In a $4.8-trillion budget proposal released
Monday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration outlined a plan to implement steep cuts to social welfare, student aid, and other familiar targets while boosting defense spending. Among the proposed cuts are the budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), both of which have been targets every year
of Trump’s presidency.
The proposed budget places the NEA and NEH under a section titled “Stopping Wasteful and Unnecessary Spending,” in a subsection focused on “Eliminating Programs with No Proper Federal Role,” and states that “activities funded by NEA/NEH are not considered core Federal responsibilities.” Also included in the proposal are cuts to State Department programs centered on cultural engagements abroad, as well as the elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Budget proposals are often largely ceremonial, used to signify an administration’s political beliefs. In years past, Congress has rejected Trump’s domestic cuts, and last year actually increased
funding for the NEA by $7.25 million.
Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with the new proposal. Representative John Yarmuth, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said in a statement
that the plan targets “programs that help Americans make ends meet — all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.” Nancy Pelosi aired similar complaints, describing the budget in a statement
as “savage multi-billion-dollar cuts.”
Monica Crowley, the Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury, defended the Trump administration’s proposal on Fox Business on Monday, saying the cuts are meant to reign in government spending “before it threatens the economic prosperity that we are all enjoying.” Despite President Trump’s years-long focus on curtailing domestic programs, the federal deficit has grown by $2.8 trillion during his time in office.