The Creative Coalition applauds the U.S. Congress for approving a $12.5 million increase in federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Both houses of the United States Congress yesterday passed the bill containing increased funding for the NEA. The House of Representatives and Senate passed H.R. 2996, The Fiscal Year 2010 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, and sent the legislation to the White House for President Obama’s signature. The legislation provides $167.5 million for the NEA and an equal amount for the National Endowment for the Humanities. While The Creative Coalition had sought an even larger increase for the NEA, this additional $12.5 million over last year’s appropriation will provide critical support for artists and arts organizations across the country. This $167.5 million is in addition to $50 million allocated to the NEA earlier this year as part of stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.