Omnibus Spending Bill, FY '09 Passes: Good News for History

Thu 12 2009

Oh March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the the omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget. The bill provides funding for federal agencies left unfunded by the previous Congress, and it's good news for history, history education, and historians.

Who benefits? The current Congress rejected massive cuts proposed under President Bush—cuts that would have eliminated the national Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and decreased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Teaching American History Grants (TAH), and various historic preservation efforts.

Instead, NHPRC will receive its highest level of funding in five years, and the NEH and TAH budgets are among those receiving increased funding. For TAH—the Bush administration had proposed cutting more than 50 percent of the program budget; new allocations raise the funding level from $117.9 million to $118.9 million.

And, among exciting allocation news: for the first time, National History Day is receiving federal support to the tune of $500,000.

National Coalition for History Washington Update for March 12, 2009, gives a comprehensive summary of which history and humanities focused agencies get what.

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.