If Congress follows the president's blueprint, it would spell the end of the National Endowment for the Arts and cut off crucial funding for NPR and PBS.
President Donald Trump's first federal budget plan, released early Thursday, calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provide key grants for nonprofits and artists across the country. The budget, released hours after Trump's oldest daughter, Ivanka, attended a new Broadway musical, would also cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps to fund NPR and PBS.
Though both independent agencies have been targeted for cuts before, this marks the first time a president has called for ending the endowments, which combined have annual budgets of roughly $300 million. Both the NEA and the NEH were established by Congress in 1965 as part of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act.
Endowment leaders responded to the proposed cuts on Thursday with carefully crafted statements -- as federal officials they are not allowed to lobby Congress. (Note: Congress writes the federal budget, so a president's budget plan is essentially a wish list, albeit a highly influential one.)