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On October 11, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed HR4578, the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill for FY-2001. Flanked at the Rose Garden signing by National Endowment for the Arts’s (NEA) Chairman, Bill Ivey, and National Endowment for the Humanities’s (NEH) Bill Ferris, the President hailed the bill as ” a truly historic achievementachieved in genuinebipartisan spirit to create permanent basis for preserving our natural heritage and advancing common artistic cultural values.”

This marks the first time in five years that the NEA budget will be raised. The budget increases are as follows: NEA $7 million, NEH $5 million, Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) $600,000. As a cover for the House GOP leaders, the NEA is shown to be receiving $98 million with a separate line carrying $7 million for Challenge America, an NEA initiative focused on rural and underserved Americans. NEA will administer the additional funds earmarked for Challenge America.