House Votes to Increase NEA Budget by $10 Million
July 17, 2003
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed an amendment granting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) a $10 million budget increase. The funding hike is earmarked for the agency's Challenge America initiative, which is designed to make the arts more widely available in underserved communities across the country.
"We welcome this much-needed, positive development. This vote of confidence in the NEA comes just as state, local, and organizational arts budgets across the country are being slashed," said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia. "These funds will greatly enhance our ability to deliver the finest arts and arts education programs to all regions of the country. All Americans should be encouraged that the House recognized this as a worthy investment that will pay significant cultural and even economic dividends to communities across the country."
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up its version of the funding measure shortly.
The bipartisan amendment provides an increase of $10 million for the Arts Endowment, in addition to President George W. Bush's FY 2004 budget request of $117.480 million. The agency's FY 2003 funding is $115.731 million. The Slaughter-Shays-Dicks-Leach amendment was sponsored by Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Chris Shays (R-CT), co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, and Norm Dicks (D-WA), Ranking Minority Member on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and Jim Leach (R-IA).
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency