“Donald J. Trump has become the first president to formally propose eliminating federal programs for the arts and humanities,” write Michael Cooper and Sopan Deb in Friday’s (3/17) New York Times. “But even with one-party control in Washington, the fates of the arts endowment and the National Endowment for the Humanities are far from sealed. Several key Republican lawmakers are expressing support for the programs…. Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia signed their names last month to a letter urging continued support for the endowments, which together get $300 million a year…. The arts endowment now sends grants to every Congressional district in the nation: In 2016, the agency said, it recommended 2,400 grants in 16,000 communities. That could make it harder for members of Congress to kill it, since doing so would cost their districts money.… Representative Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican who is co-chairman of the Congressional Arts Caucus, said that as he tries to marshal support for the arts endowment among his colleagues, he is focusing on the jobs it supports not just in the arts sector but in tourism, restaurants and other fields as well.” Said Lance, “There is a tremendous multiplier effect… This brings in revenue to the government.”

Posted March 20, 2017