• Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Restores Sequester Cuts to NHPRC for FY 14

    The Senate Financial Services & General Government Subcommittee today passed a FY 14 funding bill that provides $5 million for the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC). NCH had asked for level funding of $4.75 million. However the subcommittee went beyond that amount for FY 14 and restored the $250,000 cut under the sequester in FY 13.The full Appropriations Committee is expected to adopt this funding level when it marks up the bill on July 25.Last week, the House Appropriations Committee rejected zeroing out the NHPRC and adopted an amendment that restored $3 million for FY 14.Thank you to everyone who sent alerts or called their Senators! It obviously made a huge difference!

  • Philip White: The Sequester Hits History

    When we think about the budget mess in Washington, it’s easy to focus on how it affects what’s now and what’s next. But what’s often overlooked is how budget cuts impact the study of the past. Or, how those cuts might shape history for current and future generations.In the past year, I’ve spent many a Saturday morning at the Harry S. Truman Museum and Library in Independence, Mo., merrily panning for research gold sifting through umpteen boxes and folders. Thankfully the museum and the researcher’s reading room/library will not be closing.But as of March 24, Truman’s old white-board home in Independence (which he far preferred to the other White House he lived in, dubbing the latter, “the great white jail”) will be closed on national holidays, Sundays and Mondays. The Noland house across the street, which once belonged to Truman’s cousins, is being shuttered for good. And though visitors can still mosey around the grounds of the family farm in Grandview, Missouri, they’ll no longer be able to tour the house....

  • National Endowment for the Humanities issues public notice on sequestion budget cuts

    WASHINGTON (February 28, 2013) — NEH Chairman Jim Leach today issued the following statement about the implications of sequestration on the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).“On Friday, March 1, nearly all federal agencies will have a portion of their funds reduced via a mechanism known as sequestration. By background, this situation arises from the terms of prior legislation that required Congress and the White House to agree on a balanced deficit reduction plan of a given magnitude. If an agreement could not be reached, an automatic, across-the-board reduction of funds —sequestration— was required to be implemented during this fiscal year. The President was expected to issue the sequestration order by January 2, 2013, but over the New Year’s holiday, Congress approved and the President signed legislation that postponed the automatic reductions until March 1.Preliminary estimates by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) indicate that sequestration will require a 5 percent reduction in funding for NEH during this fiscal year, which commenced last October 1 and ends this September 30th. Concerned for the prospect of sequestration, NEH has put in place since last fall constraints on program commitments and administrative costs. Further uncertainty, however, exists with the looming mid-year budget negotiations.

  • Congress Needs to Lead on the Budget, Not the President

    by Raymond Smock

    Speaker John Boehner in front of the U.S. Capitol in late January. Credit: Flickr/SpeakerBoehner.In the political posturing and finger-pointing taking place regarding the “sequester,” the first victim is the United States Constitution. Congress has ignored its responsibility as a co-equal branch of the government. It is the House and Senate that have the power of the purse, not the president. It is the job of Congress to pass appropriations bills, which the president can either sign or veto. The president does not have the power to pick and choose those budget items he likes or dislikes. The money has to be spent, by law, the way Congress says it should be spent.

  • Park service says budget cuts won’t derail 150th anniversary events at Gettysburg

    GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The National Park Service says federal budget cuts won’t derail the events planned for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary.Bob Kirby, the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, says Friday that an extensive series of special programs will take place as planned this summer, though the budget cuts will have some impacts.Kirby says the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation is also providing some extra support this year....

  • Victor Davis Hanson: American Recessional

    NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His The Savior Generals will appear in the spring from Bloomsbury Books. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.Republicans and Democrats are blaming one another for impending cuts to the defense budget brought about by sequestration. But with serial annual deficits of $1 trillion–plus and an aggregate debt nearing $17 trillion, the United States — like the insolvent Rome and exhausted Great Britain of the past — was bound to reexamine its expensive overseas commitments and strategic profile.

  • GOP Leaders are Playing Chicken with the American Economy

    by Robert Brent Toplin

    The illustrious House leadership of the Republican Party. Credit: Flickr/DonkeyHotey.In recent months the U.S. economy has been gaining strength. “Weekly Jobless Claims Plunge to 5-Year Low,” announced The Huffington Post. “Home Prices Hit a Milestone,” reported The Wall Street Journal. “Consumer Sentiment Rises,” announced the New York Times.Now that progress is endangered. Republicans have been acting like it’s a great time to drive the economy into a storm.

  • Thomas Jefferson's Radical Plan to Avert the Fiscal Cliff

    by Dennis Gaffney

    Those looking for guidance on how to chisel the federal debt today might re-examine how Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican party tackled the issue. Jefferson, who fought personal debt all his days, made the erasure of the federal debt his number one priority after his first election in 1800. He believed debt siphoned money from taxpayers by forcing them to pay interest, giving more funds -- and hence, power -- to bankers, who Jefferson deeply distrusted. The choice for Americans, Jefferson believed, was between “economy and liberty” and “profusion and servitude.”Jefferson understood that debt was necessary to pay for war and to invest in the public good, but he believed that “neither the representatives of a nation, nor the whole nation itself, assembled can validly engage debts beyond what they may pay in their own time....” That was a generation, according to Jefferson, and his debt reduction plan, devised by his Secretary of Treasury Albert Gallatin, was to eliminate the debt he inherited in sixteen years.