• Urge Congress to Reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund

    October 19, 2023

    The authorization to fund the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) expired at the end of September 2023 after Congress did not act before the deadline.

    The HPF has historically been authorized at $150 million annually, an amount that we are working to increase. This authorization sets the amount Congress is approved to appropriate for the HPF each year.

    We need your help! Your voice is needed to urge Congress to reauthorize the HPF and support the important work of the preservation movement to preserve the full history of our nation and the many important stories that contribute to the American experience.

    Urge Congress to support efforts to reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).

    The HPF has been a steadfast guardian of our historic treasures for over four decades, enabling communities to protect and celebrate the places that define who we are. The HPF supports State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and several critical competitive grant programs.

  • The Work Ahead to Fund and Reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund

    September 27, 2023

    The hyperpartisan, divided Congress is running up against a sharp deadline to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2024, which officially begins on October 1.

    The Democrat-controlled Senate passed all 12 of their appropriations bills well ahead of schedule in July with general bipartisan cooperation and support. However, the Republican-controlled House has made little progress advancing their versions of annual spending bills. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is working to unify the factions of the Republican caucus to vote as a bloc to pass a continuing resolution (CR), which would avoid a government shutdown. There have been 15 government shutdowns since 1990, the longest in 2019 which lasted 35 days.

    The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) is funded through the Interior Appropriations bill, which is under the jurisdiction of tandem subcommittees in the House and Senate. The challenges of the divided Congress are evident in the differences in the bills.

    The House included $175.4 million for the HPF and has restricted any Congressionally Directed Spending (formerly known as earmarks). The Senate included $195.166 million, which does include Congressionally Directed Spending, as well as a one-year extension of the authorization for the HPF. The Senate bill has passed a full Senate vote, but the House-version has only passed committee, not by the full chamber. The differences in these bills will have to be reconciled before final passage into law.

    The HPF’s authorization will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act does not yet have a companion bill in the Senate.

    The National Trust’s government relations team has worked diligently with national partners and congressional offices to avoid a lapse in authorization for the program. The one-year extension included in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill is the most likely pathway.

  • Act Now to Protect the Historic Preservation Fund

    August 11, 2023

    Your voice matters in preserving our nation's rich heritage and cultural identity. The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) has been a steadfast guardian of our historic treasures for over four decades, enabling communities to protect and celebrate the places that define who we are. The HPF supports State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and several critical competitive grant programs.

    Authorization for the HPF is set to expire at the end of September 2023. We need your help to secure federal support to ensure this vital preservation work continues through the HPF. Act today to send a letter to your member of Congress urging them to support the bipartisan Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3350).

    This bill would increase the HPF’s authorization from $150 to $250 million annually and would extend the program’s authorization for another 10 years.

    In these ways, the Historic Preservation Reauthorization Act would continue federal support for preservation activities and offer greater financial security to states, Tribes, and communities as they work to preserve our past. If enacted, this legislation would represent the first increase in the HPF’s authorized funding level since its inception in 1976 and provide much-needed updates to the program.

    Urge your member of the House of Representatives to support and co-sponsor the Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3350).

  • House Appropriators Proposed Spending Cuts to Historic Preservation

    July 26, 2023

    House GOP appropriators released their Interior-Environment spending bill for FY 2024 on July 13 that would slash overall spending by 35 percent, yielding a nearly 23 percent cut to the Department of Interior from FY 2023 enacted levels.

    The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) also suffered a significant reduction of 14 percent from FY 2023 enacted levels from $204.5 million to $174.5 million.

    It’s important to note that most of that reduction is represented by an elimination of Congressionally Directed Spending, or earmarks, from the HPF budget line and that most programs within the HPF are level funded.

    The full House Appropriations Committee passed this bill on July 19, and it will soon head to the House floor for a full vote in that chamber.

    Attention now turns to the Senate to release its version of the FY 2024 Interior spending bill.

    We anticipate a higher spending level for the HPF out of the Senate and will keep the preservation community apprised of key opportunities to advocate for strong funding for historic preservation priorities.

All 4 updates

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