GOP To Renew Assault On Arts Agency (6/16/97)
House Votes To Kill NEA
Arts agency still has supporters in Senate, White House
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 10) -- The House voted narrowly Thursday afternoon to effectively kill the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Supporters of the arts agency lost by 217-216 a procedural motion to pull the agency's funds out for a separate vote, on which they felt they could prevail.
The vote does not out-and-out kill the agency, since it still has considerable support in the Senate and the White House. President Bill Clinton has said he will veto any legislation that kills the arts agency.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) called the arts endowment the "single most visible and deplorable black eye on the arts in America that I have seen in my lifetime as to what real people do in their communities to celebrate the arts."
Today's vote was actually on whether to loosen up the rule that brought the Interior appropriations bill to the House floor.
The House Rules Committee permitted only one vote on the arts funds, an up-or-down vote on whether the federal government should kill the NEA and instead distribute $80 million in block grants to arts agencies. That's an approach that pleases conservative NEA foes, and also those who feel the federal government should have some role in funding the arts.
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