JANUARY 4, 2019

116th Congress Sworn-in as Partial Government Shutdown Continues

On Thursday, the new 116th Congress was officially sworn-in, beginning a period of divided government with Democrats taking control of the US House. Democrats now control the House 235-199 and Republicans control the Senate 53-47.
The top item on the agenda for the new Congress will be ending the partial government shutdown, which began on December 22nd. Lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement over funding for President Trump's proposed southern border wall, forcing a partial government shutdown. Due to the shutdown several National Parks, historic sites, museums and other NPS sites across the country are either closed or open with limited access. As the shutdown continues there have been increased reports of confusion at National Parks and/or strains on park resources, with limited or no staff to enforce park policy.

After taking control, Democrats in the House passed H.R 21 which would fund most of the remaining appropriations bills through Sep. 30th 2019, including the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. H.R 21 essentially matches the Senate FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill, funding the Historic Preservation Fund at $91.91 million, $5 million below the historic level of funding included in FY18 enacted levels. The bill passed the House, but is unlikely to come up for a vote in the Senate and President Trump has threatened to veto the legislation. 

As lawmakers and the President are still at an impasses over funding for the proposed boarder wall, the shutdown is likely to stretch into it's third week. 
Secretary Zinke Resigns From Department of Interior, Deputy Director Bernhardt Takes Over as Acting Secretary

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernahardt, speaking during Advocacy Week 2017
On Thursday, Ryan Zinke officially stepped down as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Secretary Zinke announced his plans to resign in mid December, amid ongoing ethics investigations. Zinke served as Interior Secretary since March of 2017. Deputy Secretary, David Bernhardt, will take over as acting secretary of the department.

Before being named Deputy Secretary, David Bernhardt served in multiple positions at Interior during the Bush Administration, from 2001-2009, including solicitor. He's previously worked as a lawyer and lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry. Bernhardt is from Colorado, continuing the tradition of the secretary being from the west. Preservation Action  was pleased to have Acting Secretary Bernhardt speak during National Preservation Advocacy Week in 2017.

President Trump has yet to nominate a new secretary of the department of Interior. 
115th Congress Ends Without Action on NPS and ACHP Nominees

The 115th Congress concluded on Tuesday without action from the Senate on President Trump's nominee to lead the National Park Service, David Vela, or the nominee to chair the  Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), Aimee Jorjani. This means that President Trump will either have to renominate Vela and Jorjani or submit new nominees to the 116th Congress.

David Vela is 28 year veteran of the National Park Service, most recently serving as superintendent of Grand Teton National Park. Aimee Jorjani has a strong background in historic preservation and if confirmed would be first. full-time chair of the ACHP. Both David Vela and Aimee Jorjani were approved with bipartisan support by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier in the year.
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 09, 2019.

Full event registration will be available NEXT WEEK. Stay tuned for more information.

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.