CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Despite Trump, NEA Lives to See Another Day as Congress Finalizes 2017 Budget

news.artnet.com: The worst fears of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) came to pass in March, when President Donald Trump announced his intentions to defund both the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in his proposed budget for the federal government.

Like many of Trump’s planned initiatives for his first 100 days in office, however, this plan did not pan out. Under the budget agreement passed by Congress today, NEA and NEH funding will continue, for the time being—and even enjoy a modest increase compared to 2016 levels.

2 comments:

Simone Schneeberg said...

Yay! I think it is really messed up, but it often isn't until we face extreme opposition that we truly stand up for what we believe in and what we think is important. We made a lot of noise, so people listened. Schumer said the "Democrats clearly laid out [their] principles" and fought for what they saw was right. The cynic in me, however, believes people listened and people fought because they had to to look good. It's easier to compromise on issues when people are more generally content and not paying as close attention. There's no one to chew you out for sacrificing principle when people don't care enough to pay attention because nothing is on fire. Right now things are on fire and everyone is watching that fire screaming at the people who can put it out to put it out (the fire might be a different thing in different people's eyes but I do not doubt that nearly everyone sees a fire). To compromise and sacrifice here would be similar to turning down the heat, letting the flames go on, and being no where close to putting out the fire. While the cynic in me believes this, I'm happy with the results so I'm not sure how much I care right now about the reasons...is that a bad thing?

Sarah Boyle said...

Donald Trump is not a popular president. He wasn’t when he was elected, and he isn’t gaining popularity right now. It doesn’t do the Republicans any favors to go out of their way to do the crazy things he says (which sometimes he sticks with, and sometimes he does the exact opposite, with no explanations or embarrassment). I wasn’t sure about Planned Parenthood’s safety because that gets into a major social issue debate. I was hoping that, at the end of the day, the Smithsonian and at least some art funding was going to be ok. It is something that works on an everyday level, it’s not an invisible budget effect. And, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much of the budget anyway. I’m sure some lawmakers would look good to their constituents for making deep cuts, but I also believe that many lawmakers need some simple bills that make everyone happy for their own popularity. And I like to think that Congress actually understands how the government works and the impact of these various agencies better than Trump, which isn’t hard, and means they were never going to carry out Trump’s full, absurdly long list of agencies to cut.