What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : Funding for National Endowments of the Arts and/or Humanities : (H.R. 1) On an amendment eliminating $20.6 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts (which provides federal funding for things such as musical performances and theater). This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment eliminating $20.6 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts (which provides federal funding for things such as musical performances and theater). This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 68     Feb 17, 2011
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) eliminating $20.6 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts (which provides federal funding for things such as musical performances and theater), or “NEA.” This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Walberg urged support for his amendment: “Though some would call for the full defunding of the NEA, I'm not doing that. You see, I believe in the true fine arts, and of course that's defined by individual standards, I understand. I found that to be a fact for a number of years when I was a finance chair of a symphony orchestra…. The National Endowment for the Arts does provide benefits to our country, and helps fund some true fine arts. However, we are asking them to only fund their true priorities, priorities approved by the majority of taxpaying citizens, of sponsors and of patrons of the arts. Limiting resources sometimes refocuses and defines that focus.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) opposed the amendment: “The NEA has already been cut by $22 million in this [underlying] continuing resolution. The NEA's contribution to deficit reduction is really infinitesimal, but its elimination would not be. It would be very costly… the NEA represents less than 1/100th of discretionary spending. The economic dividend this Nation receives from the Endowment for the Arts, however, far exceeds the investment we make. It seems to me that, when there are too many issues that divide this nation, and when there remains too much harshness and rancor, the arts have an even more important role to play because they remain a powerful medium through which we can all transcend our common differences, appreciate beauty, and empathize with all of humankind. This is what the arts are all about.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 217-209. Voting “yea” were 214 Republicans and 3 Democrats. 187 Democrats and 22 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment eliminating $20.6 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.

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