Senate rejects move to strip NEA budget from bill

Conservatives continue fight against endowment

WASHINGTON — The Senate rejected by a 76-22 vote a proposal Tuesday that would have stripped the National Endowment for the Arts’ $100 million budget from the $13.4 billion Interior Department funding bill.

The amendment was offered by Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) in an effort to register one last complaint against the NEA before the Senate gave its final approval to the Interior Department appropriation.

Despite budget cutbacks and major reforms at the NEA, many conservatives in Washington continue to battle the arts agency, which they see as a symbol of cultural decadence.

Most of the conservative ire stems from past support by the NEA for artists who used their NEA grant to create sexually provocative art.

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