After a great deal of bluster and promises to eliminate federal funding for the arts and public broadcasting, Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that actually increases funding for the threatened programs last week.
In February, Trump released a proposed budget that threatened to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s budget to the bone, reducing the federal contribution to the organization from $445 million down to just $15 million. However, in the spending measure passed on Friday, funding for the CPB will remain at $465 million — the same level as past years.
Arts funding is also a perennial favorite for cost-conscious Republicans, with President Trump going so far in February as to suggest that his goal was to shut the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities down by choking off their funding.
However, the Omnibus bill passed on Friday increases federal funding in the arena. The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see funding climb to $152.8 million each — three million more than was apportioned last year.
President Trump expressed his dismay with the bill, which ran for more than 2000 pages and was introduced just days before passage, leaving elected representatives little time to read the contents.
“There are a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill, there are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill, but we were in a sense forced if we want to build our military,” Trump said in a press conference on Friday.
photo credit: Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley