Today, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation's natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of members of Congress this year.
The good news is that this proposal counters and fully rejects the Administration's call for termination of our nation's cultural agencies that arts advocates have been fighting against since March when the Administration budget proposal was initially released.
This subcommittee action is even more relevant since this is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year's funding cycle. It is a clear endorsement acknowledging the importance of the work of our nation's cultural agencies. But there is still more to come.
Next week, the full House Appropriations committee will likely meet to consider the bill. Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) stated in today's meeting that he "strongly supports" the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Following the House appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations committee may advance their own proposal this fall. Funding for key arts education programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are being considered in a separate appropriations bill.
Take two minutes now to urge your congressional members to pass a budget that invests in our nation and supports access to the arts in America for all.