Joe Biden’s Budget Increases Funding To Public Broadcasting, Arts Agencies

Joe Biden’s $6 trillion budget plan, released on Friday, reverses a policy of his predecessor in that increases, rather than decreases, the federal outlay for the arts and public broadcasting.

For four years, President Donald Trump’s White House proposed federal budgets that zeroed out funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. That never happened, as Congress sets appropriations, and the agencies survived. But it made for a frenzied period of lobbying on Capitol Hill by arts advocates and other groups to make sure that the funding would remain in place.

Biden’s budget proposes $201 million to the National Endowment for the Arts, up from $167.5 million in the current fiscal year. An additional $135 million was provided as part of the American Rescue Plan to help arts agencies trying to recover from the revenue downturn due to the pandemic.

The White House budget request for the National Endowment for the Humanities was $177.5 million, up from $167.5 million in the current year. The NEH also received an additional $135 million as part of the American Rescue Plan.

The CPB, which provides grants and funding to public stations, would see an appropriation of $475 million, up from $465 million. The public broadcasting proposal is for fiscal year 2024, as the agency runs on an advanced budgetary process. Like other agencies, the CPB also received emergency Covid-19 funding this year, with $175 million for stabilization funding for local public media entities.

Patricia Harrison, the president and CEO of CPB, said in a statement that “the president’s request underscores that federal funding for public media is a vital investment – one that continues to deliver proven value on-air, online, and in the community.”

Ann Ellers, acting chairwoman of the NEA, said in a statement that the budget amount “reflects the importance of the creative workforce in rebuilding the national economy, especially after a time of unprecedented disruption.”

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