Congress Rebuffs Bush Effort To Boost NEA Funding

A new appropriations bill is set to be approved by the U.S. Congress without an $18 million special allotment to the National Endowment for the Arts that President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush had specifically lobbied for. “‘American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius,’ was meant to be a chance to reacquaint people with the best of American dance, theater, jazz, classical music, literature and other arts, extending the NEA’s reach into communities all over the country, giving members of Congress bragging rights about how they were bringing home artistic pork and insulating the agency from political critics.” But Congress has allotted only $2 million for the project, which will have to be scaled back considerably.