For the third time in as many years, the White House has proposed a federal budget that would shutter the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which supports PBS and NPR — and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Like last year, the plan provides small appropriations for each agency to facilitate their orderly demise.
The cuts total $897 million of the $4.7 trillion 2020 spending plan.
“Most of the eliminations and reductions in this volume reflect a continuation of policies proposed in the 2018 and 2019 President’s Budgets that have not yet been enacted by the Congress and highlight the Administration’s efforts to eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending,” according to the budget document, which was released Monday. The White House released initial budget figures March 11.
President Trump called for eliminating these agencies in his first two budget plans, but the Republican-led Congress funded them both times, with the NEA, NEH and IMLS each seeing small increases in 2019.
Like last year’s proposal, the 2020 budget provides $29 million for the NEA and $38 million for the NEH, both funded at $155 million this year. The CBP would receive $30 million, down from $465 million, and the IMLS would receive $23 million, a $219 million cut.
Responding to the 2020 proposal, several agency leaders emphasized the bipartisan support they receive from Congress.
“For a modest investment of about $1.35 per citizen per year, public television provides school readiness for children, support for teachers and caregivers, public safety communications and lifelong learning through high-quality content,” PBS president and chief executive Paula Kerger said in a statement.
Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the NEH, said the independent agency continues “normal operations” as its waits for congressional action on its 2020 appropriation.
“Since its creation in 1965, NEH has established a significant record of achievement through its grantmaking programs,” Peede said in a statement. “Over these five decades, NEH has awarded more than $5.7 billion for humanities projects through more than 65,000 grants. That public investment has led to the creation of books, films, and museum exhibits, and to ensuring the preservation of significant cultural resources around the country.”