President Calls for $15 Million Cut to NEA in 2017

Earlier this month, we told you about the President’s proposal for FY2018, including total elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. Now, we want to alert to a proposal that could impact NEA funding retroactively, for this current fiscal year. Today, the White House released its proposal for funding levels under the current FY2017 Continuing Resolution up for renewal later in April. In the proposal, the President has called for a cut of $15 million to both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) (page 6) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

What is a Continuing Resolution?
A Continuing Resolution (CR) is a budget document that authorizes government agencies to operate under the last adopted budgetary limits until further notice. When Congress doesn’t pass a full budget, but the end of a fiscal year is looming, they pass a CR to maintain funding levels through a certain date. Agencies are still operating under FY2016 budget numbers at this time. For the NEA, that means their budget is $148 million as of right now.
What’s the Impact?
In short, a cut of $15 million, down to $133 million total budget for the NEA, would put current NEA grantees and partners on alert. Current grants may be reduced from amounts already awarded, partnerships may have to be put on pause or ended, and future awards could be reduced.
What’s the Process?
As with our previous alert on the proposed FY2018 budget, this proposal is just that, a proposal. Congress ultimately sets spending levels, even for CRs. The current CR expires April 28, so Congress will have to pass another one on or before that date.
What You Can Do
  • Contact your representatives in Washington and voice your support for the arts and the NEA (below).
  • You can share this news with your friends and colleagues.
  • You can donate to the SCAA to help us continue to fight for the arts.

Click below to go to the online message centers for your Representative and Senator:

Senator Lindsey Graham  |  Senator Tim Scott

Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-1)  |  Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-2)  |  Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-3)  |  Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4)  |  Rep. James Clyburn (SC-6)  |  Rep. Tom Rice (SC-7)

Sample Message:

I am writing as your constituent today to voice my support for full funding of the National Endowment for the Arts in the upcoming Continuing Resolution budget legislation. Any cuts to current funding, such as the $15 million cut proposed by President Trump, would result in current grantees across the country, including here in South Carolina, to face uncertainty as they continue to work on projects awarded grant funds in this current fiscal year. 

NEA funding reaches every Congressional district in the country and helps reach over 16,000 communities nationwide. Over $1,000,000 in NEA grant money went directly to South Carolina last year, supporting at least one project in every district. A cut to the NEA’s funding in the CR would negatively impact our great state.

I look forward to monitoring your support of the arts during the upcoming CR work. Thank you for your time.