DECEMBER 07, 2018

Congress Passes 2 Week Continuing Resolution, Sending to President Trump's Desk

This week the House and Senate passed a 2 week continuing resolution (CR) by voice vote, funding the government through December 21st. President Trump will need to sign the legislation by today to avoid a partial government shutdown. The primary point of contention in the negotiations has been over funding levels for the proposed wall along the southern border. Additionally,  Congress was originally expected to depart for the holidays on December 14th, but the CR means Congress could be here at least until Dec. 21st. 

The CR will provide more time for congressional leaders and the President to work out differences on the remaining appropriations bill, including the Interior Appropriations bill, which funds the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). Currently the HPF is funded at $96.91 million, The House passed FY19 Interior Appropriations bill called for $101.41 million for the 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.
Advocates Continue Push to Pass Restore Our Parks Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization

Advocates are continuing to push Congress to pass legislation to address the deferred maintainence backlog at the National Park Service and reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Both bills could gain traction during the lame-duck session as part of end of a year public lands package. 

The Restore Our Parks Act ( H.R 6510, S. 3172) has significant bipartisan support from Congress and the administration. Despite the strong support, getting the legislation passed this session could be difficult due to budget constraints requiring the measures' cost to be offset. Currently there are 227 cosponsors in the House and 36 cosponsors in the Senate. The Restore Our Parks Act  would address the deferred maintenance backlog at NPS, an estimated 47% of which is attributed to historic resources, by creating a dedicated fund. Addressing the $11.6 billion backlog would also have a huge economic impact, a study released this week estimated that it would create or support over 100,000 jobs. Urge your members of Congress to support the Restore Our Parks Act and if they haven't already, cosponsor H.R 6510 and S. 3172 today!

Advocates are also pushing for the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which lapsed on September 30th. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate say they are close to an agreement on permanent reauthorization, which could be included in an end of the year public lands package. T he Senate bill also called for full funding for the LWCF, but that may be difficult to achieve in the lame-duck session. Last week, the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), alongside bipartian colleagues held a rally calling on Congress to pass full and permanent funding for the LWCF. Reauthorization of this important program is urgently needed. Take action to save the LWCF today!
New Members of the National Park Service Advisory Board Identified

New members of the National Park Service Advisory Board were set to meet this week, but the session was postponed as the federal government observed the passing of former President George H.W Bush. The meeting of the 11 member advisory board would be the first since 9 members resigned in protest in January, citing frustration with the Administration's unwillingness to meet with them.

The board has been an institution since 1935 and describes itself as "citizen advisers chartered by Congress to help the National Park Service." The Advisory Board advises the administration on issues related to the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act and the designation of national historic and natural landmarks. Earlier this year, Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, expressed wanting to expand the scope of the board to also include wildlife conservation and sporting issues.

In addition to some members with a background in National Parks and historic preservation, the new board also includes members from a variety of backgrounds including a winemaker, the head of a beer distributor, a psychologist, and a doctor. The new NPS Advisory Board have received criticism for several members being from seemingly unrelated backgrounds, and for a lack of racial and ethnic diversity among the board. You can learn more about the new board members, by checking out their biographies on the National Park Service Advisory Board website
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.

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.