Congress Accidentally Approves Arts Funding

Top Headlines

Politics

How Trump Continues To Lead The Polls

Recent polls indicate that, despite public outcry against his incendiary comments on women and minorities, Donald Trump is still the leading Republican candidate. Here are some reasons Trump stays so popular with his supporters:

Obama’s Post-Presidency Plans

With his two-term presidency drawing to a close, Barack Obama has been meeting with several high-profile public figures to determine the trajectory of his post–White House legacy. Here are some of the proposed plans

Details Of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan

This week, Donald Trump unveiled his plan for addressing immigration as president, a series of core principles that specify his heretofore generalized statements about America’s relationship with immigrants. Here are the items detailed in Trump’s outline

Huckabee Campaign Suspended After Candidate Trapped In Briar Patch

HOPE, AR—Saying all public appearances would be canceled until they could find a way to free the former Arkansas governor, officials announced Friday that Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign had been suspended due to the Republican candidate becoming trapped in a briar patch.

What’s Been Found In Hillary’s Emails So Far

Hillary Clinton agreed to turn over her private email server to the FBI Wednesday after it was alleged that emails sent over her personal account could be compromised outside the possession of the government. Here are some of the contents of Clinton’s emails that have been inspected thus far

Biden Offers Government Post To Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark

WASHINGTON—Calling the late-night horror film host well-suited for the job “and then some,” Vice President Joe Biden offered Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, an entry-level position within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, White House sources confirmed Thursday.

How The GOP Can Appeal To Women

In light of Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and the Republican Party’s divisive views on Planned Parenthood, many are wondering how the party will win the female vote in next year’s presidential election.

Most Used Words In The GOP Debate

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Below are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Here are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

Trump Delivers Anecdote About Small Business Owner Who Isn’t Half The Man He Is

CLEVELAND—Noting that there are millions of entrepreneurs throughout the country who are in the same difficult position, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to a question about the economy at Thursday night’s primary debate by sharing an anecdote about meeting a struggling small business owner who isn’t half the man he is.

What To Expect From Tonight’s GOP Debate

The first Republican primary debate will air Thursday evening on Fox News and will feature the top 10 polling candidates, with Donald Trump in a strong lead, as they field questions from moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Here’s what to expect during tonight’s debate:

How Campaigns Spend Their Money

The 2016 election cycle is shaping up to be the most expensive in American history, with most presidential candidates already having raised tens of millions of dollars for their respective campaigns. Here is a breakdown of just how that money is spent:

Details Of Obama’s Climate Change Plan

President Obama unveiled Monday a plan to increase the country’s clean power usage that many are calling the strongest action ever taken by a U.S. president to combat the effects of climate change. Here are some key details of Obama’s climate change plan

Revelations From Trump’s Financial Documents

Donald Trump made the financial disclosures this week required of all presidential candidates, divulging his job titles, assets, and other information in a 92-page report. Here are some things we learned about Trump in these documents

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Candidate Profile: Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker formally announced Monday that he will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, bringing one of the frontrunners in early polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Walker

Candidate Profile: Bobby Jindal

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared Wednesday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential nomination, although the Rhodes Scholar and one-time Republican rising star faces difficult odds in a jam-packed primary field. Here’s what you need to know about Jindal

Candidate Profile: Donald Trump

Billionaire real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced Tuesday plans to run in the 2016 presidential election, marking the first time he will formally seek the Republican nomination after floating the idea in several previous election cycles. Here are some key facts to know about Trump:

Candidate Profile: Jeb Bush

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced his candidacy Monday for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, putting one of the early frontrunners in the polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Jeb Bush:

Candidate Profile: Rick Perry

Former Texas governor Rick Perry announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, hoping to fare better than he did in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2012. Here’s what you need to know about Perry:

Candidate Profile: Lindsey Graham

South Carolina senator and retired Air Force colonel Lindsey Graham officially announced Monday that he will run in the 2016 presidential race, adding his name to the increasingly crowded Republican field. Here are some key facts to know about Graham

Candidate Profile: Martin O’Malley

Former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley announced Saturday that he will enter the 2016 presidential race, becoming the third Democratic hopeful to officially declare his candidacy. Here are some key facts to know about O’Malley:

Candidate Profile: Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, bringing the runner-up from the 2012 Republican primaries officially into the race. Here’s what you need to know about Santorum:

Features Of The Obama Presidential Library

Barack Obama announced Tuesday that his presidential library will be built on the South Side of Chicago, with construction on the ambitious project due for completion by 2020 or 2021. Here are some features the new library will contain

What Is A Super PAC?

The result of two controversial 2010 federal court cases removing traditional restrictions on political action committee spending, super PACs are expected to have a significant influence on the results of the 2016 elections. Here is everything you need to know about super PACs

Candidate Profile: Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee announced his 2016 presidential candidacy Tuesday, becoming the sixth Republican hopeful to officially enter the race. Here’s what you need to know about Huckabee

Who Is Ben Carson?

Retired neurosurgeon and rising conservative star Ben Carson announced his bid for the presidency Monday, the first African-American candidate of either major political party to do so. Here’s what you need to know about the Republican candidate:

Who Is Carly Fiorina?

Carly Fiorina, a former Silicon Valley executive, announced Monday her candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, becoming the first female Republican hopeful to officially launch a campaign. Here’s what you should know about Fiorina:

Who Is Bernie Sanders?

Independent Vermont senator and self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders officially declared his candidacy in the 2016 election Thursday.

Who Is Marco Rubio?

Following similar announcements by Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has become the third GOP candidate to declare his bid in the 2016 presidential race.

Hillary Clinton To Nation: ‘Do Not Fuck This Up For Me’

WASHINGTON—After several seconds spent sitting motionless and glaring directly into the camera, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly began Sunday’s video announcing her 2016 presidential bid by warning the nation not to fuck th...

Candidate Profile: Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to officially announce her candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Sunday, putting an end to months of speculation about her plans.

Who Is Rand Paul?

Kentucky senator Rand Paul announced Tuesday his plans to run for president in 2016, with the libertarian becoming the second Republican to officially declare his candidacy.

Gerrymandering Mishap Leaves Nation Without Any Borders Whatsoever

U.S. In Chaos After All District, State, National Boundaries Erased Overnight

WASHINGTON—Urging calm after citizens awoke to find the country’s political boundaries had disappeared completely, authorities announced Thursday that a devastating gerrymandering blunder had left the United States devoid of any district, stat...

Who Is Ted Cruz?

Texas senator Ted Cruz announced Monday that he will run for president in 2016, becoming the first Republican politician to officially declare his candidacy.

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Keystone Veto Buys Environment At Least 3 Or 4 More Hours

WASHINGTON—Emphasizing the numerous ecological benefits of blocking the proposed legislation, experts confirmed Wednesday that President Obama’s decision to veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill should buy the environment an additional three or f...

Obama’s Plan For Fighting Extremism

President Obama spoke before gathered world leaders this week at a summit on extremism, discussing the root causes of such violence, weighing options for combating terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, and laying out a plan for curbing attacks.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Business

Fatherhood

  • Father Apologizes For Taking Out Anger On Wrong Son

    ELIZABETH, NJ—Moments after losing his composure with an unwarranted emotional outburst, local father David Kessler reportedly apologized to his son Christopher Thursday for erroneously taking out his anger on him and not his older brother Peter.

Congress Accidentally Approves Arts Funding

WASHINGTON, DC—A red-faced Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) admitted Monday that, as part of last week's $397 billion spending bill, Congress accidentally allocated $121 million to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Above: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) react to the inadvertent $121 million arts endowment.

"We approved what?" said Frist upon learning of the inadvertent arts funding. "I don't recall putting my name on anything like that. Any funding of the arts was purely accidental. I repeat, any financial support of artists, musicians, or writers on my part was done unwittingly and unknowingly."

"That bill was more than 3,000 pages, single-spaced," Frist added. "It's pretty easy to miss something."

The 2003-04 budget bill, which passed 338-83 in the House and 76-20 in the Senate, boosted defense spending by $98 billion and pledged $27 billion in tax breaks to oil companies and other energy concerns. It also unintentionally allocated more than $120 million to "award financial assistance for projects, productions, workshops, or programs that will encourage public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the arts."

"That wording was confusing," Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) said. "I did not fully understand what that meant. I assumed it had something to do with scientific or military research, so I voted for it. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to misinterpret that."

On Capitol Hill, countless legislators expressed embarrassment over voting for the bill, admitting that the arts funding simply slipped by them.

"I don't know how this could have happened," Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) said. "I thought I read the thing pretty carefully, but toward the bottom of page 117, those four words are right there in black and white: American Jazz Masters Fellowship."

Making the blow even more severe is the fact that the NEA will have the power to determine how the funds are distributed.

"As I understand it, not only will the government provide money for paintings and poems, it will have little say over how that money is used," Gutknecht said. "This means some limp-wristed NEA member will decide what qualifies as art rather than Congress or the president. Remind me never to skim a bill again, no matter how long it is."

Above: The new home of the Boogabong Players, an avant-garde Stowe, VT, puppet-theater troupe.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) spoke out in defense of his embarrassed colleagues.

"In those final, frantic days of House-Senate bargaining, money was flying everywhere," Bayh said. "$3.1 billion to subsidize cattle ranchers here, $1.5 billion to help states revamp their electoral systems there. I can see how, in all that chaos, $185,000 for the Dance Theater of Harlem could get overlooked."

Many citizens do not excuse the lawmakers' negligence.

"These congressmen must be held accountable," said Ronald Drake, a Lincoln, NE, hardware-store owner. "My hard-earned tax dollars will be supporting repertory theaters and art galleries—places no decent, hard-working American would ever set foot in. And then there's the museums I always hear about on the news, with the dirty photos and whatnot."

Some senators tried to defuse criticism by playing up the "many wonderful parts" of the bill.

"We need to keep this in perspective," Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) said. "Let's try to focus on the $390 million that will go toward mineral drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, rather than the $15,000 that may wind up going to some guy who wants to put on a Shakespeare play."

Added Hagel: "I can't be everywhere at once. It was [bipartisan Budget Committee member and Republican Colorado Rep. Tom] Tancredo's job to look out for things like this."

While Rep. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the line item that grants the NEA chairperson the power to award literature fellowships, she said she never expected it to be approved.

"I always throw some doomed things in there so we have something to take out," Stabenow said. "This time, I put the arts funding in to distract everyone from the section allocating money for school-breakfast programs in low-income districts. Live and learn."

Dana Gioia, the internationally acclaimed poet, critic, and educator who was recently named NEA chairman, was "as shocked as anyone" by the financial windfall.

"I can't wait to start making calls," Gioia said. "There's a Latina artist in Los Angeles who makes these amazing multimedia collages that combine the religious iconography of her strict Catholic upbringing with photographs of horse vaginas."