House set to debate NEA

October 03, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

The House of Representatives may tackle the thorny issue of reauthorizing the National Endowment for the Arts as early as tomorrow, though the much-delayed debate could be pushed back until next week.

Two efforts to limit the kinds of projects the federal agency can fund were beaten back Monday, and three key representatives compromised on legislative language to extend the agency's life for three years without anti-obscenity restrictions.

In the House Appropriations Committee Monday, Representative Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, withdrew an amendment to a proposed money bill that would have banned the agency from supporting "indecent" projects or work deemed "inappropriate for a general audience." The committee also defeated an amendment by Representative Tom DeLay, R-Texas, that would have stopped funds from going to the NEA if a reauthorization bill is not passed.

In a separate but related matter, Representatives Pat Williams, D-Mont., Tom Coleman, R-Mo., and Steve Gunderson, R-Wis., apparently concluded an agreement to limit direct funding to state arts agencies to 30 percent of the NEA budget, sources said. Earlier proposals had sought 60 percent.

The compromise agreement also provides for no controls over the content of NEA-funded arts projects and would extend the life of the agency for three years.

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