Congress Passes Omnibus Appropriations Act

December 23, 2020

The FY 2021 appropriations season appears to be coming to a close with the House and Senate passing a 5,593-page Omnibus Appropriations bill which was paired with the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. Despite Congress having reached a bipartisan agreement, President Trump has signaled he may not sign the final combined bill because of objections to elements of the relief package.

The Interior Appropriations bill is a remarkable affirmation of sustained congressional support for historic preservation, including programs that advance equity and a more diverse American story. And it reflects the engaged advocacy of preservationists throughout the nation.

A major highlight is a record level of funding, for the fourth successive year, for the Historic Preservation Fund.

Historic Preservation Fund
FY 2020 - FY 2021
($ in millions)

FY 2020
Enacted

FY 2021
Preservation Request

FY 2021
Admin Request

FY 2021
Omnibus
(Pending Enactment)

State Historic Preservation Officers

$52.675

$61.000

$26.934

$55.675

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

$13.735

$22.000

$5.738

$15.000

African American Civil Rights Grants

$15.500

$20.000

--

$16.750

Civil Rights Grants for All Americans

$2.500

$8.000

--

$3.375

Semiquincentennial Celebration Grants

--

--

--

$10.000

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grants

$10.000

$10.000

$8.000

$10.000

Underrepresented Community Grants

$0.750

$1.000

--

$1.000

Save America Treasures
(SAT) Grants

$16.000

$18.000

--

$25.000

Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants

$7.500

$10.000

--

$7.500

Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Total

$118.660

$150.000

$40.672

$144.300

In addition to record levels of funding for the vitally important work of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, record levels of funding were also achieved for the competitive grant programs that are expanding the reach of preservation to identify and protect the stories of all Americans. African American Civil Rights grants continue a steady increase in funding, and we are gratified by the expansion of this program for the second year to include grants for Civil Rights for All Americans.

The small but impactful Underrepresented Community Grant Program was awarded its highest level of funding. HBCU preservation grants were funded at their authorized level. The venerable Save America’s Treasures program and the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grants again received robust funding. And for the first time, Congress awarded $10 million for grants to recognize the Semiquincentennial Celebration of the Declaration of Independence.

Join us in protecting and restoring places where significant African American history happened.

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