Update on NEA Funding

Before Election Day hits, here’s a quick update on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts:

  • $2 million increase proposed in both House and Senate budgets – $155 million total.
  • Budget is in Conference Committee. Budget is voted on in sections, not in one big vote.
  • In September, Congress approved Conference Committee reports that fund the Department of Defense, Education Department, Labor Department, and Health and Human Services Department fully through the end of FY19 (Sept 30, 2019).
  • The NEA’s budget is in the Interior Department’s budget.
  • The Interior budget, along with all other budgets, were funded in a stop-gap bill through December 7, seemingly to “punt” to after the election to keep funding for the border wall still possible in a Lame Duck session.
  • Congress will return after the mid-term elections, possibly not until after Thanksgiving, and vote on more budget items during the Lame Duck session.
  • If approved, the $155 million funding level for the NEA represents a $9 million increase since 2015.

Here is a breakdown of all federal arts and culture spending budgets as it stands right now (as of Oct 12, 2018):Source: Arts Action Fund

If you want to see how your Congressmen and Senators have voted on arts issues thus far, visit the Arts Action Fund’s Congressional Report Card*.

*Note: the Arts Action Fund is a PAC and therefore does give ratings / grades on sitting congressional representatives. Arts Wisconsin, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, does not endorse or support candidates or elected officials, and therefore does not, and cannot, endorse the grades given in the Arts Action Fund’s Report Card. However, the Report Card does provide vote records on arts-related legislation.