Trump Backs Down On Scrapping National Endowment for the Arts – For Now

Trump Unable To Scrap NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the US, which was under threat of being axed by Donald Trump, in his first Federal Government budget has been spared by Congress. Trump had announced his intentions to defund both the NEA and the NEH.

Artist Jasper Johns expressed outrage at the NEA scrapping

The Trump administration’s intention to cut the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in its 100-day plan was extremely unpopular with outspoken advocates for the organisation such as Jasper Johns, Marina Abramović, and Julian Schnabel, all expressing their outrage.

The NEA was created in 1965 as a filigree on the Great Society. In 1995, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and said the NEA was a frill the federal government should be shorn off. Twenty-two years later, it has survived, having mastered adaptive evolution, government-style: It defines art democratically and circularly. Trump is the first president to make this proposal, according to a report by The New York Times.

Trump’s initiatives for his first 100 days in office has been impaired by the many checks and balances in place by the US system. Congress announced funding will continue, with a modest increase compared to the 2016 budget. The bipartisan agreement has proposed a $1 trillion budget to keep the government running until the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations also released a summary of the 2017 budget, which includes increases for the arts and culture sector. The budget allocates $150 million for the NEA and NEH, marking a $2 million increase from 2016.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, also on Trump’s hit list, will see a small increase in its annual funding, from $230 million to $231 million. While funding for the Smithsonian Institution was not on the chopping block, its 2017 budget will also increase, to $863 million, up $23 million from last year. Not all of these funding increases outpaced the annual rate of inflation, which stood at 2.4% in March, according to the Labor Department.

The budget will be officially approved by lawmakers by 5 May.


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