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NEH Chair Resigns as Trump Renews Bid to Eliminate Arts, Library Funding

Wednesday, May 24, 2017   (0 Comments)
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By Andrew Albanese, with reporting by John Maher (for Publishers Weekly) --

In a 2018 federal budget “blueprint,” released today, President Trump renewed his bid to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The proposed cuts were largely expected, and follow Trump's initial March 16 budget proposal, which also zeroed out federal funding for the arts and libraries.

That proposal, first floated in January, met with significant resistance both from the public and lawmakers, and in a belated 2017 budget deal (which Trump signed on May 5) those agencies actually received small budget increases for the remainder of fiscal 2017, raising slim hopes that the President might change course and restore funding for 2018. The 2017 budget expires on September 30.

But today’s proposal, which aims to provide “lawmakers and the public with a view of the priorities of the President,” doubles down on efforts to eliminate arts and library funding, as well as support for numerous other key domestic programs, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and a $9 billion cut from the Department of Education (a 13% reduction). As Gary Price notes on Library Journal's Infodocket, "the few dollars that remain in the FY18 budget (in the case of the IMLS, 10% of the budget) are for closing down the agency."

Trump's 2018 budget instead seeks more funds for border security, and a massive $54 billion increase in defense spending. The proposal is the latest step in a complicated legislative process, and a more complete budget blueprint, including tax policy and other key fiscal proposals, is due to be released later this spring....


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