The Trump Administration is preparing a budget plan that would privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to a report from The Hill.
Trump’s proposal closely follows one proposed by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that played a role in the Trump transition team. The plan would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next decade, with cuts handed down to the departments of Energy, Commerce, Transportation, Justice and State.
“The Trump Administration needs to reform and cut spending dramatically,” Brian Darling, a former aide to Sen. Rand Paul and former Heritage Foundation staffer told The Hill. “Targeting waste like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be a good first step in showing that the Trump Administration is serious about radically reforming the federal budget.”
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a major source of money for public media organizations like PBS and NPR. The National Endowment for the Arts provide grants for art agencies and independent artists, with half of its grants going to underprivileged communities, according to the NEA’s 2015 report.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, meanwhile, supports museums, archives, libraries, and universities.
In December, Trump’s staff suggested that the incoming president would consider appointing Sylvester Stallone to head the NEA, though Stallone later declined.
In 2016, the CPB received $445 million in federal funding, while the NEA and NEH each received $148 million. Combined, they account for less than 0.02 percent of the U.S. government’s $4.6 trillion budget.
Republicans have attempted in the past to defund the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan attempted to shut down the NEA, but backed down from the plans after a task force including actor and Reagan friend Charlton Heston advised against it. Reagan did, however, make major cuts to the NEA’s budget.
The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.