The White House today released its budget outline, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” which proposes cuts including the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, Playbill reports.
“The proposal now goes to Congress, and once resolved, would go into effect in the new fiscal year beginning October 1,” the report notes.
The report notes that the proposal comes despite a number of efforts to save the programs, including a WhiteHouse.gov petition that attracted more than 100,000 signatures, statements from the Lincoln Center, Actors Equity Association, and Americans for the Arts in support of the programs, and urging from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“The cuts are part of the president’s reported $10.5 trillion spending reduction plan,” the story reports. “In January, The Washington Post examined how cutting the federal funds for the NEA and NEH would contribute to this figure. Both organizations requested $148 million in funds in 2016, accounting for .006 percent (combined) of the $3.9 trillion spent by the U.S. government that fiscal year.”
The report notes that the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. “The two organizations were created to ‘promote progress and scholarship in the humanities and the arts in the United States … in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future,'” the report adds.