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NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 10, #44; 4 November 2004) by Bruce Craig (editor) email@example.com; and Tim Nolan (contributor) NATIONAL COALITION FOR HISTORY (NCH) Website at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~nch ***************** 1. REPUBLICANS KEEP CONTROL OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS -- THE RAMIFICATIONS FOR HISTORY/ARCHIVES 2. INTELLIGENCE REFORM IN LIMBO 3. BITS AND BITES: Paul Peck Awards; Princeton Fellowship Opportunities; Comments Sought on NARA Proposed Rules 4. ARTICLES OF INTEREST: "Controlled Explosions Threaten World Heritage Site in Iraq" (The Art Newspaper.com); "Museum Asks Ebay to Block Some Sales" (New York Times) 1. REPUBLICANS KEEP CONTROL OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS -- THE RAMIFICATIONS FOR HISTORY/ARCHIVES The Republican Party has retained control of the White House and both chambers of Congress following Tuesday's elections. For the first time since the 1920s the Republican Party has won control of the White House, the Senate, and the House in consecutive elections. Nevertheless, the across-the-board Republican victory is not expected to bring any big changes to archives, history, and humanities programs. In the House, the GOP gained three seats thus retaining its decade long grip on the lower chamber. The Republicans also made moderate gains in the Senate. They now control a total of 55 seats to the Democrats 44 and one Independent. Despite the conciliatory rhetoric expressed by President Bush, who, in his victory speech expressed a desire to heal the nation's deep partisan divide, the name of the game in Congress now is one-party rule and the Republican leadership knows it. Particularly in the House, Republicans are expected to advance a bold agenda especially in terms of tax reform, energy, the environment, and social security. Largely because of the whoping deficit caused by the war in Iraq, the Republican leadership also sees the need to advance plans to reign in the deficit. Undoubtedly, they will be considering new ways to limit or defund social and discretionary programs. Senate Democrats are in retreat, though the larger Republican majority is not close to the 60 seats needed to end a filibuster and hence "control" the legislative agenda of the Senate. Given the swing to the Right, many analysts expect that Democrats will be forming alliances with moderate Republicans to help stem the onslaught of radical Republican initiatives. Democrats are also coping with the ouster of Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) whose narrow defeat leaves a leadership vacuum in the Senate. Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to get the nod from his colleagues to become the new Senate Democratic Minority leader. Since the Democrats were not able to make gains in either house, control of committees will be retained by the Republicans. There will, however, be a few new faces in leadership positions. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) who has a history of support for the arts, is expected to replace Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) as the new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Robert C. Byrd, a great supporter of history programs, is expected to retain his position as Ranking Minority member on the committee. In the House, Representative Ralph Regula (R-OH) is widely expected to become the chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Regula is a moderate Republican who has a good history of bi-partisan relations. It is worth noting that he is an avowed enemy of Congressional earmarks. It is probably too soon to project other key leadership changes though they are expected to take place in several committees including the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. This is the committee of jurisdiction for a number of pending education bills, including Senator Lamar Alexander's "American History and Civics Education Act," legislation that is currently being reworked and modified. The present chair, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) has taken a stronger interest in history-related programs than many counterparts in years past. But Gregg is expected to become chair of the Senate Budget Committee. His likely successor on the education committee is Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) who is considered by Hill insiders to be a strong Republican party "team-player." In future weeks, Republicans and Democrats will both be vying for other key spots on various committees. Congress returns on 16 November in a lame duck session to address outstanding appropriation measures which may be addressed through a massive omnibus bill. With control of the present and future Congress firmly in the hands of Republican lawmakers Hill insiders do not expect major changes in appropriation levels when conferees meet to finalize the remaining budgets for federal agencies for FY 2005. Funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities is expected to remain flat or perhaps experience a slight increase. The Department of Education "Teaching American History" initiative will probably see funding of about $120 million. The National Archives budget line will remain about where it is; funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Administration is expected to be at $5 million with a chance of it being raised to $6.5 million. The lame duck Congress is also likely to address a number of pending legislative measures (see related story below) and several confirmations that the White House would like to see finalized. To that end, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee may well advance the nomination of Allen Weinstein to become Archivist of the United States to the Senate floor. Once his name is advanced out of committee he should be easily confirmed. 2. INTELLIGENCE REFORM IN LIMBO One of the major issues that could be debated during Congress' lame duck session is the Intelligence reform bill (S. 2845). The House and Senate have each passed their own versions of this legislation and currently the measure is being conferenced. Both versions of this bill create a new national intelligence director's post and a National Counterterrorism Center, measures that were recommended by the 9/11 Commission. There remains a huge dispute over how much power the national intelligence director would or should have at the expense of the Pentagon, which now controls about 80% of intelligence spending. Also, the Bush administration is opposed to a Senate amendment that would create an Independent National Security Classification Board, which was designed by its Senate architects to build on and supersede the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB). Bush administration officials argue that aspects of the amendment are unacceptable affronts to executive branch prerogatives. According to an 18 October letter by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua Bolton to House and Senate conferees, "The Administration supports the extension of the Public Interest Declassification Board but opposes section 226 of S. 2845, which would rename the Board as the Independent National Security Classification Board and create a Congressional right to appeal classification decisions made by an executive agency with respect to national security information....authority to make such decisions is clearly vested in the President and his designated subordinates under the Constitution." Clearly, the administration is particularly concerned about the provision that enables Congress to appeal classification decisions by the executive branch to a neutral board. The fate of the Intelligence bill remains in limbo. Some expect that conferees will manage to iron out differences in time for the lame duck session to deal with the measure. Others feel it best not to act hastily and are quietly seeking to postpone action until the next Congress. Former Congressman Tim Roemer, one of the 9/11 Commission members, states that Congress may well "go into a lame-duck session with a dead duck issue." 3. BITS AND BYTES Item # 1 -- Paul Peck Awards: On 28 October 2004, George M. Elsey and Brian P. Lamb were named the 2004 recipients of the National Portrait Gallery's Paul Peck Presidential Awards. The two awards seek to honor individual excellence in presidential "Service" and "Portrayal." Elsey, who served in the Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson administrations, won the award for Service to a President, and Lamb, chairman and CEO of the cable network C-SPAN, won for Portrayal of a President. The winners received $25,000 cash and a specially designed Smithsonian medal at a gala dinner on 28 October 2004. The Paul Peck Presidential Awards were founded in 2002 and are the only award in the United States to celebrate achievement in support of the presidency. Item # 2 -- Princeton Fellowship Opportunities: Princeton University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions invites college and university professors and other professionals with established records of scholarship to apply for research and/or research/teaching appointments for the academic year 2005-06. A PhD or JD is required to apply. Research fellows devote full-time to research while research/teaching fellows spend up to half-time teaching. Fellowships are open to all regardless of citizenship. The deadline for application materials is 1 December 2004, for appointments beginning in September 2005. For more information please visit: http://web.princeton.edu/sites/jmadison . Item #3 -- Comments Sought on NARA Proposed Rules: NARA has published a proposed rule and is seeking comments from Federal agencies and the public on a proposed revision to regulations to provide for the appropriate management and disposition of very short-term temporary e-mail, by allowing agencies to manage these records within the e-mail system. In a separate Federal Register notice, NARA is inviting comment on a related proposed change to General Records Schedule 23. The proposed rule may be found at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-24403.htm (HTML file) or http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/pdf/04-24403.pdf (PDF file). The notice on GRS 23 may be found at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-24501.htm (HTML file); or http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/pdf/04-24501.pdf (PDF file). Comments on both are due on or before 3 January 2005. 4. ARTICLES OF INTEREST Two articles this week, both related to the Iraq war. In "Controlled Explosions Threaten World Heritage Site in Iraq" (The Art Newspaper.com; 27 October 2004) there is a report on the "dismaying situation" caused by the constant seismic activity of U.S. army explosions near Hatra that are causing serious damage to an important ancient site that is on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Tap into: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/article.asp?idart=11637 . In "Museum Asks Ebay to Block Some Sales" (New York Times; 30 October 2004) Roger B. Land, the British Museum's Head of Treasure, has called on Ebay curtail web auctions of items believed to be looted from Iraq's National Museum and archeological sites. Ebay is reluctant to do so without proof that the items qualify as stolen treasure. For the article tap into: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/30/arts/30trea.html . *********************************************************** The National Coalition for History invites you to subscribe to this FREE weekly newsletter! You are also encouraged to redistribute the NCH Washington Updates to colleagues, friends, teachers, students and others who are interested in history and archives issues. A complete backfile of these reports is maintained by H-Net on the NCH's recently updated web page at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~nch . To subscribe to the "NCH Washington Update," send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following text in the body of the message (and only this text) SUBSCRIBE H-NCH firstname lastname, institution. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail message to email@example.com according to the following model SIGNOFF H-NCH. 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