A House proposal to fund the National Endowment for the Arts at only $10 million next year has brought a threat from the White House that President Clinton might veto the whole $13 billion bill containing the measure.
The NEA appropriation is part of larger bill that also provides money for the Interior Department and several other agencies. The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday cleared it for action on the House floor.
“The president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill if this funding level were to remain,” White House Budget Director Franklin D. Raines wrote Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., the appropriations panel’s chairman.
Clinton had requested a $136 million budget for the arts endowment for the 1998 fiscal year beginning next Oct. 1.
The $10 million approved by Livingston’s committee “would make it impossible for the NEA to continue providing important cultural, educational and artistic programs for communities across America,” Raines wrote.
An aide to Livingston said he understood the $10 million would be used to close down the agency, which he was in favor of doing.