The House and Senate returned to work on Monday following a two-week break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Greeting legislators are a number of time-sensitive issues that must be addressed before year's end.
First, the legislation that ended the government shutdown in August mandates that the committee of House and Senate members charged with negotiating a framework for a formal budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 reach such an agreement by December 15.
Further, unless Congress acts, there are more than 50 provisions within the tax code that are set to expire on January 1. While these provisions do not have a direct impact on the arts, the ability of Congress to negotiate a path that allows for the extension of these provisions will speak volumes about the productivity we can expect from the legislative branch in 2014. I will post an update following the budget announcement on the
In other news, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) budget, announced last month that he was stepping down from his post to assume the same position on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. Replacing Simpson is Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA). Calvert represents the 42nd congressional district in California, an area east and south of Los Angeles. Read Chairman Calvert's biography.
While the loss of Chairman Simpson is significant, as he was a great supporter of the NEA and NASAA, we are already working to build a relationship with the new chair, and look forward to continuing a positive and productive relationship with the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.