARA's budget (Knollenberg argued in vain to defeat the proposed amendment to NARA's budget), a majority of the members of the House -- not wanting to appear soft on fighting drugs -- felt obliged to support the amendment.

And now NARA is also dealing with $2 million worth of flood damage at its Washington D.C. Main Archives facility.

Unless the $22 million is added to NARA's base funding by the Senate here is what NARA officials may be compelled to do:
1) REDUCE RESEARCH ROOM HOURS OF OPERATION -- Research rooms throughout the country (including Archives I and II in the District of Columbia and College Park, Maryland) would be closed on evenings and weekends. They would be open only 9 AM to 5 PM Monday - Friday throughout most of the year. That means that the 16% of NARA's patrons who use the archives in the evenings, and for the 7% of users who conduct research on Saturday, will find themselves locked out of NARA's research rooms, permanently.
2) ROTUNDA HOURS REDUCED -- If you are planning a visit to Washington D.C. with family or friends and want to view the documents of American Freedom (the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and
Constitution) that are on display at the Main Archives rotunda, be prepared to stand in even longer lines as the hours of operation would be reduced evenings and weekends.
3) IF YOU ARE A RESEARCHER IN WASHINGTON D.C. -- there will be no more door-to-door shuttle service between Main Archives and College Park -- you will have to use Metro and a taxi cab to get to your destination. Also, expect a raise in the per page photocopying fee in research rooms. Oh yes, one last thing – there may be a charge for reference services.
4) IF YOU CONDUCT RESEARCH IN A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY OR A REGIONAL ARCHIVES FACILITY -- be prepared to work fewer hours each day as research rooms across the county may well be shutting down earlier as well. You also will be paying a higher photo-copying fee.
5) IF YOU EVER HAVE MADE USE OF A COMPILATION OF THE PUBLIC PAPERS OF A PRESIDENT -- BEGINNING NEXT YEAR THE VOLUMES WON'T BE PRODUCED ANY LONGER -- for years NARA has compiled the collected public papers of the president (speeches, transcripts of press events etc.) into hardback volumes. No more.
6) RESEARCH IMPEDED BY NARA EMPLOYEE FURLOUGHS -- Researchers may be further inconvenienced if the National Archives has to balance its books by cutting employee travel and training, by zeroing out funding for overtime and staff bonuses, and by furloughing employees – a very real possibility for some NARA staff if Congress does not adopt a budget on or before 1 October 2006, when the new federal fiscal year begins. If Congress has not agreed to a budget by then, and if the President has not signed a NARA appropriation for FY 2007, Congress will be forced to adopt a Continuing Resolution (CR). NARA will have no alternative but to use in the CR the House recommended appropriation level as the new temporary base for NARA’s operations. Bottom line, NARA cannot absorb a $20 million cut without furloughing some employees.

WHAT CAN BE DONE? IF YOU ACT TODAY, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HELP ENSURE THAT THESE CHANGES ARE NOT IMPLEMENTED!

HERE IS WHAT WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DO:

1) – CALL THE CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD TODAY – (202) 224-3121 – AND ASK TO TALK TO YOUR SENATORS’ OFFICE.

2) – WHEN A STAFFER ANSWERS THE PHONE, TELL THEM YOU ARE A CONSTITUENT AND THAT YOU WANT TO LET THE SENATOR KNOW THAT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES BUDGET NEEDS SOME $22 MILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN THE HOUSE APPROPRIATED.

IF YOUR SENATOR IS A MEMBER OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE (see list
below) URGE THEM TO RESTORE THE $8 MILLION CUT MADE BY THE HOUSE, PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE NHPRC ($7.5 MILLION), PROVIDE $2 MILLION FOR FLOOD REPAIRS, AND FULLY FUND THE ANTICIPATED BUDGET SHORTFALL OF $12 MILLION – RECOMMEND A TOTAL BUDGET OF $369.5 MILLION FOR NARA IN FY 2007.

MEMBERS OF THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
AK - Ted Stevens (R), 202-224-3004
AL - Richard Shelby (R), 202-224-5744
CA - Dianne Feinstein (D), 202-224-3841
CO - Wayne Allard (R), 202-224-5941
HI - Daniel Inouye (D), 202-224-3934
IA - Tom Harkin (D), 202-224-3254
ID - Larry Craig (R), 202-224-2752
IL - Richard Durbin (D), 202-224-2152
KS - Sam Brownback (R), 202-224-6521
KY - Mitch McConnell (R), 202-224-2541
LA - Mary Landrieu (D), 202-224-5824
MD - Barbara Mikulski (D), 202-224-4654
MO - Christopher Bond (R), 202-224-5721, Chairman, Transportation/Treasury
Subcommittee
MS - Thad Cochran (R), 202-224-5054, Chairman, Appropriations Committee MT - Conrad Burns (R), 202-224-2644 ND - Byron Dorgan (D), 202-224-2551 NH - Judd Gregg (R), 202-224-3324 NM - Pete Domenici (R), 202-224-6621 NV - Harry Reid (D), 202-224-3542 OH - Mike DeWine (R), 202-224-2315 PA - Arlen Specter (R), 202-224-4254 SD - Tim Johnson (D), 202-224-5842 TX - Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), 202-224-5922 UT - Robert Bennett (R), 202-224-5444 VT - Patrick Leahy (D), 202-224-4242 WA - Patty Murray (D), 202-224-2621 WI - Herbert Kohl (D), 202-224-5653 WV - Robert Byrd (D), 202-224-3954, Ranking Member, Appropriations Committee

IF YOUR SENATORS ARE NOT ON THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE LIST ABOVE, ASK THEM TO PERSONALLY TALK TO THEIR COLLEAGUES WHO ARE – ESPECIALLY Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Patty Murray (D-WA) --THEY ARE THE KEY MEMBERS WHO WILL FASHION THE NARA BUDGET.

3) – TELL STAFF THAT YOU WANT TO HEAR BACK FROM THE SENATOR WITH NEWS ON WHAT ACTION HE/SHE TOOK TO INSURE A CONTINUED ADEQUATE FUNDING LEVEL FOR THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.

4) – FINALLY, DROP US A ONE-LINE E-MAIL MESSAGE STATING WHAT SENATE OFFICE YOU CONTACTED – SEND YOUR E-MAIL TO: rbcraig@historycoalition.org



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