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US House Budget Proposal Calls for Elimination of IMLS

US Capitol, image © Wally Gobetz

The US House of Representatives Budget Committee has released the FY 2016 Budget Resolution, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” The resolution provides a blueprint for how appropriations committees may consider FY 2016 federal agency budgets and programs, but it is not binding on the House and Senate appropriations committees and subcommittees as they work to develop agency budgets.

The House Budget Resolution proposes to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In lieu of IMLS, the committee calls for the promotion of state, local, and private funding for museums and libraries. The resolution report notes that “[t]he Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent agency that makes grants to museums and libraries. This is not a core federal responsibility. This function can be funded at the state and local level and augmented significantly by charitable contributions from the private sector.”

The resolution also proposes that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) be more selective in what it prints and thus decrease costs at the agency. The report notes that “[t]he GPO prints thousands of pages of government documents each year—most of which have gained a ubiquitous online presence. This resolution supports greater selectivity in the material GPO prints, allowing users to rely more heavily on increased electronic access to materials.”

ARL opposes the proposal to eliminate IMLS and, once IMLS funding is considered by House and Senate appropriators, ARL will advocate for full funding for the agency. For more details about the proposed budget, see the Budget Resolution and related documents on the House website.