Legislative News - 2020
Read the latest arts news
Late on December 21, the U.S. House and Senate passed a new $900 billion Coronavirus Economic Relief Agreement along with the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Omnibus Appropriations bill to keep the government funded through September 2021. This huge combination bill was passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis.
On Sept. 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) banning federal contractors from conducting training “based on race and sex stereotyping,” as well as training that “portrays certain races as oppressors.” Americans for the Arts strongly opposes this EO and has subsequently signed onto two coalition letters that request President Trump rescind the EO.
A second letter of support for arts and culture in the new COVID-19 relief package has been sent to Congressional Leadership by 204 local Chambers of Commerce in 50 states! This is a substantial increase from a similar May letter, which garnered 140 signatories from 39 states. If your chamber is listed in the final letter, please take a moment to reach out and thank them.
More than 260 artists and creative economy leaders signed on to a relief advocacy letter sent to top leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, including Annette Bening, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Vijay Gupta, Moisés Kaufman, Jeff Koons, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Gabourey Sidibe, Holland Taylor, and Alfre Woodard.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) recently adopted a resolution supporting the arts and culture sector amid the COVID-19 crisis.
On Friday, May 15, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives voted on passage of a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief aid package titled the HEROES Act. While the Republican-led Senate and the White House have indicated they are not interested in passing another COVID-19 relief package yet, there will likely be some key components of this bill that arts advocates would like to see survive a negotiated House-Senate relief compromise package.
Last week, a letter signed by 140 chambers of commerce from 39 states across the country was delivered to Congressional leadership in support of federal relief for the nonprofit arts and cultural community. This letter was generated by a small group of chambers and distributed by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and Americans for the Arts.
On April 8, 2020, Americans for the Arts hosted a webinar titled “How the CARES Act Supports the Arts Sector” to discuss the recent COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress at the end of March. Americans for the Arts Government Affairs staff and valued guest speakers discussed the various pieces of the legislation that pertained to the arts sector.
Late last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed (96-0) the third phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response relief package. This vital piece of legislation includes direct support for both nonprofit cultural organizations and state and local arts and humanities agencies, as well as economic relief provisions for independent contractors, "gig economy" workers and artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy.