The SHA’s Government Affairs Committee works with our consultant, Cultural Heritage Partners, to educate Congress and federal agencies on the benefit and value of historical archaeology. The Committee advises the SHA President and Board when issues appear that could impact our field.
The SHA has joined other organizations in forming the Coalition for American Heritage. SHA members can track federal legislation of interest, view the Coalition’s positions and talking points, and use the Coalition’s website to reach their Congressional Representatives and Senators. We encourage members to subscribe to the Coalition in order to receive alerts on legislation and actions.
President Trump’s Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.
On March 13th, President Trump signed an executive order that will affect all of the federal agencies in the executive branch of government. This includes agencies such as the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency, just to mention a few.
As noted in the executive order, this order “is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.”
The order goes on to say that the purpose of this plan is to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of federal agencies, including, as appropriate, to eliminate or reorganize unnecessary or redundant federal agencies.” The head of each executive branch agency is to send the Director of OMB, within 180 days of the order, a proposed plan “to reorganize the agency, if appropriate, in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of that agency.”
Here is a link to the complete executive order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/13/presidential-executive-order-comprehensive-plan-reorganizing-executive
The SHA, as a member of the Coalition for American Heritage, will be analyzing the potential impacts of this executive order, and will be tracking the implementation of this order by agencies in the executive branch. Clearly, this order could impact agencies that oversee the protection and preservation of historical archaeological resources, such as the Department of the Interior and all of the land managing agencies within Interior.