NOVEMBER 30, 2018

Midterm Elections Bring Significant Changes to Congress

Congress is back for the lame duck session following the midterm elections and Thanksgiving holiday. The results of the midterm elections bring significant changes as we start a new Congress in January. After the Mississippi Senate runoff election and 2 remaining House races were called just this week, we know Democrats will take control the House with a 235-200 majority and Republicans will retain control of the Senate with a 53-47 majority. 

Democrats taking control of the House means changes in House leadership and changes to key committees, important to historic preservation priorities. While much remains to be seen, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the favorite to become Speaker of the House, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)  is expected to be Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is expected to Chair the House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is expected to Chair the House Appropriations Committee. Changes in committee membership in both the House and Senate will be determined in the coming weeks.

The election results will also bring more than 100 new members of Congress. It is critical for advocates to engage with these new members and begin educating members on preservation policies and programs. Through Preservation Action's Congressional Candidate Survey, conducted earlier this year, we've started that process and look forward to building on that. Take a look at the survey results highlighting those newly elected members of Congress.
Congress Starts Lame Duck Session, Several Legislative Items Important to Preservation Could be Considered

This week, Congress returned to Washington for the start of the lame duck session. It is unsure how long the lame duck session will last, but several important agenda items could impact preservation priorities. One of the most pressing is passing the remaining FY19 appropriations bills, including the Interior Appropriations bill, before the current continuing resolution expires next Friday on December 7th. The House passed Interior Appropriations bill called for $101.41 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), while the Senate bill included $91.91 million. 

Urge your members of Congress to support the HPF funding levels approved in the House passed FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3221 and ask to be connected to your Representative or Senators' office. Explain the HPF is funded through oil and gas lease revenue, not tax payer dollars and the HPF funds the work of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and critically important grant programs that help support preservation projects across the country, including in their district/state.

Legislators are also considering a year-end tax bill. Supporters of the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act (HTCEA) see an opportunity to include the HTCEA in a final draft of a year-end tax bill. The HTCEA would eliminate the basis adjustment requirement for HTC transactions, restoring some of the value lost by the requirement that the credit be taken over 5 years. The tax and oversight package released this week does not include the provision, but changes could still be made. Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the HTCEA (H.R 6081, S. 3058) and ask legislators to include the bill in year-end tax legislation. Learn more and take action!
The Nominee to Head the National Park Service Approved by Senate Committee

This week the Senate and Energy Natural Resources Committee approved    President Trump's nominee to lead the National Park Service, David Vela, by voice  vote. The nomination now moves to be considered by the full Senate. The Senate faces a difficult timeline to approve several nominations by the end of the lame-duck session. This includes  the nominee for Chair of the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, Aimee Jorjani, who was recommended favorably by Senate committee in May.

David Vela, a 28 year veteran of the National Park Service, started his career at the San Antonio Missions Historical Park. His nomination received praise from former Park Service Directors Bob Stanton and the most recent Park Service Director, Jon Jarvis. The National Park Service has been without a permanent director since January of 2017. Currently Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith is serving as acting director.
Save the Date! National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week Returns March 12-14th

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaking at last year's National Preservation Advocacy Week.
Preservation Action along with the 
National Conference of Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) is excited to host the 2018 National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week from March 12-14 at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Washington, DC.
We Need Your Voice!  

One of the most effective ways of sharing information with Congress is through direct meetings, and Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on opinion leaders and policy makers. This is especially important as a new Congress will be sworn-in in January. With more than 100 new members of Congress coming to Washington, educating members on historic preservation issues will be critical. Together with a cohesive message in support of preservation-positive legislation we can ensure a strong future for the federal historic preservation program.

Make Your Hotel Reservations TODAY!

Take advantage of the special $274/night rate at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. Make your reservations by calling 1-877-866-3070 and use event code "NCSHPO March 2019" or visit this online portal. Th e cut-off date for this rate is  February 11, 2019.

Full event registration will be available in early January. Stay tuned for more information.
Thanks for a Great Preservation Action Foundation Auction!
We would like to thank everyone who participated in Preservation Action Foundation's annual benefit auction. Both the live auction in San Francisco at the California Historical Society and our online silent auction, which concluded last week were a great success. Thanks to your help we helped raise critical funds for preservation advocacy and education efforts. We especially want to thank our many donors, who helped us put together fantastic and unique auction items, and our sponsors who helped make it all possible.

Gold Rush: PAF Benefit Auction Sponsors

A. Roy Smith
Retail Development Strategies LLC
Marsh Davis
Bruce and Jill MacDougal

We're already looking forward to next year's auction at the Past Forward conference in Denver! Hope to see you there.

Preservation Action
2020 Pennsylvania Ave NW #313
Washington, DC 20006
p. 202-463-0970

Preservation Action is the only national  non-profit dedicated exclusively to lobbying for the best preservation policies at the federal level. We seek to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of government through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training.