New White House Budget Proposes NEA Elimination

February 12, 2018
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 18:04

This morning the Trump administration delivered its budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2019. A non-binding document, the proposal, titled “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,” sets forth President Trump’s priorities as Congress prepares to consider spending bills for the next fiscal year. As expected, the administration proposes closing the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and recommends only $29 million to support that specific effort. Other agencies important to the arts, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are proposed for elimination as well.

This is the first, not the final, step in the FY2019 appropriations process. The President’s request outlines his administration’s policy priorities. However, Congress holds the constitutional authority to appropriate funds to federal agencies.

While we are disappointed that the administration has chosen to once again propose eliminating the NEA, we continue to enjoy working closely with our excellent partners at the agency. Furthermore, we are grateful that members of Congress from both parties strongly rejected the President’s call for termination last year. NASAA will work with them in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that the NEA and the invaluable programs it supports— including the federal-state partnership—continue to thrive.

A reminder about fiscal years: Recall that state Partnership Agreement funds from the NEA are typically committed in March and used in the following state fiscal year. So today’s proposal to eliminate the NEA in federal FY2019 would affect most states’ FY2020 activities.

As events unfold, NASAA will keep you up to date. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.