Senate Passes FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill
This week the Senate passed a package of 4 appropriations bills (H.R 6147) which includes the Senate FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill. The package largely avoided controversial policy riders and received strong, bipartisan support. This marks the first time the Senate has passed the Interior Appropriations Bill, not through an omnibus package, in nearly 10 years. The bill includes $91.91 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), $3 million above the Senate Appropriations Committee draft, but $5 million below FY18 enacted levels. The bill increased funding for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities preservation program from $5 million to $8 million.
The House passed their
Interior appropriations bill
last month which included $101.41 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, after the House agreed to amendments that restored and increased funding for the HPF. Now members of Congress will appoint a conference committee to work out the differences between the two bills; a compromise bill will need to be approved by both the House and Senate before moving to the President. Lawmakers are further along in the appropriations process as compared to the last several years but still face a September 30th deadline, increasing the possibility of a Continuing Resolution.
Preservation Action will continue to advocate for robust funding for the Historic Preservation Fund and work with conference committee members to ensure the critical increases to the HPF are retained in the final bill.
Thanks to everyone that reached out to their Representative and Senators over the last few weeks in support of the HPF. Continued advocacy from individuals has the biggest impact on lawmakers, stay tuned for more!