One hundred and fifty members of Congress, including eleven Republicans, have signed a letter asking the Trump administration to increase the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, Sopan Deb of the New York Times reports. The president proposed eliminating the NEA and NEH along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Library and Museum Services in his 2018 federal budget proposal, which was released in March.
Instead of demanding that Trump rethink his decision to defund the federal agencies, representatives are calling for an additional $7 million for the NEA, which would make next year’s budget roughly $155 million. Among the signatories are Representative Ken Calvert, a Republican from California and the House subcommittee chairman who is charged with allocating funds to the cultural endowments, and Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, who also sits on the subcommittee.
“I’m proud to have more Republicans join us in this effort than we’ve ever had in recent years,” Representative Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York and cochair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, said in a statement. “This is a signal loud and clear to the White House that Republicans and Democrats agree these budget cuts would be penny-wise and pound-foolish.”