Arts advocate.

Bipartisan Bill Increases Funding for NEA and NEH

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a bipartisan agreement reached by Congress on Sunday that will fund the government through September and increase funds allotted to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities by $1.9 million, Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev of Bloomberg report.

The bill, which will be the first major bipartisan measure advanced by Congress during Trump’s presidency, does not reflect Trump’s spending priorities. It boosts funding for the NEA and the NEH, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Park Service—all agencies the president declared would receive less funding—and does not include money for the Mexican border wall, one of the driving forces of his campaign.

“We’re very happy with it,” the president told Bloomberg News on Monday. He added that he plans to sign the bill as long as it remains “as we discussed.” While the spending package is a far cry from what Trump had proposed in his federal 2018 budget plan, the bill provides an additional $25 million in funds for the military, $1.5 million for border security, and $120 million for the costs of protecting the president and his family.

“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement. “The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison-pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education, and infrastructure.”

On CNN, House Freedom Caucus cofounder Jim Jordan of Ohio said, “I don’t think I’ll be voting for it. I think there will be a lot of conservatives who have problems with the legislation.” Yet House Speaker Paul Ryan approved of the bill. “We have boosted resources for our defense needs without corresponding increases in non-defense spending,” he said in a statement.

While the $1 trillion measure averted the threat of a government shutdown, it still needs to be approved by the House and the Senate. House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey urged its quick approval, calling the compromise “a solid bill that reflects our common values and that will help our nation move forward.” However, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told Reuters that this is just the beginning of the negotiations and that he believes Trump’s “priorities will be reflected much more” in the budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which starts in October.