Today, Sen. Charles E. Grassley was named to the conference committee that will conduct the final negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Economic Recovery legislation. There are only 10 conferees in all, five from the Senate, five from the House.
Because you are represented by Sen. Charles E. Grassley in Congress you have an amplified voice in carrying the pro-arts message on behalf of arts advocates across the country. The conference committee formally began working today and they hope to finish their work by Friday, February 13, 2009. Will you please take two minutes by Thursday to contact your Senator and make the following pro-arts request:
Remove the Coburn Amendment prohibition on museums, theaters and art centers. The Senate bill includes a provision that would specifically ban any economic recovery spending on these types of arts groups. Conversely, the House bill does not prohibit museums, theaters, or art centers from receiving economic recovery funds. Please urge your Senator to remove the Senate's exclusionary language on arts groups from the final conference bill.
Keep the $50 million in funding for arts jobs. The House bill provides $50 million in economic recovery funds for arts jobs through grants made by the National Endowment for the Arts. Unfortunately, the Senate version of the bill does not include any similar funds. Please urge your Senator to support the House funding provision.
Further details and talking points are supplied through The Americans for the Arts' E-Advocacy Center. Thank you for supporting the arts.