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7-year-old boy grills Republican senator over arts funding program cuts

'He shouldn’t do all that stuff just for a wall'

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 23 February 2017 09:49 GMT
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Arkansas Senator confronted by 7-year-old on Donald Trump's targeting of Mexicans

The Trump administration is expected to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities program, cutting off PBS and NPR, and Toby, 7, from Arkansas is not happy.

GOP senator Tom Cotton fielded questions from voters concerned by Trump’s many executive orders and policy changes at a town hall meeting in Springdale last night, with Toby getting to ask the final one.

He really went in on the senator, to cheers from the crowd:

“I’m Toby. Donald Trump makes Mexicans not important to people who are in Arkansas who like Mexicans, like me, my grandma. And he is deleting all the parks and PBS Kids just to make a wall, and he shouldn’t do that. He shouldn’t do all that stuff just for the wall.”

Cotton did his best to address Toby’s concerns, but the people of Springdale were having none of it.

Speaking to local station KATV after the meeting, Toby succinctly declared: "People like parks, people like PBS Kids - and the Mexican wall: people like Mexicans."

The White House budget office has drafted a “hit list” of programs as part of budget-tightening measures, though they cost a fraction of Trump's proposed wall.

“It’s sad in a way because those programs aren’t causing the deficit,” Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center told The New York Times. “These programs don’t amount to a hill of beans.”

“The public wants to see agencies like the N.E.A. continue,” Robert L. Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit, added.

“There is always a debate, but there has been agreement among Republicans and Democrats that funding for the arts is a good thing, and it has been kept in place.”

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