Congress readies bill to increase NEA/NEH funding

Congress readies bill to increase NEA/NEH funding

Congressional leaders have rejected the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate money for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to US news reports.

The spending bill that Congress is expected to vote on this week is said to include $150m for each body, a $2m increase on last year.

Trump had proposed cutting all federal money for the organisations, causing a wave of protest, including from PEN America. A petition from the freedom of expression body, attracting signatures from the likes of Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, had warned: "Eliminating these vital agencies would lessen America's stature as a haven for free thinkers and a global leader in humanity's shared quest for knowledge. The Trump budget – if enacted – would erase federal funding for the arts and humanities, depriving artists and scholars of crucial support for the work that fuels America's innovation and creativity, and hindering efforts to allow all Americans to enjoy and participate in our vibrant national culture."