Democrats have saved arts funding, albeit for now. Yet Trump and Republicans still have their heart set on de-funding the arts and the CPB to boost national defense.
Before Donald Trump entered the White House, his transition team expressed their plans to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Top media outlets, including NPR and Media Matters, heavily criticized the move. According to them, the US would lose an effective national teaching tool. It would also compromise the country’s civil defense and emergency alert system. Democrats may have “saved the day” for the arts, however, albeit temporarily.
To keep the government funded for the current fiscal year, Democrats made several moves to save the arts from Donald Trump’s cuts. They added provisions to fund PBS, NPR, the CPB, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEH). The agencies have been spared from cuts until September 2017. President Donald Trump had planned to defund these organizations, or make “drastic cuts,” to boost spending on Homeland Security and the Department Defense.
The spending bill on the surface appears more a temporary reprieve, however. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) the House Freedom Caucus told CNN,
On May 22, Trump will introduce his own proposal for the federal budget. The budget may include reversals for arts-related agencies, climate change, and passenger rail service funding. Trump has vowed to make “drastic changes” to funding that go to these agencies.
Speaking to The Independent about possible upcoming cuts, Michael Montgomery, a Detroit-based consultant, said,
“The budget cuts serve as] warning shot…to NEA, NEH, CBP and their grantees that they should be more sensitive to the political and cultural sensitivities the broader Trump constituency or be prepared to suffer the budgetary consequences.”
As writing, the CPB hasn’t issued any comment over the temporary reprieve. Earlier this year, they warned that any cuts would have devastating effects on the public.