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NEA and other culture agencies spared the axe

Bipartisan spending Congressional bill even gives a small boost to their budgets

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A bipartisan spending bill that is expected to be passed by the US Congress this week not only preserves but increases funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEA and the NEH are both set to received $150m in 2017, a $2m boost over last year. The Institute of Museum and Library Services will also see a $1m increase in its budget, bringing it to $231m, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will also keep its funding.

The agencies were among 19 independent federal offices facing the axe under President Trump’s proposed budget this year, which aimed to siphon more government spending towards defense at the expense of many popular public programmes. There was widespread criticism of the plan from arts groups as well as from Republican politicians like former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance.

The new Congressional deal avoids a threatened government shutdown by providing funding through the end of the fiscal year on 30 September.