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Federal budget deal would spare arts agencies

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/1/2017 By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The new federal spending bill would spare — and even slightly increase — funding for three arts-related agencies that President Donald Trump had proposed eliminating: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The agreement announced Monday calls for the CPB's budget to remain the same, at $445 million. Spending for fiscal 2017 would go up for the NEA and NEH, each from $148 million to $150 million. The three organizations provide money for everything from public television programming to community theaters and scholarly research.

The arts community had denounced Trump's proposed cuts, which have long been advocated by some conservatives. But members of both parties had supported the agencies, with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican and Trump supporter, among those saying the NEA should be preserved.

The proposed arts budgets are part of a $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September. The 1,665-page bill was made public in the pre-dawn hours Monday and is tentatively scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday.

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