FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Research and Communications Associate
P: 202-638-0320 x115
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017—This week, the respective U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittees responsible for the bills to fund the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) approved funding levels that would allow the three institutions to remain operational going forward.
This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up the appropriations bill for the CPB and approved a full, advanced appropriation of $445 million for Fiscal Year 2020. Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies unanimously approved $145 million in funding for the NEA and NEH each—a $5 million cut from Fiscal Year 2017 funding levels. However, the proposed appropriations are significantly higher than the funding levels in the White House’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The administration’s proposed $29 million for the NEA, $42 million for the NEH, and $30 million for the CPB would have begun the process of eliminating the three institutions.
“Despite needless proposed cuts to the NEA and NEH budgets, the actions of the House subcommittees send a message that the NEA, NEH, and CPB are vital to our country’s economy,” said Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) President Paul E. Almeida. “The committees listened to our unions and their members when they told Congress that federal arts funding supports family-sustaining jobs in all 50 states. We remain united in seeing to it that at the end of the appropriations process the NEA, NEH, and CPB are fully funded.”
In March, President Donald Trump came out with his “skinny budget,” which proposed eliminating the NEA, NEH, and CPB. DPE and its 12 arts and entertainment affiliate unions responded to the proposed budget by urging Congress to fully fund all three agencies. The presidents of DPE’s arts and entertainment unions along with President Almeida sent a letter to members of Congress in April emphasizing the middle-class jobs in smaller, rural communities supported by federal arts funding. The unions followed up on the April letter with a letter that included a diverse group of employers—ranging from the Motion Picture Association of America to the Tulsa Ballet—notifying Congress that private funds alone would not make up for the loss of the three institutions and that they must be fully funded.
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 23 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.