11 House Republicans Come Out in Favor of the National Endowment for the Arts, Opposing Trump

Even in a strongly conservative House of Representatives, there is support to be found for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In a budget proposal put forth in March that included increases in military spending and stark cuts to various social programs, President Donald Trump pledged to zero out funding for the NEA along with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and other agencies. But he’s getting pushback from quarters where he might have unexpected unwavering support.

A letter signed by 11 House Republicans urges Ken Calvert and Betty McCollum, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, to continue funding the NEA.

They propose a budget of $155 million in fiscal year 2018, a slight increase over the $147.9 million that was allocated in 2016.

The Republican signatories are Leonard Lance (Co-Chair of the Arts Caucus with Louise M. Slaughter); Steve Stivers (Ohio), David McKinley (West Virginia), John Katko (New York), Elise Stefanik (New York), Dan Donovan (New York), Barbara Comstock (Virginia); Ryan Costello (Pennsylvania); Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania), John Faso (New York), and Mike Turner (Ohio).

“Federal investment in the arts provides all Americans with expanded opportunities to engage with the arts in each state and district,” the letter says. “The NEA reached its peak funding at $176 million in [fiscal year] 92, and has never fully recovered from a 40 percent budget cut in [fiscal year] 96.”

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Chris Alexakisart, government