Although members of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday passed a resolution designed to extend funding for the government at current levels until Oct. 20, managers of the Smithsonian Institution and other arts agencies continued honing plans for employee furloughs if Gramm-Rudman-Hollings cuts go into effect.

The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings government-wide sequestration -- a 32.5 percent automatic budget cut -- is now scheduled to go into effect Monday. If it does, the Smithsonian expects to close all its Washington museums on Friday, Oct. 5, and Monday, Oct. 15, and every Monday after that. The National Gallery of Art would be closed on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 and future dates to be announced later. The National Endowment for the Humanities would furlough all employees at least two days a week. National Endowment for the Arts staff members were told yesterday that they might not be paid for their Columbus Day holiday and could expect further cutbacks.

The negotiations over the resolution to keep the government money flowing past Monday were also the setting for a small victory by supporters of the NEA.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Jamie Whitten (D-Miss.) had affixed language to the resolution that would add further restrictions on NEA funding by preventing the agency from supporting "any indecent, anti-religious or obscene picture, play or writing."

Interior appropriations subcommittee Chairman Sidney Yates (D-Ill.) led an attack on the proposal, and it was defeated on a voice vote yesterday.

Rep. Silvio Conte (Mass.), the ranking Republican on the committee, chided Whitten for not consulting him about his proposal before the committee meeting, and criticized Whitten's addition as too vague, saying he believed it might be unconstitutional. Others said the addition was unnecessary because the 1990 appropriations bill that would be extended by the resolution already contains language preventing the NEA from funding art that might be deemed obscene.

Yates attacked Whitten's proposal on the grounds that such matters should be addressed not in this context but in the NEA reauthorization bill, which could go to the House floor as soon as tomorrow.

"There are enough problems with this," Yates said of the continuing resolution, which President Bush has said he will veto, "without muddying it up with one of the most intractable and emotional issues facing this Congress."

Whitten in turn said he supported the NEA and was trying to "solve the matter" with his addition. Whitten has not been vocal on the subject of federal funding of controversial art until now, but Hill staffers say they believe he may have been responding to one of his constituents -- the Rev. Donald Wildmon, whose American Family Association has led the assault on the NEA.

"We did quite well," Yates said after the vote. "I was quite surprised myself. I think both of us were successful -- he {Whitten} was successful in stating his position and I was successful in keeping his position out." Yates said he was heartened by the committee vote, seeing it as an sign that some of the fury over the NEA has waned. "I think people are supportive of the NEA," he said. "The question is, How does that support take place?"

Charlotte Murphy, executive director of the National Association of Artists Organizations, said of the vote, "We don't want any defeats at all. It was great." Many government managers are hoping that sequestration will not go into effect, that the continuing resolution will be approved, tiding them over until budget negotiators resolve the current deadlock.

The Kennedy Center is still working on a plan for sequestration, but spokeswoman Laura Longley said yesterday, "To the greatest extent possible in the event of a sequester, the Kennedy Center will be operating normally -- without any impact on the box office or performance functions." Cutbacks could, however, effect trash collection, housekeeping and some visitors tours.

At the National Gallery, "we're really thinking very positively and hoping it won't occur," spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said. "But we've gone as far as to let the staff know what the contingency plans are. The next step would be, of course, to try to inform the public. We haven't taken that step yet." The Smithsonian would save $500,000 for each day it closes its museums. Managers initially believed they would be forced to close several days a week, but spokeswoman Madeleine Jacobs said budget officials have decided that if travel and purchasing costs are eliminated the institution can temporarily meet the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings target with one-day-a-week cuts.

"But if the 32 percent sequester stays in effect for a very long time," she said, "we would have to reevaluate."

Staff writer Dan Morgan contributed to this report.