May 27, 2022

Trump’s Budget Proposal Eliminates Funding For IMLS, NEA, NEH, CPB, and More

UPDATED May 5, 2017 Good News From IMLS! Federal Support for Museum and Library Services Assured for FY 2017

Today, President Donald Trump signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September 2017. The legislation includes $231,000,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is $1,000,000 above the FY 2016 enacted funding.

The legislation includes increases in funding for the Grants to States program (+$314K), the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program (+$314K), and the National Leadership Grants for Museums program (+$372K). Funding levels for IMLS administration and other programs remain at their current levels.

“We appreciate the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations support so that we can continue to advance the power of the nation’s museums and libraries to transform lives and improve community wellbeing,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew.

Source: IMLS

See Also: Complete IMLS Appropriations Table: FY 15-FY 17 (PDF, 78KB).

UPDATED May 2, 2017  Proposed Spending Bill Spares IMLS (For Now) and Would Up NEA, NEH Budgets (via Publishers Weekly)

The funding, which would last through the end of September 2017, would up the budgets of both groups from roughly $148 million in fiscal year 2016 to just under $150 million each for FY 2017.


The budget deal also also spares libraries—for now. It includes just under $184 million in federal library funding, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a $1 million increase over 2016 levels. Trump had proposed zeroing out the IMLS.

Read the Complete PW Article by John Maher, with reporting by Andrew Albanese

ALA Comment: ALA Applauds FY2017 Budget Increase for IMLS, Calls On Library Supporters to Defend Federal Library Funding In FY2018 Budget

UPDATE: Statements From Organizations (More Statements Near Bottom of Post)

Full Text of Institute of Museum and Library Services Issues Statement om the President’s Proposed FY 18 Budget

Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew released the following statement on the President’s proposed FY 2018 budget, which includes elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Since its inception 20 years ago, the grants and programs the Institute of Museum and Library Services has administered have provided critical support that has enabled museums and libraries across the country to make a tremendous difference in their communities. The institutions we serve provide vital resources that contribute significantly to Americans’ economic development, education, health, and well-being whether by facilitating family learning and catalyzing community change or stimulating economic development through job training and skills development. Our agency’s support enables museums and libraries to offer learning experiences for students and families as well as increase care for and access to the nation’s collections that are entrusted to museums and libraries by the public.

We’ve invested in rural and smaller communities by supporting basic infrastructure and the development of libraries as local community hubs for broadband connectivity and digital literacy training, which has helped hundreds of residents gain job-related skills and, in many cases, find employment. In summary, our grants and programs support libraries and museums as essential contributors to improving Americans’ quality of life.

More than $214 million of our $230 million FY 2016 enacted budget targets museums and libraries directly through our grant programs. This includes $155 million for library services to every state and territory in the country through a population-based formula grant program.

As Congress now begins its work on the FY 2018 budget, our agency will continue to work closely with the Office of Management and Budget. More importantly, we will continue to remain steadfast in our work on behalf of the millions of Americans touched by the services of libraries and museums each day.


Full Text of Statement From the American Library Association:

President’s Budget Proposal to Eliminate Federal Library Funding ‘Counterproductive and Short-Sighted’

The President’s proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget just released, and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds, is counterproductive and short-sighted. The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality.  Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive through their states into an incredible range of services for virtually all Americans everywhere to produce what could well be the highest economic and social “ROI” in the entire federal budget.

America’s more than 120,000 public, school, college and university and many other libraries aren’t piles of archived books. They’re trusted centers for technology, job counseling, retraining, veterans services, entrepreneurship, education, teaching and learning and free inquiry at the cores of communities in every state in the country – and in every congressional district. And they’re staffed by the original search engines: skilled and engaged librarians.


Statement From the Digital Library Federation

Last night, the Trump administration released its new budget blueprint, an advisory document that proposes increases in spending to military programs and national security, coupled with major decreases to—or the complete elimination of—many programs supporting scientific data and research, human health, and environmental safety; social uplift, education, and protection for the poor; international diplomacy, cooperation, and aid; and the arts, culture, history, and museum and library services. The House and Senate will now begin offering their own budget resolutions, and a long process of negotiation—informed by the will of the people, as expressed to our elected representatives—will ultimately result in Appropriations committee legislation setting funding levels for agencies and offices germane to the goals of the Digital Library Federation and its mission to “advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good.”

Read the Complete Statement (639 words)


Statement From EveryLibrary

At EveryLibrary, we believe that any threatened cuts to funding for libraries and museums, arts, humanities, and cultural programs is a threat to all cultural institutions. President Trump has just released his “America First” budgetthat eliminates federal funding for all of the institutions that support these programs. These programs account for incredibly insignificant portion of the national budget (less than 0.5%) and while he diverted these funds for the Military, we have to ask; what are we fighting for, if not the arts and humanities? These are the simple human things that make life worth fighting for.

Read the Complete Statement  (382 words)


Full Text of Executive Board Statement Statement From Visual Resources Association

The Visual Resources Association stands in solidarity with our colleagues across national cultural heritage organizations (CAA, DLF, ARLIS/NA, ALA and more) in opposition to the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services from the federal budget.

Our work as Visual Resources professionals within academic, museum, and cultural heritage institutions has been long intertwined with the work of our colleagues within CAA, DLF, and ARLIS/NA, and we have demonstrated the importance of our affiliated work through collaborative projects, open communication, and shared support of those that we serve across our cultural and scholarly communities.  Now, more so than in recent history, it is important for us to stand together, maintain strong relationships, and act as a unit. Like our affiliated Associations, the VRA Board is concerned about the debilitating impact that defunding culture and creativity will have on this country and the creative and scholarly endeavors that we support through our work. Art, culture, and creativity are critical ingredients in exploration, discovery, and innovation, and they are essential components to a strong, vibrant, and informed nation. Now is a perfect example of how members of our affiliated associations can leverage the relationships and connections we’ve developed across our associations and act upon our concerns as a unit. Please refer to the Arts and Humanities Advocacy Toolkit , which CAA shared with us yesterday, and contact your representatives in Congress. We, as members of the VRA Board will do that, and we know that our collective voices can make a difference.

VRA is committed to supporting the needs of our members as we anticipate the final outcomes of these proposed budget changes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or one of the other Board members if you have thoughts or concerns about how we can do more to support you.




From The Washington Post:

Trump’s first budget proposal, which he named “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.

It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated.


The 53-page budget plan offers the clearest snapshot yet of Trump’s priorities. Yet it is also far shorter and vaguer than White House budget plans normally are. One of the missing details is precisely where and how many jobs would be eliminated across the federal government.

Read the Complete Article

More From WaPo: “Trump wants to cut the NEA and NEH. This is the Worst-Case Scenario For Arts Groups”

Although the budgets of the four organizations slated for elimination are negligible as a percentage of the larger federal budget, they play a vital role in a cultural economy built on a system of federal stimulus. Federal dollars are used to leverage state, local and private funding that supports a complex network of arts organizations, educational entities, museums, libraries and public broadcasting affiliates.


The president’s budget would eliminate the NEA’s $148 million budget, the NEH’s $148 million budget and the CPB’s $445 million budget, as well as $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums across the country. Additional cuts could affect the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.

Read the Complete Article

From The NY Times

Nothing will change for the endowments or other agencies immediately. Congress writes the federal budget, not the president, and White House budget plans are largely political documents that telegraph a president’s priorities.

Yet never before have Republicans, who have proposed eliminating the endowments in the past, been so well-positioned to close the agencies, given their control of both houses of Congress and the White House, and now the president’s fiscal plan. Reagan administration officials wanted to slash the endowments at one point, for instance, but they faced a Democratic majority in the House (as well as Reagan friends from Hollywood who favored the endowments).


Some advocates for the arts endowment, which doles out far less money as a percentage than many other governments around the world, have said that its importance is less about the money and more about the message that it sends about the importance of culture in the United States.

Read the Complete Article

From Vox:

Trump’s budget faces extra hurdles: because of the sheer magnitude of cuts Trump proposed in earlier draft versions of his budget, many in Congress have already indicated that they would be unable to support it. “It’s dead on arrival,” Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said of proposed State Department cuts that totaled up to 30 percent.


Though the newly released request marks the first official White House announcement of proposed budget figures, it doesn’t include details for every program in every department. It also only addresses “discretionary” programs, those that are due for renewal every year, and not “entitlement” programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

Read the Complete Article

Additional Reports, Materials, Articles

List of All: “Federal Agencies and Programs Trump Wants to Eliminate” (via WaPo)

Direct to Complete Budget Proposal Document (via GPO)
Also embedded below.

Report: Trump Budget Zeros Out CPB (via Broadcasting and Cable)

Video Interview with Nick Mulvaney, Director of Office of Management and Budget (via MSNBC)
Note answer to question that begins at 1:54.


Arts/Media Organizations Named in Budget Proposal

Other Humanities/Arts/Media Organizations



  • Primary Document

OMB Budget 2018 Blueprint (America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again{ by LJ’s infoDOCKET on Scribd

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.