WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the Slaughter-Shays-Dicks-Leach Amendment to fiscal year 2004 Interior Appropriations Bill:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this Amendment, which would provide much needed funding increases for the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. These organizations provide national recognition and support to projects of cultural significance and education that preserve and enhance or nation’s heritage.
“The importance of supporting and sustaining the arts is especially critical for our young people, who perform much better in school when their academic programs are combined with music, dance, drama or the visual arts. In fact, the No Child Left Behind Act specifically lists the arts as one of the core subjects that all schools should teach.
“But ensuring adequate support for the arts is not simply about providing cultural enrichment or enhancing educational opportunities. It is also about ensuring the economic well-being of our communities. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $134 billion annually in economic activity and $10.5 billion in federal tax revenue.
“The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities are worthwhile investments of our federal tax dollars, and I strongly support the Slaughter-Dicks amendment to increase their funding by $15 million.”